Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
The Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park was established in 1978 to preserve the archaeological sites and places of cultural significance in the area. The park stretches across 1,161 acres (470 hectares) of coast and rain forest, and is a popular destination for hikers, swimmers and divers. A visit to the park is a great way to learn about the cultural history of the original Hawaiian settlements, including the significant Honokōhau Settlement at the center of the park.
The park is best explored on foot via the extensive network of hiking trails traversing the landscape. Start your day at the Hale Ho'okipa Visitor Center to familiarize yourself with the park, pick up maps and brochures, and learn about the history of the area.
Bring a picnic lunch and make your way along the historic Mamalahoa Trail. While only a mile (1.6 kilometers) of it remains, the trail was once a main thoroughfare on the island during the 19th century. The park’s trails have been restored in recent years and today offer some of the best hiking in the area.
The ancient settlement of Honokōhau is at the center of the park, and is reached by following the trail from the visitor center or by car. Make your way to the Kaloko, the traditional Hawaiian word for fishpond. Kaloko is formed by a manmade seawall stretching over 2,100 feet (640 meters) and constructed by hand from stones up to three centuries ago. Learn about the traditional fishing methods employed in the pond and the culture of the ancient Hawaiians.
The beach at Kaloko-Honokōhau is secluded, making it a great alternative to the busy shores at Hawaii’s more popular beaches. Snorkel amid schools of tropical fish, wade through shallow rock pools or just relax in the sun on the stretch of beach protected from the wind.
The Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is located 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) north of Kailua-Kona on Highway 19. It is not serviced by public transportation; however, taxis are available from Kailua-Kona. The park is open daily and both parking and admission are free.