Top 5 Adventures for Your Honeymoon in Hawaii
There are a lot of places that you can go in the world to totally relax and recuperate for your honeymoon. While you can absolutely lounge and relax in Hawaii, there are also endless of adventures to be discovered here! That’s why Hawaii is such an awesome honeymoon destination. You get the best of both worlds — relaxation and as much adventure as you want!
1. Trek to an epic waterfall in Kauai
Did you know that Waialeale in Kauai is the second rainiest place on earth? I know that may seem daunting to most couples visiting Hawaii for their honeymoon. You probably have chosen Hawaii specifically because you want to experience its lush and unique landscapes while at the same soaking up the island vibes with a mai tai in hand and the sun beaming down on your face. Trust me, I totally get that! But with all the rain that falls on Kauai, you will also find some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Hawaii! And yes, while some parts of Kauai get more rainfall than others, there are still areas of the island that are sunny and dry where you can tan and drink as many pina coladas as you want after your epic waterfall adventure. You can get the best of both worlds, I promise!
How to reach Hanakapi'ai Falls
So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty! How do you find this epic waterfall I’m talking about?! You can find it by hiking along the infamous Napali Coast! Luckily for you, the Napali Coast just recently reopened after being closed for over a year! It is literally one of the most amazing trails you will find on Kauai, so you’ll definitely want to plan ahead your time on this side of the island. If you are hoping to visit the Napali coast even for just a day hike, you will need to visit here to apply for a parking permit if you plan to park your car. It’s only a few dollars, but the new regulations that they have set in place limit the amount of people parking and visiting Haena State Park each day, so it’s important to make these reservations early if you want to visit the waterfall all in one day. If you aren’t able to snag one of 100 parking permits that they have available each day, you can also reserve your spot for the day on the Kauai’ North Shore Shuttle to take you to Haena State Park from Princeville.
If you’re planning to hike the entirety of the Napali coast, make sure to reserve your camping spot here as soon as possible. Now that the trail has reopened, reserving a camping spot is no joke! People are anxious to be able to hike it again, so make sure you reserve your spot (even if it means booking your camping spot months ahead).
Once you’ve figured out all of the details on how to actually get to the start of the trailhead, now let’s talk about how to get to the waterfall. From the start of the Napali Coast trail, you will hike two miles to Hanakapi’ai Beach and then another two miles to the waterfall. The first part of the hike is relatively easy and we would recommend this part for beginner hikers. Once you’ve reached this beach, you will need to hike another two miles to Hanakapi’ai Falls. Make sure to note that there are several stream crossings (approximately four) to get to the waterfall. At the end, there is a bit more technical hiking and you will have to be comfortable hiking on slippery rocks with unstable footing. The entire hike is a total of eight miles from the Napali coast trailhead. If you want to accomplish this hike all in one day, we would recommend starting as soon as you can in the morning. If you are a confident hiker, this is a hike we highly recommend for those who want to experience an epic waterfall in Hawaii.
2. Hike down into Waipio Valley on the Big Island
A Culturally Significant Site
Waipio Valley is known as the “Valley of the Kings” and rightfully so. This valley that was once one of the most fertile and productive valleys of the entire island was home to many ancient Hawaiian rulers including King Kamehameha. Still today, this valley is one of the most sacred to the Hawaiians. Waipio Valley still has much of the same wonder and beauty that it once had. Although it isn’t home to tens of thousands of Hawaiians like it once was, there are still about fifty people who live down in the valley today and many visitors from all over want to experience this valley’s ‘mana’ (or spiritual energy).
How to Get Down to Waipio Valley
The road to get down into Waipio Valley is a feat all on its own. If you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle (or your rental car company doesn’t allow you to drive down into the valley) and you’d rather not hike, check out Waipio Valley Shuttle to find a ride down into the valley. However, if you’re up for it, make it an adventure and hike down the steepest road in the United States! While the road is less than a mile down (about 0.6 miles to be exact), it gains 800 feet at a 25% grade. To say the least, you need to be ready for your knees to be a little shaky by the end of the hike if you attempt the hike up and down. If you hike from the top of Waipio lookout to the bottom towards the beach, it will take about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on your hiking speed). We recommend taking it nice and slow.
Once you reach the bottom of the road, you can take a right toward the beach. If you walk left, you will find a view of a beautiful waterfall in the background. Please be aware that people live in the back of the valley, so it is super important to be respectful of this area of the valley. If you walk another 20 minutes to the right from the bottom of the road, you will find the most beautiful mile long black sand beach surrounded on both sides by 2,000 feet cliffs. Here you will find local families and tourists alike meandering the shores of this beach. The first part of the beach you can find surfers and locals lounging in the river that runs through the valley toward the ocean. If you decide to cross the river, you can find the majority of the beach relatively empty so that you can enjoy a peaceful walk on the beach soaking up the majestic valley. You may even be lucky enough to spot the wild horses that graze throughout the valley! After you’ve spent as much time as you can in Waipio, you might be lucky enough to hitch a ride out of the valley with a local who has room in their truck bed if you’ve hiked down. If not, at least you’ll get in a solid workout for the day by hiking back up the road. Make sure to pack tons of water and snacks if you plan to hike in and out of the valley for the day! It’s 100% worth it!
3. Watch the Sunrise on Haleakala on Maui
One of the most incredible places to watch the sunrise while you’re on Maui is to see it from above the clouds on Haleakala. Haleakala literally means “House of the Sun” and was named that by the early Hawaiian people. Being 10,000 feet above sea level, Halekala makes for the perfect location for people to come and watch the sunrise and sunset every single day.
Haleakala is unique in that it is considered to be a shield volcano and covers over 75% of the entire island! At the summit of the volcano, you will find the Haleakala Crater. Tourists can explore the two main trails that lead into the crater. Even if you don’t make it for sunrise, sunset is just as special up at the summit. If you wait for an hour or so after sunset, you can also see incredible stars on a clear night because of the quality of air up on the volcano.
What to Bring for Watching Sunrise on Haleakala
Because there are so many people that want to watch the sunrise and limited parking on the top of Haleakala, you will need to reserve a permit here. This will allow you to enter the park from 3:00am-7:00am. If you decide to arrive on the earlier side of the sunrise, be prepared for clear night skies where you can sometimes see the Milky Way. We would advise arriving at least 30 minutes before the sunrises. This lighting is the absolute best for photos if you’re interested in taking photos of the sunrise! Don’t forget to bring a hot mug of coffee, some warm layers (trust us, it can be super chilly at the top of the mountain with such a high elevation), morning snacks, and your camera! You definitely want to be able to enjoy sunrise, so be prepared with what you wear so you’re not rushing to your car right after the sun rises. Some of the most beautiful lighting occurs a half hour after sunrise!
4. Venture to Green Sands Beach on the Big Island
Green Sands Beach is also known as Papakōlea beach on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It is one of the two green sand beaches in the United States, so it’s definitely a main attraction when visiting the Big Island! It is located near South Point, which is also the southernmost tip of the United States. The actual beach is a small cove located on the side of a cinder cone that formed 50,000 years ago. This location is unique because it formed where magma erupted right into the ocean. The cliffs surrounding this beach contain tons of olivine, the common mineral on Big Island that makes up the color of this unique beach.
You can swim at this beach when it’s calmer, but it can definitely be more dangerous in the winter time or when the swells pick up. There is no lifeguard on duty here, so make your best judgement on whether or not to swim.
How to Get to Green Sands Beach
Once you see mile marker 69 and 70, you will want to turn onto South Point Road to reach Green Sands. The distance from the highway to the parking lot of Green Sands is around 8-10 miles. At the end of the road, make sure to stay left and you will find signs pointing to the Green Sands Beach parking lot. Once you have reached the parking lot, you can either hike the 2.5-3 miles to the beach or hitch a ride from one of the local truck companies who will drive you in for around $20 per person.
We’ve actually never taken one of the rides, because we really enjoy the hike during the cooler parts of the day. If you are going to hike, our favorite time is to make it to the beach for sunrise. You will have barely anyone around and the hike is way cooler than it is around noon. If you’re not a super early morning person, we would highly advise hiking in before noon because of the heat and the amount of people that visit each day. Also, remember to bring in lots of water, snacks, your bathing suit, and sun protection.
5. Hire a photographer to capture all your adventures!
The best part of all of these adventures you’re going to experience on your honeymoon are the memories that you make from your trip! One of our favorite ways to make sure all of the couples we work with will remember these epic adventures is by capturing it all through photography. I know this sounds daunting.. Having a photographer follow you around for the whole day?! It sounds like a trap for a full-day photo shoot you’re girlfriend or wife has been begging you for. We promise it’s not like that at all! When you go on an adventure session with us, it’s more like friends adventuring and experiencing the most epic things possible while at the same time taking the most rad photos of you two for you to always remember. If a full day adventure still sounds like too much, don’t worry! We can also just hang around for a few hours to capture you on one of your favorite adventures you’ve seen but have no way of knowing how to get to! We got you, friend! Whether you choose a few hours or two full days to adventure, we will make sure you have some awesome memories and photos to leave Hawaii with! But, don’t feel pressured to go with us if you don’t think we’re the right fit! We totally get that! We want you to find the right photographer for you! Check out our recent blog post here where I explain some of my favorite researching tips for finding the best photographer in Hawaii for YOU! If you’re still hanging on this long after reading this blog post and think we’re your type of people and want to learn more about what an adventure session, let’s chat and start dreaming up the most epic adventure you can imagine!