Pi'ilanihale Heiau / Kahanu Garden

5 stars from 3 reviews
Address 650 Ulaino Rd, Hana, HI 96713
Botanical garden which is also home to the largest Heiau in Hawaii.

• General: Botanical Garden • General: Cost: Paid
• General: Educational • General: Photo Opportunity
• Hiking: Nature Walk • Sightseeing: Great Views
• Cultural & Historical: Heiau / Sacred Site

Matt Anderson's Take
The Pi'ilanihale Heiau (pronounced: hey-ou) is located inside the Kahanu Garden - National Tropical Botanical Garden in the Hana area on the east side of Maui. It's easy to find if you are taking the Road To Hana. See our map / directions page and turn towards the ocean on Ulaino Road around mile marker 31 and you'll drive right to it.

Note that you will cross a river bed near the entrance. Normally this river bed is dry and you drive right over it but if water is flowing be careful because a Flash Flood can occur and that will leave you wishing you opted for the additional insurance on your rental car (or worse).

Stop at the visitor desk when you first drive in and you'll pay a $10 fee per person ($5 for 55+ and Kama'aina with ID, kids 12 and under are free). From there you can walk or drive down a path and park at the end and then begin your self guided tour through the gardens.

It's a nice and very peaceful place to walk through. It feels very Hawaiian with its lush plants all around and blue ocean in the background. You'll get a guidebook so you can learn about the history as well as a lot of information on the various plants if you are into that. We talk more about the botanical side on our Kahanu Garden - National Tropical Botanical Garden listing.

The big attraction (literally) is the 3 acre Pi'ilanihale Heiau which is the largest known ancient Hawaiian temple in all of the Hawaiian islands. It's also a National Historic Landmark. You can't climb it or anything like that and can really only see a corner of it from the ground but it's neat to see the scale of it up close. It's construction dates back to the 14th century so this thing is old.

When you are here you will see some signs that warn you to watch for falling coconuts. They're no joke. I was walking between two coconut trees (not under them as this wasn't my first rodeo) and one fell about 50 feet away from me and the thump on the ground felt like a car just hit the ground. Getting hit in the head by one would be the same as being hit in the head by a bowling ball dropped from a three story building. It would be lights out for sure. Watch the keiki (kids) in this area! It's places like this that inspire our Caution - Falling Coconuts artwork.
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Matt Anderson
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Landen O
Joined: Sep 2017
Reviews: 19
Likes Received: 0
What a wonderful property to see and experience. The Heiau is absolutely huge, it's mind boggling to think how long it would take to build this without modern tools and machinery. The gardens are beautiful as well, it's a fun place to stroll around.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
Fun place to walk around and enjoy seeing the plant and heiau. The ocean views here are pretty spectacular as well. Those interested in plants and/or Hawaiian culture will really enjoy this place. Worth a stop if you're driving the road to Hana.
Consensus Guy
Joined: Jul 2013
Reviews: 11148
Likes Received: 26
Pi'ilanihale Heiau / Kahanu Garden has an overall 5 star average rating from many online reviews.
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