Waipio Valley Wagon Tours

Enjoy a Unique Adventure with Waipio Valley Wagon Tours
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

See the breathtaking sites of the Waipio Valley, Valley of the Kings, via mule pulled wagons with Waipio Valley Wagon Tours. These friendly, surefooted mules, along with your human guide will share the historical significance of the sites and give you an immersive experience of seeing all the beauty that lies deep within the valley. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

As the second-most visited site on the Big Island, behind only the volcano, Waipio Valley features lush tropical foliage, wild horses, majestic waterfalls, traditional taro patches, and old Hawaii culture. The best and probably most unique way to see this area is a Waipio Valley Wagon Tour. This mule-drawn wagon tour has been noted by many guests as the highlight of their entire trip to the islands. 

Heralded as the cradle of Hawaiian civilization, the beautiful and majestic Waipio Valley, known as the Valley of the Kings is an educational and picturesque destination. Each mule-driven wagon tour offers a fully narrated experience and lasts 1.5 hours. The experience gives guests an immersive look at the cultural backbone of Hawaii, as they enjoy a wagon trek through the valley, with mud and ruts, creeks and all. It effectively gives you the feeling of being in an unexplored portion of the Hawaiian backcountry that perhaps has only been seen by the gods themselves. 

Mules make excellent wagon pullers as they are intelligent and sure-footed. They know the pathways almost without having to be led, but the professional and courteous guides always ensure they are heading in the right direction. Mules also have a high level of stamina and can easily travel up to 20 miles or more daily. The locations you can reach via mule-pulled wagon are more isolated and breathtaking than any you could access via car or even on foot. 

You will enjoy unbelievable and unforgettable views while on your wagon tour, seeing the Big Island coastline and the Hialawi Falls, the highest falls in Hawaii— at over 1,200 feet tall— are just two of the highlights of the tour. Kids will also love interacting with the friendly, hard-working mules who are people-friendly and charming. 

While there are many ways to explore the island sites, from the air or even on the sea, there is nothing quite like a mule-drawn wagon tour to give you a sense of cultural appreciation for the simple beauty of the land. There is no other way to get closer and see more than in a mule-drawn wagon. You will see exactly what Hawaii was like years ago when it was ruled by Kings. Interestingly enough, in the time of the kings, the Waipio Valley was densely populated. Today, it is a beautiful wilderness that features taro fields (staple food of Hawaii) with only a few dozen residents who call it home. 

Waipio Valley is named after the river that runs through the valley, the Waipio, which means curved water. This river is a mile wide and around six miles deep. The back of the valley splits into various branches each with its own breathtaking waterfalls. The valley meets the ocean towards its northern end, joining a beautiful black sand beach that is cut in two sections by the Waipio River. 

The Waipio Valley Lookout is situated between the Waipio Valley and the parking area. Here, you can get a stunning view of the valley along with the high sea cliffs that stretch westward. This overlook allows you to see the entire valley and is a great stop either right before or after your venture down into the valley itself. The lookout is an ideal spot for pictures, and it also has a picnic area and bathrooms, which makes it a great addition to a day’s adventure in the area. 

Tour pickup location for the Waipio Valley Wagon Tours is at Neptune Gardens at the Last Chance Store in Kukuihaele. Guests can purchase beverages, snacks, and gifts from the store. Check-in for the tour is 15 minutes before the departure time. 

Insider Tips:
-Waipio Valley Wagon Tours are not ideal for anyone with health issues, those who are pregnant, or those who are handicapped. 
-There is a discount for seniors and for children under 11. Kids under 3 years of age ride free.