Welcome to Kawela

Just past mile marker 10, the road becomes sinuous and even more green. Kiawe trees and flowering bushes of all kinds line the road. The stunning views of Lana‘i are gradually supplanted by views of Maui. The barely perceptible villages of Kamalo and Kaluaʻaha have picture-perfect churches built by Father Damien.

Although you need to get permission to visit first, the ʻIliʻiliʻopae Heiau, hidden off the road east of mile marker 15, is an island highlight.

Pukoʻo was once the seat of local government (complete with a courthouse, a jail, a wharf and a post office), but the center of island life shifted to Kaunakakai when the plantation folks built that more centrally located town. Nowadays, Pukoʻo is a sleepy, slow-paced gathering of a few structures just sitting on a bend on the road. But it has surprises, such as the cozy beach accessible just before the store, near mile marker 16. Take the short, curving path around the small bay, where fish leap out of the water, and you'll come to a stretch of sand with swimmable waters, backed by kiawe and ironwood trees.

Top experiences in Kawela

Kawela in detail