Go around sundown to feel the mana (sacred spirit) of this Hawaiian place. The largest sacrificial temple on Oahu, it’s associated with the great Kaopulupulu, who sought peace between Oahu and Kauai. This prescient kahuna predicted that the island would be overrun by strangers from a distant land. In 1794, three of Capt. George Vancouver’s men of the Daedalus were sacrificed here. In 1819, the year before New England missionaries landed in Hawaii, King Kamehameha II ordered all idols here to be destroyed.
A national historic landmark, this 18th-century heiau, known as the “hill of escape,” sits on a 300-foot bluff overlooking Waimea Bay and 25 miles of Oahu’s wave-lashed north coast—all the way to Kaena Point, where the Waianae Range ends in a spirit leap to the other world. The heiau appears as a huge rectangle of rocks twice as big as a football field, with an altar often covered by the flower and fruit offerings left by native Hawaiians.