Just across from stunning Waimea Bay sits a world-class botanical garden, home to cultural and historically significant archaeological sites that date back over 600 years. Here in Waimea Valley guests can enjoy flora and fauna from around the world as well as native endemic species, experience cultural practices as their artisans demonstrate leimaking, traditional weaponry, hala weaving, and more.
Waimea Valley is a rich and culturally significant wahi pana (storied place). Historically, this Valley has been home to and ruled by a long line of Ali‘i Nui (Kings), Ali‘i (Chiefs), and Kahuna Nui (High Priests). The last Kahuna Nui (High Priest) to reside in Waimea Valley was Hewahewa, who was a High Priest from the island of Hawai‘i.
Evidence of this early existence can be found in the many cultural and archaeological sites located throughout the Valley, such as the Hale o Lono Heiau (Temple dedicated to the god Lono), Kauhale Kahiko (Traditional Living Site), and Lo‘i (Agricultural Terraced Walls) believed to be hundreds of years old.
Come experience Waimea Valley, and walk through a sacred ahupua‘a (Hawaiian Land Division that extends from the mountains to the sea) that happens to have a world-class Botanical Garden in the middle of it! The best of both worlds…that is Waimea Valley.
After exploring the Valley, visitors enjoy a refreshing swim in Waihi falls before returning to the Valley’s visitor’s center where Na Mea Ono Snack Shop awaits with fresh locally-sourced snacks from the grill.
Waimea Valley is open 7 days a week from 9am-5pm. Hi‘ipaka LLC is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that manages the Valley’s daily operations, conservation and preservation efforts, and steward the land. There is a minimal admission fee that helps ensure the success of these efforts. Stop by Ku‘ono Wawai to pick up a gift for yourself or those back home to share your visit to Waimea.