Waimea Valley, located on the North Shore of Oahu, holds cultural and historical significance. It had seen many changes throughout history, which started when Kamehameha the Great conquered O’ahu in 1795. As the place has abundant resources and an ideal geographical location, Kamehameha awarded the spot to his trusted spiritual advisor Hewahewa, who became its chief. 

Amid his time, there were political changes and alterations which were primarily rooted in powerful foreign influences. The changes in politics have prompted the fall of the traditional kapu (rule) system of laws. Eventually, its leaders converted to Christianity, denouncing Hawaiian gods and had a hand in destroying religious idols and heiau or Hawaiian sacred sites.

Throughout its history, the ownership of the Waimea Valley saw changes several times, as it was passed down from one person or organization to another. In 2003, the valley was brought back into the hands of a native Hawaiian governing entity.


Things to look forward to when you visit Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley is also known as the “Valley of the Priests,” as it is considered a sacred site that holds a long history that tourists can learn more about during their stay. Similar to other travel destinations in Hawaii like the Waikiki things to do, there are also some things that you can look forward to when you visit Waimea Valley.

  • Waimea Botanical Garden Valley Trail

You can consider nature trips Oahu as you visit Waimea Botanical Garden to enjoy a good hike. You can witness the majestic and beautiful waterfalls in the valley after going through a 0.75 mile walk while surrounded by stunning views. 

  • Cultural Activities

As you go on a hike in the valley, you can spot and explore the portraits of the past Hawaiian monarchy and see ancient tools and instruments that were used in the daily life of ancient Hawaiian culture.

You can also find a series of reconstructed Hawaiian houses or Hales in different stages and materials along the side trails that steep uphill on the right-hand side. 

  • Botanical Garden Park

Waimea Valley is also well-known for its wide variety of tropical plants. As the place is often visited by rain, plants are abundant, but there is no need to worry if it rains. There are covered benches that can provide shelter when it rains in the valley.

  • Gift Shop 

Like other travel destinations, Waimea also has its gift shop, the Ku Ono Wai Wai Gift Shop, where you can find a variety of souvenirs. Aside from various treats that you can buy for your friends and family, you can also purchase valuable items when hiking, like mosquito repellent, sunscreen, and water flasks.

  • The Waimea Waterfall

Also known as the Wailele waterfall, it is one of the highlights that you can witness as you visit the Waimea Valley. It holds a stunning view of a 30-feet waterfall cascading down into a large pool of water below. Cliff diving is not allowed in the waterfall. However, swimming is permitted, as there are lifeguards on the premises to ensure everyone’s safety.


To learn more about Waimea Valley and Waimea Botanical Garden in Oahu, Hawaii, here is an infographic from Go Hawaii Tours.

Waimea Botanical Garden - infographic imageHUDIAW526


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