After 10 day California, 4 days Maui and 7 days on Big Island, we had 6 days left for Oahu.
This Part is about Oahu my highlights, learnings and don’ts in general.
We spent 7 days on Big Island and now had 6 days left on Oahu, the third largest, most populous and probably the most important Hawaiian island.
About 80% of the Hawaiians live here and accordingly densely populated it is. We landed in Honolulu, the capital. Honolulu has a classic downtown with typical American skyscrapers, big crossings with traffic lights and a lot of traffic. With the many green parks, Waikiki Beach and 26 degrees celsius in January, somehow the Hawaiian feeling still gets through. I was even a fan of Honolulu, but with this opinion more of an underdog ;). I think after nearly 2 weeks of nature I had also developed a longing for a city.
But at first we didn’t stay there, instead we went to the Northshore to explore the island.
Let’s say ALOHA – as you say hello in Hawaiian – to my favorite spots.
Haleiwa – where every woman’s heart opens up
The city is sweet as sugar. A real surfer town with many small boutiques, surf shops, swimwear, restaurants and for sure; Açai bowls.
Kawela Bay hidden Beach Loop –
the place where Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean left his footprints :). Don’t worry, there’s nothing more to see of that, the days of shooting already over.
The Hidden Beach Loop was the walk I made completely barefoot. Pine needles, stones, soil, sand, water and grass gently (at least most of the time gently) massaged my feet. Here we also found again the legendary Banyan Trees, on which we climbed.
Afterwards we drove to the famous Sunset Beach –
This beach is especially famous for one of its palm trees, on which beautiful girls sit on.
Actually you are NOT allowed climb on the palm, but to climb under is fine ;). Unfortunately, we were not very lucky with the sunset and it remained quite grey.
Right next to Sunset Beach there is Banzai Pipeline –
which makes all surfing hearts beat faster.
I thought it was nice… my boyfriend couldn’t get away :). It would have been probably the same way for me, if I wouldn’t have had again Papaya Boats and the Bulletproof café in my mind, which was right across the street at Sunsetshak.
From there we continued our journey to the other side of the island to Kahuku, Laie and Hauula. Within half a day we did the east side of the island by car and finally arrived at Prince Waikiki. Our last stop, our first cooperation and our first luxury. It was a dream. We spent the last 3 nights there and made several smaller trips from there.
Koko Head Trail
Yeahiiii Morning run Annelina thought when she heard about the Koko Head Trail :).
The ascent is definitely NOT a walk, but absolutely worth it, especially for sunrise. Runners use the trail – on an old military cablecar track, which is sometimes in good, sometimes in bad shape – as a training run. The fastest do the trail in under 15 minutes, but it can also take you one our or more if you want to take it slowly, as most people do. We took this thing as kind of a half workout and made our way up in around 30 minutes, which already caused burning legs. But once arrived at the very top, the astonishing view makes you forgetting the efforts immediately.
The descent then is way less exhausting, but therefore demand a good portion of attention, since you always have to make sure to hit the wood tie instead of the gap in between them :).
Manakai Pillbox Hike
Sorry guys, but it’s again time to get up early. The Manakai Pillbox Hike is known for its wonderful view which is especially impressive during sunrise. Accordingly there are many people in the early hours. But that’s okay, it was one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen. Everything was wonderful turquoise.
At first we thought we wouldn’t see anything, because it was quite grey and rainy. But the waiting was worth it and I don’t know how, but despite the bad weather the sunrise was wonderful and a goose bump moment. The Pillbox also offers safe rain protection <3. The descent then is super quick and easy. Just run down and drift off the slope :).
The Manoa Falls Trail is a rather comfortable and short walk with 45 m high waterfalls at the end. If you want to have the waterfalls for you alone, you can get up early again 🙂 or join a few (many) other tourists. The tropical rainforest trail was the location for many scenes of Jurassic Park and LOST.
After nights in the car (sry dear police in case we broke the rules), Couchsurfing, Hostels and Airbnb we were on cloud 9 when we got the invitation from Prince Waikiki. I can’t tell you how excited I was when we heard what we’ve being offered. 1 x vegan lunch at the hotels 100 Sails Restaurant (usually seafood 🙂 ), 1 x Cabana with vegan dining experience and 1 x breakfast in the room. PS: I was puzzled to the end what a Cabana is. Now I know, it’s a kind of lodge you can book (see picture). I almost felt uncomfy to get this extra luxury : -D.
I would like to pay a very special compliment to the kind people at the reception desk.
With dirty legs and arms, dirty clothes and not such a fresh backpack – it was the last three days and accidentally we had done a mud walk before – we entered the 4 star hotel. The receptionist welcomed us like the princess with her prince 🙂 and he didn’t know anything about the cooperation.
We went to our room, which was a blast. What a feeling. Actually, I don’t like hotel rooms most of the time, but this one was wonderful, the view over the harbor and the sunset right over the ocean.
The breakfast buffet was another great experience for us. Açai Bowls, fruits, porridge, buns, vegetables, just everything was there.
We particularly liked the infinity Pool and the Hot tub outside on the terrace.
My highlights and top to do’s:
- Going on a wild hike
- Go to Wholefoods, buy fresh peanut butter from the machine and eat it with banana on the beach.
- Climbing a palm tree 😉
- Buy fresh drinking coconuts
- Go to the Paia Bowls and eat an Acai Bowl
- Walk barefoot through the woods
- Walk on an abandoned lonely white beach
- Sleeping in the car under the stars (think its forbidden xd)
- Playing monkey and climbing Banyan Tress
- Drinking Pomegranate Kombucha
- Enjoy Vegan ben&Jerries at sunset
- See a rainbow with its beginning and end
Hyped travel recommendations I’d put to the bottom of my list: (don’ts)
- Captain Cook Monument – the highly praised diving lagoon was definitely too touristic for me. Big ships ship people there who don’t want to take the 1-2 hour descent and ascent (one way) and then pull their anchors through the wonderful reefs.
- Waimea Falls – too cultivated and also too touristic. First, you pay entrance fee (PS: unless you take the path across the river 😉 ) and the typical waterfall feeling can’t com up, because far too many people gather in front of it. Besides that the waterfall is more of a baby waterfall at good weather.
- Hapuna Beach – it didn’t give me a Hawaiian feeling, because it feels like a big artificial construction. Nevertheless, it is the largest white sand beach in Hawaii. At the end of the day its suitable for bathing and sunbathing but nothing more.
Some tips to save some money:
- Book accommodations early to save money
- Take a spiralizer with you to make salad everywhere
- Book flights from one island to another in time
- Rent a car, also on Maui 😛
Our Hawaii time passed by in no time and we were really not enthusiastic about the idea to enjoy the grey and cold weather back in Berlin. But everything got its good side, right? And also Berlin with its grey weather is my German dream at the moment.
However, if we would have had 2-3 more days in Oahu, maybe we would have managed the forbidden walk “Stairway to Heaven” and the Hidden Bridge of Maunawili Falls.
How good that there are always reasons to come back:)).
Have you already been on Oahu? If so, feel free to share your tips.