The island’s largest natural sheltered bay, a marine life conservation district, is not only one of the best places to snorkel on the Big Island, but it’s also an area of deep cultural and historical significance. On the southern side, now called Napoopoo (nah-poh-oh-poh-oh), stands the large stacked-rock platform of Hikiau Heiau, a temple once used for human sacrifice and still considered sacred today. A rocky beach park here includes picnic tables, barbecues, and restrooms. On the north side, a steep but relatively broad 2-mile trail leads down to the historic Kaawaloa area, where alii (royalty) once lived; when they died, their bodies were taken to Puhina O Lono Heiau on the slope above them, prepared for burial, and hidden in caves on the 600-foot-cliff above the central bay. An obelisk known as the Captain Cook Monument stands on Kaawaloa Flat, near where the British explorer was slain in 1779, after misunderstandings between Hawaiians and Cook’s crew led to armed conflict. The Hawaiians then showed respect by taking Cook’s body to Puhina O Lono before returning some of the remains to his crew. Please be careful not to walk on the reef or any cultural sites; to protect the area, only hikers and clients of three guided kayak tour companies have access to Kaawaloa Flat.