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Visit Waipi'o Valley
One of the most common questions we get, as the art gallery and cafe closest to Waipi’o, is whether you can still visit Waipi’o Valley.  YOU CAN VISIT THE VALLEY!  Access is more controlled now and Waipi’o Outlook remains open.

Waipi’o Valley is one of the world’s scenic wonders.


The “land of curving water” in Hawaiian, Waip’io is also known as the Valley of the Kings as it was home to many Hawaiian Ali’i and was the boyhood home of King Kamehameha.  Hawaiian lore also tells us that Waipi’o is where the gateway to the underworld, Lua-o-Milu, is hidden beneath the sands.  It is a six mile long, one mile wide, lush tropical valley nestled between steep cliffs soaring 2,000’ above. Once a Hawaiian capitol and home to over 10,000 people, it is now home to just a few families, who protect and preserve this amazing place. Wild horses roam the valley between waterfalls, rivers, tropical rainforest, family taro patches, and the black sand beach at the ocean’s edge. It is truly Hawaii’s Shangri-La.

Waipi’o Valley Shuttle


Our favorite way to visit Waipi’o Valley is to take the Waipi’o Valley Shuttle Tour. The tours depart from the Waipio Valley Artworks building at 9am, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm on Monday through Saturday. 808-775-7121 


This is a 2-hour valley floor tour led by remarkable local driver/guides, with close ties to the valley and the Waipi’o community, who will tell you all about it’s history, legend, flora and fauna, as well as their unique personal stories about living in the valley.

They consistently get excellent reviews - and hopefully you'll see why :)

Waipi’o Valley Outlook


The absolutely breathtaking Outlook is open and you can drive to it in any type of vehicle.


The Outlook provides a panoramic view of the valley, cliffs, coastline and ocean. It is a great place to stop, walk around, and picnic.


Parking is limited at the Outlook and there is a sign noting that access is limited to local traffic. That sign refers to traveling down to the valley itself, not the Outlook. If you cannot find parking, drive back down Kukuihaele Road, park at the gallery and walk back to the Outlook (it's about 1/2 mile walk).

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Waipi’o Valley Artworks & Cafe

You can start and end your wonderful visit of Waipo’i Valley at the gallery and check out our wonderful art and gifts created by local Hawaiian artists. 


The gallery is located in the historic 1925 building that was formerly the general store for Waipi’o and Kukuihaele village. Check in for the shuttle tours is at the gallery front desk.  Food and beverages are available in our self-service Cafe.  Parking and restrooms are available.

For more info., please don't hesitate to Contact Us.

Enjoy the Journey!

To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, "it is not just the destination, it is also the journey".


No matter where you start from, this is the best scenic drive on Big Island. Depending on where you start, it is typically 1 to 2 hours or less.


From Kona and the Kohala Coast resorts, travel north on the Queen K highway with great views of the coast and  ocean on your left and mountains on your right, to Kawaihae Road. Take Kawaihae road to the right, winding up the hill with mountains on your right. You will drive through the small town of Waimea, with some of the best restaurants on BI, and farmers markets on Wednesday and Saturday.  You will then travel through Hawaii’s beautiful ranch and Paniolo ( Hawaiian Cowboy) country to Honoka’a, the charming historic village that is the gateway to Waipi’o where you will find shops and restaurants to explore.


From Volcano and Hilo, you will drive north along the gorgeous Hamakua Coast, with the Ocean on your right, to Honoka’a.


From either direction, in Honoka’a you will turn left  and drive a few miles further along the coast until the road splits. Either way will take you to the Outlook, but  staying to the right on Kukuihaele Road will take you to Waipi’o Valley Artworks and the Shuttle Tour departures.

And a Friendly Aloha Note...

Malama ‘Aina means caring for and honoring the land that nourishes you.  Waipi’o Valley is a sacred, spiritual place, with a complex ecosystem that allows you to experience not just extraordinary natural beauty but what Hawaii was like before much of modern technology.  Please travel there softly, responsibly, and with respect to valley residents and property. Always follow the instructions of your tour guide, and what you pack in, always pack out.   Mahalo!


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