Playa Hawai, is a sizeable water park just 30 minutes to the north of the capital of the department of Tolima, Ibague. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the pools, water slides, kayaking and other sports that are available at the site. There is also accommodation at the aptly named hotels, Hotel Honolulu, or Hotel Hali Hali. Camping is also available on site.
Playa Hawai has five restaurants on site providing a good choice of food. There is the menu of the day at restaurant Mavi, chicken at Restaurant Hilo. There is an a la carte at restaurant Kona, grilled food at restaurant Ohana and fast food at restaurant Aloha.
Things to do
The water park has two main pools, named Waikiki and Pisci Playa. Waikiki has a small waterfall where Pisci Playa has a water jet that can reach up to 15 metres high. Is plenty of seating around the edges of the pools. At Waikiki there is a cordoned off area where you pay a little extra for some comfortable bed loungers.
If you would like a change from the pools, there is a large lake where kayaks and other small boats are available to paddle. There are also three large water slides for that unforgettable adrenaline rush. For the little ones, there is a children’s aqua park and a playground.
Around the pools is a games room, a playground, a soccer field and a volleyball court as well a “Tejo area” where you will often hear ¡MECHAA! as people win as they play this local and very popular bar game.
How did we get there?
We arrived by car. There is parking on site with a small fee to pay. Others arrived by coach, motorcycle and some by taxi as it is just 30 minutes to Ibague, the nearest city.
What was the weather like?
With the temperature at 29c almost all day and very few clouds in the sky, the occasional gentle breeze was welcome along with many dips in the pool.
Where did we eat?
During the morning, there are several sellers with empanadas and there are also several places to buy drinks and snacks around the site.
We ate at Restaurant Kona, and the steak was excellent and reasonably priced. I should note that at the time of writing, none of the restaurant open before 1230. As they open the queues become enormous, so make sure you are patient or queue early if you are looking for a full meal.
What did it cost?
At the time of writing, April 2022, the prices per day are
SENIOR ADULT: $25,000
CHILD: $25,000 from 4 to 11 years old
which, for a great day out, is a super price.
What did we take with us?
Swimming clothes, a towel, lots of suntan cream and what we should have taken is a swimming cap, which is obligatory. But we purchased three, for $9000 pesos on arrival and have added them to our ever-growing collection of swimming caps from across Colombia.