Hanauma Bay, the stairway up the Koko Head volcano (1208 feet), the Halona Blowhole, Madam Pele’s Chair, Makapu’u Point, Sandy's Beach, the Healing Pools, The Makapu’u Lighthouse and much more. With all of that, it’s easy to miss the beautiful, serene and almost never crowded Koko Crater Botanical Garden. This is a gorgeous 60 acre park inside the cinder cone of the Koko Head Volcano. This is not a lush tropical garden but a dryland garden filled with a wide variety of flowering plumeria trees, bougainvillea, cactus and Hawaiian flora and fauna.
Since 1960, the garden has been maintained and planted by the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. There are Africa, Americas, Hawaii and Madagascar sections and each of them are gorgeous. This is a dry, hot climate but you will still find beautiful flowers here. More than 200 different species of trees can be found on the two mile loop trail through the crater. One to two hours is enough time to complete the trail but make sure you bring water with you.
When you are done, if you still have plenty of energy, take a trip up the Koko Head Stairs from Koko Head Regional Park on the outside of the crater - or better yet, save that for another day and simply enjoy the fact that you have found one of the truly off the beaten path treasures of Oahu.