With its fierce, haunting idols (ki‘i), this sacred site on the black-lava Kona Coast certainly looks forbidding. To ancient Hawaiians, it served as a 16th-century place of refuge (puuhonua), providing sanctuary for defeated warriors and kapu (taboo) violators. A great rock wall—1,000 feet long, 10 feet high, and 17 feet thick—defines the refuge where Hawaiians found safety. On the wall’s north end is Hale O Keawe Heiau, which holds the bones of 23 Hawaiian chiefs. Other archaeological finds include a royal compound, burial sites, old trails, and a portion of an ancient village. On a self-guided tour of the 420-acre site—much of which has been restored to its pre-contact state—you can see and learn about reconstructed thatched huts, canoes, and idols, and feel the mana (power) of old Hawaii, but do try to include one of the free daily ranger talks, held at 10:30am and 2:30pm in a covered amphitheater. A free, 2-day cultural festival, usually held the last weekend in June, allows you to join in games, learn crafts, sample Hawaiian food, see traditional hula, and experience life in pre-contact Hawaii. Note: There are no concessions in the park, other than bottled water at the bookstore, but there are picnic tables on the sandy stretch of the park’s south side.
Hawaii (The Big Island)
Hawaii (The Big Island)› Attraction
Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
Hwy 160 (off Hwy 11 at mile marker 104), Honaunau
Our Rating Hours Visitor center daily 8:30am–4:30pm; park daily 7am–sunset. Phone 808/328-2288 Prices $5 per vehicle; $3 per person on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle; good for 7 days. Web site Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park Other From Hwy. 11, it’s 3 1/2 miles to the park entrance
MapHwy 160 Hawaii (The Big Island)
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.