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“The Puako Petroglyphs”

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Attraction details
Owner description: See petroglyphs of men and animals at this site.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The Puako Petroglyphs”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

This is very cool! Take the time and drive to the beach park. The beach is very rocky but you can put your toes in the cool water. From this park you can take the petroglyph trail. I will say that it is hot and you should bring a bottle of water. I agree with the other reviews you will need good footwear and be prepared to walk on uneven serfices. This place is free to visit and once you start the walk you will see the petroglyphs which are very intersesting. One thing to know at some point we lost the trail. It is not well marked after a certain point. We had a long hot walk back along a service road so I am still not sure where we went wrong. My advice is if you are not sure of the trail then just turn around and go back. You do not have to go far on the trail to see the petroglyphs so it is well wortht the visit.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank JenniferBret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
82 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Puako Petroglyphs, Lava Tubes, Anchialine Ponds and More”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Some of the best Big Island experiences are nearby and they are free! Take the Mauna Lani exit from Highway 19 and be prepared to walk/hike. Bring some water, good footwear and a camera. If you are not staying in the area stop at the The Shops at Mauna Lani for water and maps or stop by a real estate office in the mall and ask for directions - real estate is slow and the realtors are friendly.
The Malama Trail begins at Holoholokai Beach Park and goes for more than a mile through brush and uneven ground until it opens to a massive historic site containing one of the largest collections of petroglyphs. Amazing. (next to this the Waikoloa petroglyphs are a disappointment).
The Kalahuipua Trail near the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel has some petroglyphs but also has some lava tube shelters and some beautiful salt water ponds and a gorgeous beach. An easy undulating paved walk that cuts through the lava fields and skirts the resort.
Ala Kahakai Trail - miles of beautiful shoreline walking protected in 2000 as a hiking preserve.
Anyone can do the walks but as it can be hot a good head covering and water is advisable especially for the young and the elderly. Children should be watched so as not to damage these historic and sensitive areas.
There is lots to see at this location although it is a bit spread out and one does not have to do it all in a single visit - know that it exists - do some research in your guide books or on the net and just do it!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank bigscreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
119 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Very Interesting”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

These petroglyphs are not that easy to locate and take a while to walk to, but once you get there it is very interesting. I believe that these are intended to be hard to locate, in order to keep people from damaging them, since the pathway is over lava and through woods.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank kheagler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Del Norte, Colorado
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A must for history buffs”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

First of all, use the directions found in the previous reviews and take water (we went in November and it was still hot and humid) and a camera. I think these petroglyphs, hidden in the woods, must be one of the best kept secrets on the Big Island. We only saw one other couple there on the day we visited them. My husband and I tried to use our imagination to figure out what these numerous petroglyphs meant and reflected on the people who carved/chiselled them into the rock hundreds of years ago. The main viewing area has a wall of inumerable and varied petroglyphs, but there are others along the little trails in the area. This is one of the richest petroglyph areas my husband and I have viewed. These far outdo the petroglyphs at VNP. Remember to stay on the trail(s), don't touch or make rubbings, and respect what I am sure is considered a sacred area to the native Hawaiians.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank Suzanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
138 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Great spot for Hawaiian history/culture”
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
3 Thank CanTravel106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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