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Waimea Falls is the perfect place to check off “swimming under a waterfall” from your Hawaii vacation bucket list. It’s easily accessible and almost always flowing with refreshing mountain water.
Located on the North Shore of Oahu, the 45-foot waterfall cascades over a rocky cliff and into an icy freshwater pool below. Some swimmers splash around on inner tubes, while others challenge themselves by swimming against the waterfall’s powerful currents to take a dip under the waterfall.
Because the falls is located in Waimea Valley Park, visitors must first pay an admission fee in order to access the falls. It’s very well worth it because the park not only boasts a waterfall but a variety of attractions and activities, including hula and lei making, as well as musical performances. Among the biggest attraction every year is its spectacular cliff ping exhibitions.
Ancient Hawaiians actually used the falls to show off their skills. Whether it was climbing the slippery rocks alongside the falls or holding their breath under the falls, the competitive spirit seemed to always loom over their heads. Visitors are not allowed to climb the falls.
In fact, there are set rules to follow when visiting the falls. There’s a short, paved trail (about a mile one way) to the falls, which visitors are encouraged to follow. A lifeguard on duty at the pool makes sure that everyone’s safe while enjoying the falls. Other than that, make sure to bring a swimsuit and towel for a waterfall adventure you won’t forget.
WAIMEA VALLEY PARK • 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa, HI 96712 • Opens daily 9am-5pm; closed Christmas Day, New Years Day and Thanksgiving • For admission prices, www.waimeavalley.net or 808-638-7766