Take an enlightening hike around the ancient volcanic caldera in the center of the Opunohu Valley while marveling at the natural beauty and extraordinary vistas. The valley was densely populated before Europeans arrived in the 19th century and numerous structures that are centuries older remain, including more than 100 stone-platform temples known as maraes. They were of great religious and social importance and are now being restored, as the jungle once completely covered them. Despite the valley's enormous archaeological value, its magnificent scenery still takes center stage. As you hike through the verdant valley, you can expect to see plantations of tropical fruits such lemons, papayas, bananas and pineapples. You will also have wonderful views of the oddly shaped, heavily vegetated mountains that soar above the valley floor. The highest is Mount Tohiea, which rises nearly 4,000 feet high.
• Hike around the caldera of an ancient volcano in the verdant Opunohu Valley.
• Enjoy fabulous views of the tropical scenery and the backdrop of soaring mountains.
• Gain an understanding of the archaeological importance of the valley during the hike.
• Dress in weather-appropriate clothing.
• Wear flat comfortable walking shoes.