Just before reaching Ke`e Beach on the North Shore you’ll see the sign pointing to Limahuli Garden. More than a nature preserve, it is a fascinating step back in time. The ancient lava rock terraces, where taro still thrives, were built over 700 years ago by the Polynesians. Chosen the best natural botanical garden in the United States in 1997, this Kauai treasure continues to educate all of us in Hawaiian culture.
One of our Kauai vacation rental guests told me that Limahuli Garden reminded him of a smaller Machu Piccu. That’s a good observation when you look at the spectacular setting in the shadow of Makana Mountain, also known as Bali Hai from the movie South Pacific. Unlike Machu Piccu, this historical Kauai garden is set in a lush valley overlooking the Pacific with its legendary ancient rocks watching over.
“Past and present converge in this enchanting valley, where native plants as well as ancient and contemporary Hawaiian culture are being actively preserved, nurtured, and perpetuated.” (Limahuli Gardens)
When you walk its Kauai garden trails you’ll see rare and endangered species that are on the verge of extinction in the wild, such as a native fan palm found only in Limahuli Valley. The leisurely 3/4 mile loop offers beautiful vistas and lush setting surrounded by bananas, hibiscus, breadfruit and other tropical plants.
Afterwards stop at Ke`e Beach where you can snorkel in the reef enclosed lagoon. Another place teeming with tropical fish is popular Tunnels Beach. If you like this area as much as I do, consider staying nearby at our Haena vacation homes or Hanalei vacation rentals.
Limahuli is part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens which includes the McBryde and Allerton Gardens near Spouting Horn at Poipu.
Directions: Entrance is 1/2-mile from the end of the highway on the North Shore at Ke`e Beach.
Admission Fee: Self guided tour is $15 and takes 90 minutes. For a more in-depth visit, there’s a $30 guided tour offered once a day at 10am if you make a reservation. Lower rates for children.
Attire: Comfortable walking shoes, long pants and/or mosquito repellant, sunscreen, hat for shade and bottled water. Umbrellas and walking sticks provided.
Hours You Can Visit: 9:30am to 4:00pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. Call 808-826-1053 for more information.
Volunteer Opportunities for Visitors: You are also invited to Vacation and Volunteer at Limahuli Garden during your Kauai vacation.
After you’ve been to Limahuli Garden, we invite you to share your experience with us.