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Hawaii Island Experience
"Tours depart daily from the Kona/Waikoloa areas at 6:00 AM. We then make our way South through Kona and along highway 11 to Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. Home to some of the Hawaii’s most significant traditional Hawaiian sites on the islan Hilo. Guests will be treated to quick tour of this historic area along with a stop at beautiful Rainbow Falls. The next part of our journey along the Hamakua coast (hwy 19) is one of the most beautiful drives on the island. Sites to look forward to along the way can include Onomea Bay Laupahoehoe State Park The Hawaiian Vanilla Company and the Waipio Valley Lookout. As our circle island journey comes to a close we make our way through Waimea and down to Kawaihae and the Kohala coast. A final stop at Pu’ukohola Heiau is where we bring our day to a close before the short drive ba""
From $224.00
Ultimate Kona from Coffee to Culture Mercedes Tour
"New Mercedes Benz Sprinter 11 passenger van ride in comfort DVD Screen large library of Hawaiian Media.All Tours Operated by: Owner Operator Tour Guide Photographer. The very best small group experience. Photos uploaded to my photo sharing cloud for you to share with family and friends. We use (Smugmug) photo where you are provided by email to a link where you can share the Photographs with family and friends. Unlike regular tours these Private Small Group Tours offer the discerning customer the ability to see more of the attractions they wish to enjoy. If possible we will make your wish list come true. This often involves showing our guests our Honu (Green Hawaiian Sea Turtle Fri Greenwell Farms which opened in 1850 and is still run by the Greenwell family. On the farm
From $590.00
Viator VIP: The Sunset Experience Helicopter Tour from Kona
"After hotel pickup head to the Kona airport to begin your VIP helicopter tour over the Big Island. When you arrive enjoy a traditional lei greeting and glass of Champagne to mark the occasion. Then board your comfortable Bell 407 helicopter and take off heading north to fly over the secluded beaches and lava fields along the Kona Kohala and Hamakua coasts. Throughout the tour listen to commentary from your pilot who you can communicate with via your two-way headset. Next
From $685.00

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Tips (7)

A place of refuge

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is a must see when you are in this area.
It is located 20 miles south of Kailua-Kona.

The park service has tried to restore this refuge to the way it appeared in the 1700's.
You will walk by numbered coconuts that designate points of interest as you stroll through the compound and canoe landing. Ferocious carved Tikis stand vigil around the bay

Ancient Hawaii was governed by a rigid system of kapu (taboos). After committing one you were put to death unless you could reach a refuge such as this one.

Coconut and Noni trees grow within the Puuhonua. There are many native plants that grow in the park.

The center is open from 8am-5pm

kyoub's Profile Photo
Apr 08, 2009

The Best Place to Snorkel or Scuba Dive

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is a museum that preserves the sacred place where in old Hawaiian times, people who broke kapu (taboo) were given refuge and forgiveness by the priests who lived there. But not only that, immediately adjacent to the museum to the north, there is a lava shelf that is one of the most popular places to step off to snorkel and scuba dive. Usually we avoid crowds, and really, it's not all that crowded. But there is a reason the place is popular. It really is spectacular! The coral formations are amazing and there is so much life in the water! Add to that a couple of easy, natural steps in the lava shelf down into the water, fantastic visibility and this place is simply a joy to dive! You'll see probably hundreds of yellow tang, all kinds of triggers and butterflyfish; colorful nudibranchs if you look closely; and probably some turtles too!

There is parking available with a $2 or $3 donation requested. Port-a-johns are on site, but I was told the smell was pretty rank. I didn't dare venture over.

diver-x's Profile Photo
May 01, 2007

A great destination

This park is in a brilliant setting. The views of the ocean, as well as the grounds, are great, to say nothing of the historical interest of the place.

Just away from the park there is good snorkeling at Two-Step.

trvlrtom's Profile Photo
Mar 04, 2007

Renewal of life and spirit

Pu'uhonau O Honaunau is not in Kailua-Kona, but I've placed it in this section because if you are staying on the Kona side of the island, it is just a short trip south on 11, onto Napoopoo Road.

This former royal ground and place of refuge is a sacred site. It has been operated as a restored site by the state and offers a fantastic look at life then. But the soul of the park is the sacred site of refuge. No blood may be shed here. At the Hale o Keawe heiau, anyone guilty of kapu (sinful or illegal acts) had the opportunity to get to this spot, have rituals performed by the kahuna pule (priest) to cleanse the soul of the kapu and gave a clean slate. This is also where defeated warriors could be cleansed and offer loyalty to their defeater with amnesty. After driving through rough, obstructive lava fields to get to this park, it's hard to imagine how it was reached years ago.

KiKitC's Profile Photo
Dec 26, 2005
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Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Go about 20 miles south of Kona and visit the Place of Refuge (Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park). In the old days, if you made it there, you were exhonerated of any crimes. Here in the national park you can walk through an ancient Hawaiian village and see firsthand how the kings of Hawaii once lived. THere is a $5 entrance fee.

The snorkeling from where this picture was taken was one of our favorite spots, too. Parking is along the road and not in the National park---so it is free. This is actually as close as we got to the national park.

slabeaume's Profile Photo
May 24, 2003


This 180-acre national historic park was, in early times, a place of refuge and healing. Kapu breakers, criminals, and prisoners of war who escaped and reached this site were allowed to live and to avoid punishment upon purification by the priests who lived within its walls. Hale-o-Keawe Heiau, built in 1650, has been restored, and wood images of Hawaiian gods have been replaced.
Demonstrations of Hawaiian skills, games, poi (taro-root paste) pounding, canoe making, and more are frequently scheduled. There are tidal pools and a picnic area in this park heavy with history.

derats's Profile Photo
Oct 26, 2002

Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o...

Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park

Officially called in Hawaiian, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, the Place of Refuge is probably the most visited Kona tourist site out of Kailua. Surprisingly it is a National Park so that there are two such on the Big Island including the Volcanoes National Park. This place was very important to Hawaiians.

If you broke a kapu (law) in those days then you were under a rather unpleasant immediate death sentence (This was before Miranda). However there was an out. If you could paddle your canoe fast enough to reach this place of refuge, then all your sins would be forgiven and you could return to your village life. There are murals here of one guy paddling like mad, only to be caught and killed by the king's warriors in their huge battle canoe within a hundred yards of his salvation. You can see how the missionaries were able to make hay selling confessionals.

makai's Profile Photo
Oct 04, 2002

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Things to Do Near Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

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City of Refuge

UPDATE: This park was damaged by a tsunami on March 11, 2011. As of April 2011, the park remains closed as officials assess the damage. Ancient Hawaiian justice was rather harsh. If you broke most...
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Kahaluu Beach

Black sand beach comprised of fine remains from lava mixed with sand. The island's best 'easy access snorkeling spot' where you can view colourful fish and turtles. St Peter's church can be seen...
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Hulihe'e Palace

As my wife walked along Ali'i Drive, we came upon the Hulihe'e Palace. This was the former vacation home of Hawaiian Royalty and is now a museum open to the public. Inside the house is furniture,...
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Thurston Lava Tube

We visited the lava tube and there are lots of ferns and flowers .. and birds. .. Not to mention its not every day people from small town Ohio get to walk in a lava tube. It was interesting but...
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Kilauea Visitor Center

When we were at the visitor's center I was primarily interested in taking photos of the petroglyphs. Later I got a chance to walk to the trail and see them in person. I was also interested in the...
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Banyan Drive

Banyan Drive See the Banyan Trees that Fannie Hurst and Amelia Earhart planted in the 1930's Walk or bike around the peninsula Play golf! Walk to Coconut Island Take a horse carriage ride See a...
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Getting to Pu'uhonua o Honaunau


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