The Waipio Valley is definitely one of those magical places. If the heart of Hawaii is its steaming volcanoes, then its soul must be the Waipio Valley. It is the valley of kings, the home and burial grounds of Hawaiian royalty for generations. Visitors can be shuttled, or can hike down a steep and narrow road that twists its way perilously to the valley floor. Waipio welcomes exploration on horseback, on foot, or by four-wheel drive that doesn't come from a rental car company. Waterfalls cascade a thousand feet from surrounding cliffs to create the Waipio River. This was once Hawaii's largest cultivated valley. In times of famine, the abundance of this fertile soil fed the entire island. At the mouth of the valley, the waters of the Waipio River cut across a black sand beach to reach the Pacific. It's easy to understand why kings would choose this for their home. In fact, 4000 Hawaiians lived in the valley as recently as 1778 when Captain Cook arrived on the island. Today only about 50 people live here. Not only is the Waipio Valley remote, but nature here is in complete control. In 1946 a great tsunami engulfed the valley sweeping away homes and taro farms. Despite the occasional fury of nature, some consider this the Garden of Eden.