We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great spot for Hawaiian history/culture”

More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: See petroglyphs of men and animals at this site.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
139 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Great spot for Hawaiian history/culture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2011

Agree completely with the review below. Great site if you are looking for some of Hawaii's history. Note the directions carefully - head towards the Fairmont Orchid and park in the lot by the beach. Don't get confused with the other petroglyphs in the area that can be seen in Waikoloa Beach development (for those ones, park in the Kings Shops parking lot by the gas station and then cross the street) - the Waikoloa ones are in the middle of the resort/golf course, so the setting put us off a little although the glyphs there are amazing as well. The Puako glyphs by the Orchid are in a much more natural setting. What I do find however with many Hawaiian historical sites and hikes is that there is very little in the way of interpretative information or directions, so is best to have a good guide book or reference material with you to add to the background of what you are seeing. We found that Frommer's "Best Hiking Trips in Hawaii" was a good guide for this site and many others we visited.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank CanTravel106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    4
    3
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
301 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 804 helpful votes
“A Must-See in West Hawaii!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2006

The Pualo Petroglyphs are in a Historic Park in the Mauna Lani Resort. This is one of the largest preserved petroglyph fields in Hawaii. The setting is serene and natural.. Plan on at least an hour to walk the trail and appreciate the petroglyphs.

To get to the Historic Park and viewable portion of the Puako petroglyph fields, go about 30 miles north of the Keahole airport to the Mauna Lani Resort. At the roundabout, follow the signs right toward the Orchid and Historic Park. Go past the Orchid turnoff and park in the lot at the end of the road, near the shore. There are clean restrooms, a drinking fountain, and showers there, along with a grassy picnic area and tables. The beach is rocky and not that swimmable, but you may see fishermen or surfers, depending on conditions.

The Malama Petroglyph Trail starts just north of the parking lot. There is a sign. At the beginning, there are some REPLICA 'glyphs to show you what to expect and make rubbings--be aware that touching or walking on or making rubbings of the real ones are prohibited. It damages them.

The trail takes about 15 minutes--bring water, it can be hot. The trail winds inland through a kiawe forest. Listen, and you can hear the eerie sounds of the tree limbs rubbing together in the breeze. If the surf is up, listen for the steady "heartbeat of the land" as the surf breaks onshore. Look for the lava tube cave off on the right, and keep an eye out for isolated 'glyphs along the trail. I've been walking it for over 20 years and am always surprised to spot another one I've missed before!

You cross a service road and continue uphill across a grassy lava plain. The viewing area has a gravel, elevated viewing platform and bench. Sit and listen to the wind and imagine what it must have been like here hundreds of years ago...there are hundreds and hundreds of visible 'glyphs on the smooth lava rock surface and more hidden in the surrouding area, covered by grass and brush. The walk around the viewing area (stay on the trail!) is well worth your time, allowing a better view of the images.

This area always has a strong "sense of place" for me and the trip along the trail is a serene and powerful reminder that I am visiting a land with rich history and culture, not just a snorkel spot!

The walk back slowly brings you back to the modern world...take teh time to examine that lava cave if you didn't see it on the way to the 'glyphs!

Petroglyph afficionados should also go see the field at Waikoloa near Kings Shops, but that one is surrounded by golf courses and condos and the overall experience can't match the Puako 'glyphs at Mauna Lani. If you really get into them, call Kona Village Resort and arrange for a tour of their magnificent site--they will do guided tours for the public if you call in advance.

To read about Hawaiian petroglyphs here and elsewhere, I recommend the book, _Spirit of Place: Petroglyphs of Hawaii_ by Georgia Lee and Edward Stasack, available at your usual online bookstore.

Aloha!

Helpful?
14 Thank Honu_Ohana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Puako Petroglyphs also viewed

 

Been to The Puako Petroglyphs? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing