Monday, July 18, 2011

Makaha, a Less Traveled Hidden Jewel of Oahu

Makaha, on the leeward side of Oahu 

Travel Hawaii: Check out undiscovered places on the island of Oahu, like the leeward coast in Makaha. Makaha is located in the opposite direction of Waikiki from Honolulu airport, and many tourists never visit this breathtakingly beautiful and less traveled part of Oahu.

Driving west of the Ko’olina Resort for ten miles will bring visitors to the stunning setting of Makaha Valley, amidst the Waianae Mountains. They may want to stay at the scenic Makaha Resort and Golf Club on Makaha Valley Road or at any of the individually owned vacation rental homes to take advantage of its hidden attractions.

Makaha, Oahu

For a special treat, swim among wild dolphins with Wild Side Specialty Tours at the Waianae Boat Harbor on Farrington Highway, which takes groups out near the coast of Makaha. They also visit "turtle bath," fondly described as the place where turtles bask on coral rocks as tropical fish eat the debris off their shells. During January through March, whales can also be seen on these tours.

Makaha Beach Park is the birthplace of championship surfing, which later moved to Oahu's North Shore. The waves are rough and gargantuan in the winter, when Buffalo's Big Board Surf Classic is held. The summer provides calmer waters for families with children to swim in. Underwater caves thirty to fifty feet below make scuba diving particularly fun. Kayaks can also be rented at Paradise Isle Kamaaina on Farrington Highway and taken to Makaha Beach.

Shortly up the coast from Makaha, Yokohama Bay offers a mile long sandy beach with pristine water. Water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, diving and surfing are enjoyed there, in addition to hiking the scenic trail to Kaena Point, the westernmost part of the island. An ancient legend said that departing souls went to the afterlife from Kaena Point, and it is very special to the Hawaiian people.

Kaena Point, Oahu, Hawaii

Undiscovered Oahu Includes Kaneaki Heiau in Makaha

A heiau is a place where the Hawaiians worshipped and offered religious sacrifices. They are sacred to the locals, so visitors must be respectful when they visit. To get to the Kaneaki Heiau, take Makaha Valley Road to Mauna Olu Street, and drive through the gated neighborhood. The heiau is off the beaten path, but accessible to the public.

Kaneaki Heiau in Makaha Valley

Makaha Resort and Golf Club

Makaha Resort and Golf Club offers golfers a championship 18-hole golf course with breathtaking views of Makaha Valley, the Waianae Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Just watch out for the peacocks darting across the green. They are the descendants of birds owned by the royal Hawaiian family over a hundred years ago.

Makaha is on the leeward, dry side of Oahu, sporting spectacular vistas and ocean sunsets. The name means "fierce," which described the original warriors who dwelt there and whose descendants now populate the nearby Hawaiian homesteads. However, ferocity has turned to aloha, and the area offers the visitor many hidden attractions.

Waianae Mountain Range in Makaha

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Makaha Valley View

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