Updated: Apr 14, 2019
After doing a bunch of research on whether to do it independently or through a tour company, we choose to do it ourselves. Manoa Falls was about a 20 minute Uber ride from our hotel in Waikiki and the hike itself is self-guided.
There is a small cafe and gift shop at the entrance but we got straight into the hike, We had read the trail can get muddy but it was a beautiful day and wasn’t packed with people, so wearing trainers was fine. We actually saw a woman in heels at one point but we do not recommend that!
The surrounds of the hike are breathtaking. We knew that scenes from Lost, The Hunger Games, Jurassic Park and the latest Jumanji movie had been filmed here and honestly at times, you felt like you were on set. It’s so quiet and picturesque, it’s easy to see why they choose it as a location.
The hike itself is pretty easy, we reached the waterfall in about 30 minutes. To say the waterfall was a bit of an anti-climax is a little unfair but the water was sort of trickling down rather than rushing down like we had seen in some photos. We think it's probably far more spectacular to see after a lot of rain, it was beautiful, but different to what we expected.
The crazy thing was the amount of people swimming under it. Everything we’d read said swimming in the pool below the waterfall is highly discouraged, there is a threat of becoming infected with Leptospirosis.
This disease causes flu-like symptoms that can last for a couple of weeks. So we were shocked to see people in there, with their heads UNDER THE WATER. They also completely ruined any chance of a good photo - annoying!
We didn’t stay long and the return hike was super quick, even though we stopped and took heaps of photos!
We called into the cafe at the bottom, MJ had a rainbow coloured shaved ice and we waited for our Uber, which arrived in about five minutes. Perfect.
We managed to do this tour for about half the price the tour companies were offering and we liked the flexibility of going at a time that suited us. Definitely recommend it when you’re visiting Hawaii.
- Kiki and Mj
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