About Kalaemano Cultural Reserve Shoreline on Kona & West Island, Hawaii
There is no beach along the shoreline at Kalaemano Cultural Reserve and swimming is not advised, however, if you like hiking and investigating ancient Hawaiian sites, this place is worth finding.
The cultural sites are everywhere here so you really need to pay attention as you explore to avoid disturbing anything historical. Many of them are marked with informational signs. Take your time to walk the trails and the rugged shoreline to see the sites, just be careful next to the cliffs and stay on designated trails through the cultural areas.
To find the parking lot for Kalaemano Cultural Reserve drive into the Hualalai Resort and take the first right onto Kalaemano Drive. Continue straight ahead (signed Kaupulehu) until you reach the greeter’s shack where you can get a parking pass and instructions for the cultural reserve. You’ll continue ahead again and take the first right and then stay straight until you reach the end of the road. The public parking lot is on the right and has room for about 30 cars. The small lot on the left is for the private Ka’upulehu Interpretive Center and their staff so don’t park there.
Next to the parking lot you’ll see an A-framed thatched roof structure. This halau wa’a or “canoe house” is actively used for ocean navigation training and not open to the public. Take pictures from the path and then head back to parking lot and follow Shoreline Public Access signs for your hike.
Walk from your car to the interpretive center and find the trail behind it which leads to the shoreline in about a quarter mile. Restrooms are provided next to the interpretive center. Once at the shoreline you can go north or south on the Ala Kahakai Trail. The protected cultural areas are mostly to the left (south) but you can explore northward around Mano Point for over a mile to where the massive Kaupulehu Lava Flow makes the going less interesting. No matter where you explore the shore here, do not disturb any thing like rock walls, mounds or piles, etc.
There is little shade in this area so be prepared for sun and heat, and definitely wear sturdy shoes for walking on lava along the shore. Swimming is not advised because of the rugged shore, crashing waves, and strong currents.
The interpretive trail at Kalaemano Cultural Reserve is open to the general public seven days a week. The hours are sunrise or 6am (whichever is earlier) until half-hour after sunset or 6pm (whichever is later). The interpretive center next to the trailhead is a learning center for local schools and is not open to the public.
- Kalaemano Dr
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
- Park Name
- Kalaemano Cultural Reserve, Ka'upulehu Marine Reserve
- Other Names
- Mano Point
- Pet Details
- No dogs allowed
- Free parking (get a pass at entrance gate)
- Walking, Hiking, Photography, Sightseeing
- Trails, Historical Sites, Restrooms, Picnic Tables, Thatched Roof Canoe House, Interpretive Signs, Petroglyphs
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