Kauai Sacred Places

Known as the "Garden Isle," Kauai has more to offer than its endless expanse of white-sand beaches, sparkling blue waters and lush rainforests. It is also home to some of the most interesting sacred sites in the Hawaiian Islands.

Hikinaakala Heiau

Built around 1300 AD, Hikinaakala means "rising of the sun." This temple was used as a place to welcome the sunrise with prayers and chants. The Hikinaakala Heiau is located near another ancient site named Hauola, which was a pu'uhonua (place of refuge) in ancient Hawaii.

Maniniholo Dry Cave

This cave on Kauai's north shore is named after Maniniholo, the legendary head fisherman of the menehune, a mischievous race of small people, or dwarfs, who lived hidden in the forests and valleys of the islands before the first settlers arrived from Polynesia. The cave is the site of an ancient Hawaiian legend.

Menehune Fishpond

The Menehune Fishpond was supposedly built by the legendary little people of Hawaii, the menehune, in just one night. It is estimated to be around 1,000 years old. The fishpond is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pohaku Ho'ohanau

Large boulders mark this important historical site. Pohaku Ho'ohanau is a birthing ground of the ali'i (Hawaiian kings or chiefs). Royal women would travel here to give birth, assuring their children of high rank.

Poli'ahu Heiau

Located with the Wailua River State Park, the Poli'ahu Heiau is believed to be a luakini heiau, a sacrificial temple. Its stone walls make for an impressive sight.