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Waimea Botanical Garden in Waimea Valley is a Top Spot to Visit in Oahu, Hawaii (Infographic)


The History of Waimea Valley

There are three locations in Hawaii with the name Waimea. There is one in Big Island, one in Kaua’i, and another one in Oahu. However, today, we are specifically going to talk about Waimea Valley on the island of O’ahu.

Waimea Valley, on the North Shore of Oahu, holds cultural and historical significance on the island. Waimea Valley has gone through many changes throughout history. It started after Kamehameha the Great conquered O’ahu in 1795. Due to Waimea’s abundant resources and geographical location, Kamehameha awarded the spot to his most trusted spiritual advisor Hewahewa where he ruled as its chief.  During this time, several political changes have been evident, and most of those alterations were primarily rooted in powerful foreign influences. These changes prompted the crumbling of the traditional kapu (rule) system of laws. At this stage, Hewahewa, Kamehameha II, and Ka’ahumanu, his co-ruler, converted to Christianity. Because of this, they denounced Hawaiian gods and aided in destroying all religious idols and heiau or Hawaiian sacred sites.

As time went on, the ownership of the valley has changed several times. It was passed down from one person or organization to another. It was not until 2003 that the valley was brought back into the hands of a native Hawaiian governing entity.

Today, the valley is owned and managed by Hi’ipaka LLC. They are a non-profit, limited liability company that manages Waimea Botanical Garden which was created to nurture and care for this particular treasure. 


Things to look forward to when you visit Waimea Valley

Also known as the “Valley of the Priests,” Waimea valley is considered a profoundly sacred site. It holds a rich history of over 700 years that tourists and locals alike can enjoy. The Waimea Botanical Garden in the valley attracts at least 1200-1300 guests every single day. However, you would not notice it that much as the valley is rather large and offers many activities and spots to see.

So buckle up and enjoy this list of things you can look forward to when you visit Waimea Valley.

Waimea Botanical Garden Valley Trail

Waimea Botanical Garden is a great place to visit if you are someone who enjoys a good hike. Before you witness the majestic waterfalls of the valley, you first have to go through a .75 mile walk which is surrounded by beautiful and lush views.  There are also trams that can take you to the waterfall and back if you do not want to walk.

The trail starts just beyond the Waimea Valley Great Lawn. Here, you can find the entrance booth, where you will check-in and pay for the entrance fee. As you start your hike, you will be welcomed by a collage of greenery as the place is surrounded by ferns and lily ponds. You might also see some birds who have considered the valley as their habitat.

Cultural Activities

Continuing with your hike, you might be able to spot and explore the portraits of the past Hawaiian monarchy. You can also see some ancient tools and instruments used in cooking, dancing, and other facets of the life of ancient Hawaiian culture. 

On the side trails that steep uphill on the right-hand side, you can find a series of reconstructed Hawaiian houses or Hales in different stages and materials used. All of the things you will see here are as fascinating as those in the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. 

Botanical Garden Park

Waimea Valley is known for its lushness. So while you are on the trail, make sure to take a moment to appreciate the variety of tropical plants that thrive in the area. The plants in the valley are abundant as the place is often visited by rain, but no need to worry as there are covered benches where you can take shelter if ever it rains. 

Gift Shop

Like most travel spots, Waimea Valley also has its own gift shop– the Ku Ono Wai Wai Gift Shop. Here, you can find souvenirs such as soap, earrings, oils, skincare products, signs, CDs, and even food like toffee and snacks. Aside from these treats that you can purchase for your friends or family, you can also buy items that you might need on your hike, such as mosquito repellent, sunscreen, and even water flasks. 

The Waimea Waterfall

Also known as the Wailele waterfall, this place will reward you with a stunning view of a 30-feet waterfall that cascades down into a large pool of water below. 

Although cliff diving is not allowed here, swimming is permitted. Lifeguards are always on the premises to ensure the guests’ safety.

The best Hawaiian local tour operator

If you are looking for someone who can assist you in your travels and help you experience an authentic Hawaiian adventure, hiring a tour operator would be a great solution. Good thing, Go Hawaii Tours is here for you!

Here at Go Hawaii Tours, we can offer you a memorable trip to the Waimea Vally on our Hidden Gems of Oahu with the Waimea Botanical tour option. We can promise you that you will not regret spending the day with us as we always bring the Aloha philosophy with us wherever we go.


If you want to know more about us and the tours we offer, you can check out our website at