Pu‘uhonua o HonaunauNational Historical Park

The walled structure at the edge of Honaunau Bay initially appears foreboding. Ironically, this was a sanctuary of forgiveness and protection in pre-contact Hawai‘i. Ki‘i (statues) line the perimeter, casting a watchful eye on those who approach. Also known as the “Place of Refuge,” this pu‘uhonua protected those lawbreakers who made it within their walls to escape the death penalty. Warriors in need of political asylum during wartime also came to Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau in hopes of being absolved by a kahuna. The mana (spiritual power) of this site resonates in the stark landscape and well-preserved lava rock walls, temples and royal burial sites, as well as the lava-lined shoreline.

On Hwy. 160, 808.328.2288, nps.gov