Hiking through the Rainforest Jungle at Mānoa Falls

the beginning of the hike

Before  we left for Hawaii, there was a short period of time when I was going through emotional fatigue. My days involved many unproductive hours just laying in bed. Thankfully, I snapped out of it and soon found solace in walking. After everyone had gone off to school or work in the morning,  I looked forward to my walks.

Walking, somehow, provided a sense of relief– a relief from my often humdrum days. I know it sounds a bit crazy but during my walks, I imagined being in places I haven’t been, picturing myself on a trek to Machu Picchu or in the foot of a mountain somewhere in the Himalayas. My imagination transported me to another world and because of this I was able to overcome some of my torment and get through my day. 

  

big rocks can become slippery during rainy days

When we arrived in Hawaii, I was set to do a lot of walking despite the occasional objections from my kids. I planned to do some hiking, an unusual itinerary for the whole family. I’m not sure if my husband and the boys noticed the changes within me but they never did inquire. They knew the type of vacations I’ve always enjoyed–mostly traveling to big cities, shopping, hunting for the latest and hottest spots or eating at trendy or highly acclaimed restaurants. But this vacation was different. I did not seek the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle but instead I sought out for the real jungle!

  

 

The scenic stroll through the tropical lush greenery transported me into an isolated island off Costa Rica, imagining myself in a thrilling scene in Jurassic Park. But wait, this is where it actually happened! Most of the movie’s wild jungle scenes were filmed here at Mānoa Falls. Also true for the TV series Lost, some of the episodes were filmed in this same location.  

The first thing I noticed when we started our hike was the smell of the rainforest. Breathing in the clean air, surrounded by the fresh smell of trees, hearing the birds chirping, and the sound of the water running all brought an inexplicable feeling of excitement. 

    

 The trail is very well maintained but it can get muddy and those large boulders can become very slippery during the rainy days. A good footwear is highly recommended but as an inexperienced hiker such as myself, I found this hike quite easy. It took us about 1 1/2–2 hours of total walking. It was definitely the most fascinating couple of hours I spent in Oahu. 

When we reached the waterfall, we were a bit disappointed that it hardly had any water (above photo). Apparently this is the result from the lack of rain in the island lately. 

I found an image of the waterfall in the Internet just to get an idea of what it would look like had there been an abundance of rain. Photo  

Another tidbit of information: They have now deemed it dangerous for anyone to swim in the base of the waterfall since the rockslide in 2002.

My husband asked what I thought was the most memorable part of our trip. For me, the hike at Mānoa Falls was certainly one of my top two most unforgettable moments. The other was trekking Diamond Head. 

Mahalo, Mānoa Falls, for an experience of a lifetime!

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