Big Island, Hawaii, Kohala Coast, North America, United States
Puako Petroglyph Preserve, South Kohala.

©Greg Elms/Lonely Planet

Puako Petroglyph Preserve

South Kohala

With more than 3000 petroglyphs that date back as far as the 16th century, this preserve is among the largest collections of ancient lava carvings in Hawaii. Scratched into the stone are thousands of stark depictions of chiefs, families, boats, animals, and other symbols that reflect the daily life and mythology of ancient Hawaiians. The ¾-mile walk from Holoholokai Beach Park to the preserve adds to the experience – take the well-marked trail at the parking lot.

The walk is easy but rocky; wear sturdy footwear and expect blazing sun.

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