In the "City of Refuge", as the Hawaiian tongue twister is also called, the visitor finds one of the most authentic cultural sites in Hawaii. The 73-acre facility with its attached Visitor Center provides interesting insights into the culture and way of life of ancient Hawaii. The park is open daily from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm and the Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Admission is $5 per vehicle. The park is located on the west side of the island, about 20 minutes from Kona.
From Sunday to Thursday, cultural demonstrations also take place on the grounds. Often Hawaiian handicraft techniques are offered - from weaving nets to weaving baskets. To avoid large crowds of tourists, it is recommended to visit either in the morning or in the evening hours. Then the site is particularly attractive at sunset.
In Hawaii there were many sacred laws, so-called "Kapu". For example, women and men were not allowed to eat together or certain foods were forbidden. If these laws were broken, they were sometimes even punished with the death penalty. Unless you managed to lose your pursuers and make it to a sacred place of refuge (puuhonua). There, one was given absolution in a ceremony and could then return to society. By the way, the word "taboo" was derived from "kapu" in German.
Armed with a map, embark on a solo exploration of the park and discover sights such as the Great Wall, a 3-meter high and 5-meter wide wall. Fierce wooden "kiis" guard the Hale o Keawe Heiau, a sacred temple that houses the bones of 23 tribal chiefs. The coastline, made of black lava rock, forms a natural barrier - so the site was inaccessible by sea to those who broke the kapu. From the site, on the right, you will also discover Honaunau Beach, one of the best snorkeling spots on the islands.