Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Place ofRefuge

Captain Cook, Hawaii

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A stroll through this beautifully maintained and partly reconstructed site of pre-European Hawaiian life can’t exactly be called a hike, but no visitor to the Big Island should miss it. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is actually a part of the long, only partly developed Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, which extends 175 miles along the western and southern coast of the island. Much of this proposed trail runs through private property and is not open to the public. This was not only the home of the ali’i, the chiefs of the region, but was a special place of sanctuary for anyone who had violated a kapu, or religious law, had been on the losing side of a battle, or otherwise feared for his life. It was a sacred place where no blood could be shed. It’s also one of the best places to see endangered sea turtles up close.

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (Place ofRefuge) Professional Review and Guide

"A stroll through this beautifully maintained and partly reconstructed site of pre-European Hawaiian life can’t exactly be called a hike, but no visitor to the Big Island should miss it. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is actually a part of the long, only partly developed Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, which extends 175 miles along the western and southern coast of the island. Much of this proposed trail runs through private property and is not open to the public.

This was not only the home of the ali’i, the chiefs of the region, but was a special place of sanctuary for anyone who had violated a kapu, or religious law, had been on the losing side of a battle, or otherwise feared for his life. It was a sacred place where no blood could be shed. It’s also one of the best places to see endangered sea turtles up close."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Captain Cook
Distance: 0.5
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1 hour
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: USGS Honaunau
Driving Directions: Directions to Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (Place ofRefuge)

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May 2018