Puako Petroglyphs

Explore 3,000+ ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs in Waikoloa’s Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve. Hike the Malama Trail & uncover cultural history.

Puako Petroglyphs is a Heritage Site located in the city of Waikoloa on Big Island, Hawaii
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Things to Know About Puako Petroglyphs

  • Overview: Discover the ancient and mysterious Puako Petroglyphs, located in Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii. This unique archaeological site offers visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural history of the Hawaiian people.
  • Highlights: The Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve is home to over 3,000 ancient Hawaiian rock carvings, making it one of the largest petroglyph fields in Hawaii and an unparalleled destination for history enthusiasts.
  • Activities: Visitors can take a 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along the Malama Trail, leading to the petroglyph field, and explore the kiawe forest surrounding the archaeological site.
  • Information: The Puako Petroglyphs are accessible year-round, with no entrance fees. The best time to visit is during the cooler morning hours, as the trail can get hot and dry during the afternoon. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water.
  • History & Significance: The Puako Petroglyphs are believed to have been carved between 1000 and 1800 A.D. These intricate stone art pieces, known as ki’i pohaku, depict various human and animal figures, as well as deity symbols, providing valuable insight into the beliefs and customs of ancient Hawaiians.
  • Tips & Insights: When exploring the petroglyphs, be respectful of the site and avoid touching or standing on the carvings. Additionally, watch out for kiawe thorns on the ground while hiking through the forest. A guided tour is recommended to gain a deeper understanding of the petroglyphs and their historical context.

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Journey into Big Island’s rich history with Mauna Kea, Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and the petroglyphs of Puako.

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