I hesitate to write this review because part of the experience of visiting the Mo'okini Heiau is the solitude that you feel there. I would hate to see it overrun by tourist who have no respect for ancient things. Being there is a powerful experience no matter what your religion. There is a quietness there with just the sound of the wind and waves that is overwhelming. This is not a place for people who are not really interested in the Hawaiian culture.
If you go, wear good walking shoes, no flip flops and take water. When we visited the heiau, we parked at Upolu Airport and walked from there. You could possibly drive part of the way, but once you get past a small house, the mud puddles are large and ancient. By this, I mean that there are beaten foot paths around the puddles. The only vehicle that I saw that made it all of the way was a 4wheel drive truck and it was covered in mud. The mud holes will definitely eat a small rental car. I would definitely suggest walking the 1-2 miles in just to take in the sounds and sights once you get out of the ruts in the road. There are 2 road signs along the way to guide you.
Once you get to the Mo'okini Heiau, you go up a small hill to the actual heiau. Once at the site, there are no interpretive signs to explain what you are seeing. I had done some reading from Big Island guidebooks before I went, but I wish that I had done more. I later asked the cultural advisors at the hotel to explain many of the things to me. I am still looking for more information.
I have seen Stonehenge and Chichen Itza and found the Mo'Okini Heiau to be just as impressive in its own way. The walls are very impressive. The quiet solitude of the place is even more so. If you visit, please treat it with respect and reverence.
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