ALOHA!

 

So you want to see waterfalls when you are on Oahu!

The waterfalls on Oahu listed below are can be perfect to add to your Oahu itinerary since they are in separate areas of the island. This means that you can also make it an excuse to explore more of Oahu!.

If you’re wanting to see some waterfalls on your trip to Honolulu, these trails to waterfalls can be worth it!

 

Best Oahu waterfalls: Manoa Falls or Waimea Falls. Best Honolulu waterfalls. Honolulu day trip from Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls. Best Honolulu waterfalls. Honolulu day trip from Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls. Best Honolulu waterfalls. Honolulu day trip from Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

 

Below is a list of 2 of the top waterfalls to see on Oahu.

There are also some details that will hopefully help you choose which one you want to visit if you only want to make time for ONE of the waterfalls on Oahu.

Ideally you will do these on separate days since one of them you’ll want to dedicate a day to doing more things that are in the area. Although, if you have a car, it is also reasonable to see both of these waterfalls in one day too.

 

 

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More photos/info below, but first...
Side note!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!




PLUS... Oahu tour, or on your own: Can you visit Pearl Harbor without a tour?

 

 

Best waterfalls to see on Oahu as a tourist

 

 

1. Manoa Falls

Waterfalls kind of near Waikiki

Best Oahu waterfalls: Manoa Falls. Best Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. best oahu waterfall hike. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls: Manoa Falls. Best Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. best oahu waterfall hike. hawaii travel blog

 

This is among the most popular waterfall hikes on Oahu.

Well, there wasn’t a full rush of water when I went (month of March a few years ago) but it can still be worth it because you might like what’s along the way to get to Manoa Falls!

This is a hike through a forest that will take you to the base of Manoa Falls.

This hike has also been called a rainforest hike or a jungle hike to do on Oahu, and this area is also said to have been a filming location for Jurassic Park (movie) and Lost (TV show).

There’s even a small bamboo forest that you’ll pass by if you want to see a bamboo forest on Oahu!

You can also see some banyan tree and even walk “through” a banyan tree tunnel (arch) of sorts!

 

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Manoa Falls Trail. rainforest hike, jungle hike in Oahu. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Manoa Falls Trail. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Manoa Falls Trail. where to see bamboo forest in Oahu. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Manoa Falls Trail. where to see bamboo forest in Oahu. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Manoa Falls Trail. where to see banyan tree in Oahu. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Manoa Falls Trail. where to see banyan tree in Oahu. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Manoa Falls Trail. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

 

Once you see the waterfalls, there’s a clear sign here that says to stay away from the pool of these waterfalls which means that you’re asked to not go swimming at the waterfalls here. 

 

No Oahu waterfalls swimming in Manoa Falls. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

No Oahu waterfalls swimming in Manoa Falls. Honolulu waterfalls near Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

 

Safety warnings for Manoa Falls:

Landslide area.

Falling rocks: Rocks may fall without warning causing serious injury or death.

 

It can be good to give yourself 2 hours to complete this waterfall hike. This will likely allow you to take your time on the trail as you walk at a leisurely pace, notice the different kinds of plants that are along the trail, and then spend time looking at the waterfalls before heading back.

After your hike, you can visit the Lyon Arboretum which is located right next to where you started the trail.

Manoa Falls Trail is known to get buggy so you may consider bringing along bug spray or travel mosquito repellent wipes. This trail is also known to get muddy, so you may be happy to bring along extra socks to change into after the hike! Or if you don’t want to get your shoes dirty, it may be easier to clean up if you’re wearing hiking sandals although it could mean dirty feet. If you have water resistant hiking boots, it could be good to wear those. See more of what to pack as part of your essentials for hiking in Hawaii!

This is located a 20-30 minute drive from Waikiki, and there is a small parking lot near the trailhead that comes with a $5 parking fee. If you don’t mind a little bit of extra walking, you can probably get away with parking on the nearby residential streets for free. (Not an official recommendation!)

There’s also a bus stop that’s around a 10-15 minute walk from the start of the trail, so Manoa Falls can be one of the great things to do by bus from Waikiki. That said, since this is in a residential area it means that bus timings are less frequent. See more about taking the bus on Oahu.

 

 

2. Waimea Falls

Waterfalls on the North Shore

Best Oahu waterfalls: Waimea Falls. Best North Shore waterfalls. Honolulu day trip from Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls: Waimea Falls. Best North Shore waterfalls. Honolulu day trip from Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

 

So these are the Oahu waterfalls that you might want to dedicate a full day to if you’re staying in Waikiki. Well, you won’t be spending all day at the waterfalls, but rather, since you’re in the area, you can find more things to do!

Waimea Falls is located on the North Shore of Oahu. This area will give you a far different feeling than Waikiki so if you’re looking for that, then it can be worth the trip!

The down side of Waimea Falls is that it does cost money to see. That’s because it’s located in the Waimea Valley nature park. It costs around $20 per person to see Waimea Falls. See current prices here.

The up side to that is that it’s a well maintained botanical garden, and then some! So if you’re looking for gardens to visit on Oahu, then this could be another reason you may want to go here!

There is also an ancient Hawaiian culture site on your way to the waterfalls so you can learn about Hawaiian history.

You will walk a paved trail through the botanical gardens and past the Hawaiian culture site to get to Waimea Falls. If you don’t stop, it may take 20-30 minutes one way to walk to the waterfalls. For an added fee of $10 per person one way or $14 round trip, there’s also a shuttle available that will drop you at the waterfalls so you don’t really have to walk at all.

 

Best Oahu waterfalls: Waimea Falls at waimea valley park with botanical gardens. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Waimea Falls at waimea valley park with botanical gardens. hawaii travel blog

Best Oahu waterfalls hiking trail: Trail to Waimea Falls at waimea valley park with hawaii culture site. hawaii travel blog

 

Then once you are at the waterfalls, you can go swimming at Waimea Falls too. This is a monitored swimming area, and they even provide life jackets. Actually they are required if you want to swim.

 

Oahu waterfalls swimming in Waimea Falls, waimea valley park. North Shore waterfalls. Honolulu day trip from Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

 

It’s recommended that you wear water shoes if you plan on going swimming. These can be the same as your water shoes for snorkeling, which is good to have as part of your everyday essentials for Hawaii!

 

What to do near these Oahu waterfalls

And while you’re in this area of the North Shore, to get you started:

 

 

So, to recap…

Manoa Falls or Waimea Falls? Which is the better Oahu waterfalls?!

That depends on what you’re looking for!

Manoa Falls Trail is more of a standard hiking trail through a forest, while Waimea Falls Trail is more of a paved nature trail. Either way, you’ll be surrounded by nature on both waterfall hikes!

Manoa Falls Trail can get buggy and muddy, while you likely won’t have much issues with bugs on the Waimea Falls Trail.

Manoa Falls is free to see (if you don’t count the parking fee), and there’s an admissions fee at Waimea Falls.

Manoa Falls is closer to Waikiki so it won’t take up all day, while Waimea Falls will be a dedicated day trip to the North Shore since you’ll want to do more things nearby when you’re there.

Waterfall swimming is legitimately allowed at Waimea Falls.

See what to pack for hiking in Hawaii!

 

And finally…

The boring safety message about waterfall swimming on Oahu

No matter which waterfalls on Oahu, it is recommended that you avoid waterfall swimming if you have open wounds. Hawaii is home to the dangerous bacteria leptospirosis, and it’s said that swimming in fresh water with open wounds can increase the risk of contracting it.

 

And that’s a bit about a couple of trails to waterfalls on Oahu!

 

See more great hikes on Oahu, ones that come with great ocean views!

 

Off to another Hawaiian island?

 

HAPPY HIKING TO SEE OAHU WATERFALLS!

 

Best Oahu waterfalls. Best Honolulu waterfalls. Honolulu day trip from Waikiki. hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
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The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip to Honolulu!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on the Oahu:


ALOHA!