The famous extinct volcano has been drawing Honolulu visitors for years.
Equivalent to seeing the Empire State Building in New York City or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, this Honolulu landmark is definitely worth the hike, and promises breathtaking views of the surrounding city and beyond.
Tips on seeing Diamond Head
From top to bottom: aerial view of
Diamond Head; a bird's eye view
Honolulu from the summit;
and Diamond Head at twilight.
Avoid the crowds by getting there early, before the tour buses arrive. Opening time is 6 a.m. - just early enough to catch the sunrise. Also be sure to slather on the sun protection, and bring a bottle of water. You'll need it about halfway up to beat the heat, especially if you've arrived later in the day.
While good walking shoes are suggested, our group made it in flip-flops and sandals in about an hour (the descent was much quicker!) Meanwhile, take your time and - since photo ops are ample - be sure to take plenty of pictures on the way up.
While the official travel brochure will tell you that Diamond Head is classified as a "moderate" hike, make certain that you're physically ready for the uphill climb. It begins easily enough, but eventually the trails become steeper; turn into narrow stairways (one circular); and end with one final squeeze up a short vertical ladder to the top.
Once there, you'll see why this particular lookout always makes the tourist guides, offering spectacular views of Honolulu and Waikiki, as well as the interior view of the giant volcano crater that helped form the island of Oahu thousands of years ago.
Now that you've made it to the top, start clicking! On your descent, plan on some relaxation afterwards, like a dip in Waikiki beach or a hearty lunch, poolside. Hey, you deserve it - you survived Diamond Head!
Diamond is open Daily 6 am to 6 pm. Admission: $1. Parking: $5. Location: Just off Diamond Head Road, between Makapu'u Avenue and 18th Avenue.