When you're driving from Honolulu up to Kailua, after you get over the Pali but just before you start heading down the hill to Kailua town, you'll see some streets that seem to go off into the mountains to the right above Kailua. Those are the entrances to Maunawili, a hidden tropical neighborhood that is everything you would imagine from old Hawaii. The peaceful hills and valleys in Maunawili are lined with mature trees, and the homes seem to just barely peek out from behind the lush landscape.

There is a broad range of small homes to large estates, many with beautiful views that look like this. From some places in Maunawili you can even see Luana hills golf course.

When people who don't yet live here think of living in Hawaii, they might picture something that looks like Maunawili. Large green mountains, lush foliage, palm trees everywhere, houses nestled within the hills but only as an accent to the beautiful scenery.

Homes here aren't cheap, starting at about $800k for a decent home, and well over $1million for a nice renovated home. For something to be nice in Maunawili, it would most likely be renovated, since there hasn't been new construction here for many years.

The great thing about Maunawili is that it's just 10 minutes from Kailua beach, 20 minutes from downtown Honolulu, and perched high enough above it all to feel totally secluded. You can get to everything quickly, but you get away from everything even quicker.

It's probably not the type of place you would find without knowing about it, mostly due to the fact that there are only a couple streets in, and no signs that say Maunawili anywhere. But if you're looking for a beautiful tropical setting to live in, this is the place. Just bring about $1million.

Warning - it rains a lot in Maunawili.  A lot.