South of Kona along the coast, you’ll find Puuhonau o Honaunau National Historical Park that I highly recommend that you include in your Big Island vacation plans. Entry into the park is only $7 per car, so the value is very good. (Check the park’s website for any changes.)
Touring this park gives you a glimpse back into Hawaiian history when the Hawaiian Kapu (laws) were in effect. From the park’s website, they provide an excellent explanation of the kapu system.
In old Hawaii, if you had broken a law, the penalty was death. Perhaps you had entered into an area that was reserved for only the chiefs, or had eaten forbidden foods. Laws, or kapu, governed every aspect of Hawaiian society. The penalty for breaking these laws was certain death. Your only option for survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the nearest puuhonua, or place of refuge.
Since I originally wrote about visiting Puuhonau o Honaunau back in 2007, a cell phone audio tour has been added. So, bring your cell phone and see this brochure for instructions on using this service.
Have you been to this place of refuge on the Big Island of Hawaii? How was your experience?