Waipi'o Na'alapa Stables in Beautiful Waipi'o Valley Hawaii
For a sense of how Hawaii used to be and an adventure not easily forgotten, you must experience Waipi'o Valley, an enchanting place that means "land of curving water". From the valley lookout the land drops sharply for nearly a thousand feet. Below is an emerald landscape as fresh and verdant as Eden. A brooding sense of Waipi'o's rich historic past emanates from the valley, which is still except for the pounding of steep waves on the black sand beach and the timeless motion of farmers tending their taro patches.
In ancient times taro cultivation and fishing were the traditional lifestyle of the people who settled here and prospered into a complex and powerful kingdom. Waipi'o is known as the Valley of the Kings because so many important rulers came into power here. Many fierce battles were fought and the rivers ran red with blood. Waipi'o contained five major heiaus or temples of the highest class including Pakalana, or place of refuge build in the 12th century. The spirits of the past are still felt here today. Powerful are the forces of nature in Waipi'o. Waipi'o is an alluvial flood plain carved by water erosion and washed clean by the fury of huge tidal waves. Some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Hawaii grace its cliffs, like the 2,000 ft double falls Hi'ilawe, and Nanewe, home to the notorious "shark man" of Waipi'o.
Today about fifty residents populate the valley. It is dotted with taro patches and lotus ponds, and the surrounding jungle is a tangle of exotic fruit trees, ferns, and medicinal plants. Bananas, oranges, mountain apples, guavas and mangoes drop their fragrant bounty along the valley trails. Kukui nut groves, hala and ti adorn the cliff walls and white and yellow ginger bloom throughout the valley floor. Chinese rice farmers settled here in the 1800's and introduced mules and horses as work animals to pack rice and taro up the steep gravel road out the the valley to market. This type of horse was brought over from Mexico in 1803 and was of Spanish Barb stock. Today, bands of rugged Waipi'o Hawaiian horses run wild here. The Hawaiian horse is a tough, sure-footed creature that is part of Waipio's past and an ideal way to get around its difficult terrain today.
Sherri Hannum, a long time resident of Waipi'o, began Na'alapa Stables in 1981, as an outgrowth of her fascination of Waipi'o's history and beauty and her love of horses. Na'alapa is the name of a sheer waterfall on the far side of the valley. Today Waipi'o's Na'alapa Stable is a favorite Island activity for those who want to get off the beaten track.
Riders meet at the Waipi'o Valley Artworks in Kukuihaele village and are driven to the stable via four-wheel drive van. Our horses are all from local Waipi'o stock and our experienced guides, including Sherri's daughter Maile, are well versed in Waipi'o's legends and lore. The stable provides morning and afternoon rides daily except Sundays. Please join us for a unique Hawaiian adventure.