Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park Tours

Up until 1819, ancient Hawaiians adhered to religious laws that were generally known as kapu. Everything in Hawaiian life—from which fish you could eat in which season to the clothes you were allowed to wear—was regulated by thousands of different kapu that carried stiff penalties if broken. Should your shadow ever have fallen on a chief, or if you failed to kneel while he was eating, it was a broken kapu punishable by death since you had disrespected the will of the gods.

Once a sacred kapu had been broken, the only way to redeem yourself was to find a puuhonua—a city of refuge where an elder or priest could cleanse you of the offending sin. Should you be found before your arrival, however, the punishment was often death.

As you can imagine, puuhonua were popular places during the days of ancient Hawaii, but a few are popular visitor attractions in this modern era of tourism. At the Puuhonua o Honaunau on the Big Island of Hawaii, the entire complex has been restored to reveal its original sacred grandeur. On a self-guided tour of the historic complex, walk around a lava rock wall that is 17 feet in width, and admire the massive wood-carved kii (tiki) that guard a sacred heiau (temple).

Once finished exploring the grounds and learning about ancient Hawaii, head next door to the black sand beach for some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii.

Practical Info

Located 45 minutes south of Kona, Puuhonua o Honaunau is a National Historic Park. It opens at 7am and is open until just after sunset, while its visitor center is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm, seven days a week. There is a $5 per vehicle entrance fee, and free ranger talks take place daily at 10:30am and 2:30pm.
Location
Address: Hawaii, USA
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Hours: 7 a.m.-sunset
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Admission: Vehicles: $5
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$80.00 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
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$590.00 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
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$590.00 USD

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  • Duration: 1 day
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$123.96 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$123.96 USD

Kona Shore Excursion: Kona History and Culture Tour

Sample the rich culture and history of Big Island life on this 4.5-hour shore excursion. Led by a local guide, you’ll make a stop at Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, a historic sanctuary for Hawaiian lawbreakers. Then, admire the three-dimensional paintings inside St. Benedict’s Church, and taste a flavorful cup of island caffeine as you learn how Kona coffee is processed. Complimentary port pickup and drop-off are included with your adventure.
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$69.00 USD
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Viator VIP: The Sunset Experience Helicopter Tour from Kona

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$750.00 USD
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$114.58 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$114.58 USD

Hawaii Island Experience

Get a sweeping overview of the Big Island of Hawaii during this 12-hour tour. Learn about the culture, traditions, nature and geology of Hawaii through your local guide's informative commentary and visits to important landmarks around the island. Stop at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park to see some of the island's most significant cultural sites, then continue to Punulu’u Black Sand Beach to watch the endangered green sea turtles sun themselves. Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including views of the current eruption of the Kilauea volcano. All entrance fees, breakfast and round-trip transportation from accommodations on the Kona/Kohala coast are included.
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  • Duration: 12 hours
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$234.37 USD


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