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“Wagon Tour is Short, but Tour Guide is Great”

Waipi'o Valley Wagon Tours
Ranked #2 of 3 Tours in Honokaa
Attraction details
Reviewed August 12, 2010

You'll see from the other reviews, and we would agree, that the actual wagon ride down on the valley floor (you take a four wheel drive to get down into the valley) was rather short for the money. However, Derek, our tour guide and Sistah, the dog that followed us throughout the valley, were both entertaining. The road down into the valley cannot be passed in a rental car (rental agreements on the island prohibit it.) The road can only be accessed by a four wheel drive (and hikers) because the road has a 25-33% gradient (very steep) and it's one lane. After kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, horse back riding, we were too pooped to hike down a one mile road that steep knowing we'd have to walk back up. So I thought the $55 tour was still good value although I wish I could have seen more of the valley. If you're fresh and can make the hike yourself, do it. Otherwise, if you're tired or out of shape, I think this is a great way to see the valley.

1  Thank KBrogan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"wild horses"
in 11 reviews
"valley floor"
in 7 reviews
"mule drawn"
in 5 reviews
"county road"
in 2 reviews
"van ride"
in 4 reviews
"steep road"
in 3 reviews
"interesting place"
in 2 reviews
"an adventure"
in 3 reviews
"four wheel drive"
in 2 reviews
"flora and fauna"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the money"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 2 reviews
"great tour"
in 3 reviews
"carriage"
in 4 reviews
"hawaii"
in 9 reviews
"neptune"
in 3 reviews
"inhabited"
in 2 reviews
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69 - 73 of 80 reviews

Reviewed July 2, 2010

We actually really enjoyed this tour, especially because we have kids who wouldnt have been able to handle the hike down the valley. Ok, actually it was US who probably couldnt handle the hike because we're just too out of shape. It is a one-man operation. The guide takes you down a VERY steep and windy road into the valley to his stable. There, you board his mule-drawn carriage. Get ready for a very bumpy ride! You go thru 2 shallow "rivers" and through the valley's 'hood that consists of a small population of about 50 residents. You get to pass by some family-run taro farms, which were kind of cool. We also saw a huge waterfall in the distance, and some wild horses. There's a variety of plants and flowers along the way - very beautiful. The guide is a very nice man who is very good about stopping and pointing things out. His dog Inga is a very cute but naughty dog who follows the carriage on each tour, and likes to nip and tease the mules. Overall, if you have kids or elderly folks, its a good option to horseback riding, and much safer. I feel that it was a fair deal - seriously folks, its just 55 bucks for adults and 25 for kids! Horseback riding is way more expensive, and with kids, just a bit too risky in my opinion. We were lucky enough to have the tour to ourselves and we were the last tour of the day. Being the last tour of the day, we had to wait for the guide to lead the mules back to the stables, etc. But we really didnt even mind - the kids actually enjoyed petting the other horses in his stable, who were very friendly. It was fun!

2  Thank flowerchicken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2010

Great idea but disappointing. Very short ride. Don't get to see much of the valley. Would strongly suggest the horseback ride to a lot more of the valley. It is beautiful. Take your repellant. Lots of mosquitoes.

3  Thank Calif_Mollymay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2010

We were interested in seeing the Waipi'o Valley floor, but not stout enough to hike down there. Saw the wagon tour, thought it would be fun. Tour operator drives you down to the valley floor in a 4WD passenger van - the road is scary-steep, and very bumpy ride - but we can't imagine walking or driving down ourselves! Once at the bottom, load into a wooden buggy with mules, and wagonmaster gives narration of area, homes, farms in the valley. Very pretty, interesting to see (once), but the actual "wagon ride part" was shorter than we expected. Went out on a dirt road, then looped back along same road again to meet back with van. Wish we could have visited the black sand beach but it was well away from the road we were on. Then back up the crazy bumpy road again in the van. Best part of the trip was the van driver (tour operator?) who is a native of the area, his family lives in Waipi'o Valley, and he told some interesting and funny stories and answered questions about his life in the area at the end of our tour.
We are glad we took the tour, we wanted to see some of the valley floor and we accomplished this. Probably would not take the tour a second time.

1  Thank DavzGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 13, 2009

If you have small kids and want to get into Waipio Valley, this is your best option. The minimum age for the horseback ride is 9. The road is way too scary to try to drive yourself. The hike down and back is very steep - about 2 mile roundtrip at 25-45% grade - too much for most small kids.

The previous reviewers are correct that you are only on the wagon ride for about 30 mins, the rest is transport and logistics. But it didn't seem too short, as we considered the whole trip the adventure, not just the wagon ride.

Our kids (age 9 & 7) loved everything about the trip. A van shuttled us into the valley and the road was windy and steep and super scary, which made it even that much more fun. The wagon trail is rutted and bumpy and you get to cross a few streams. We saw waterfalls, taro fields, ramshakle homesteads and wild horses. Beautiful landscapes like nothing else on the big island.

When my daughter returned, this was the highlight of the trip that she kept talking to her friends about...which is saying alot considering she also swam with the dolphins at the Hilton and saw the volcano erupting during a night hike!

1  Thank newportfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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