Diamond Head State Monument, Hawaii

Read any travel blog about Hawaii and you’ll soon see that the Diamond Head State Monument is one of Hawaii’s top attractions. It’s their most recognised landmark, known for its historic hiking trail, stunning coastal views and military history. And it was top of our list of things to do in Hawaii.

While there are many companies that offer day trips to Diamond Head, we compared the costs of those with what it would cost to do it ourselves and ended up choosing the self-guided option. Based in Waikiki, it was just a 10 minute Uber ride from our hotel to the entrance.

The park is open from 6am to 6pm and the fee is just $5.00 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians. They provide you with a brochure that shows the trail and lists items of interest along the way.

We started our trip with a visit to the Dole stand that was selling beautiful smoothies, juices and other snacks. Hawaii is also famous for its Dole Pineapple Plantation so being able to sample locally grown pineapples was a highlight.

MJ gearing up for his smoothie in a Dole pineapple

We went for the smoothie that was served in an actual pineapple and it didn’t disappoint. Totally delish and perfect for your insta photos! We shared one to save on cost. Just make sure you finish it before the hike, there are no rubbish bins once you’re on the trail.

The hike was pretty leisurely initially, gentle slopes as you make your way up. It is popular though so be prepared to share the track with hundreds of people. It moved pretty quickly and we got to the top in about 30 minutes, with a few photos along the way.

Just before the summit it is steep in parts and there is one area that is a whole lot of steps and a tunnel that is short, but pretty dark.

But then you’re at the top and it is nothing less than magical. The views are incredible and you can make your way around to see them from different angles. But remember we said it was popular? You will have almost zero chance of getting a photo without anyone else in it, it was packed up there!

We didn’t spend a huge amount up the top due to that so we made our way across the top, found a park bench and had a snack before heading down again.

The trip down is easy and relatively quick, I would say we did the whole walk in about an hour. Definitely take water as it does get very hot, they sell bottled water at the entrance in case you forget.

When we were done, we booked an Uber that arrived within 5 minutes and headed back to the hotel for a much needed swim!

We managed this tour independently for about half the price the tour companies were offering, we did it at a time that suited us and we didn’t have to wait around at the end for everyone else to finish! Definitely recommend that option.

- Kiki and MJ

Check out our other Hawaii blogs:

- Hanauma Bay

- Manoa Falls

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