Along the magnificent Hana Coast, tropical rainforest yields to black lava rock formations which meet the sea on the Eastern shore of Maui, Hawaii. A clossal ancient Hawaiian Heiau, a sacred spot and place of worship in Hawaiian, emerges through the forest. The Pi’ilanihale Heiau, meaning house of Pi’ilani, is the largest remaining ancient structure in Hawaii. Built over the course of 200 years, these massive lava terraces rise up to 50′ tall and are 450′ in length, spanning 3.8 acres, the sive of 2 football fields, this sacred site was named in tribute to the 14th century Maui Chief Pi’ilani, under whose rule many ancient fish ponds, roads, heiau, and village sites were constructed. Surrounding the remote Hawaiian cultural site is a national botanical garden including the largest Pandanus forest (Hala in Hawaiian), with many other rare native Hawaiian plants, as well as a Hawaiian ethnobotanical living exhibit of plants essential for food, clothing, shelter, and other domestic uses, which were transported to the islands by canoe in ancient Hawaiian voyages.
The journey to this sacred spot, a 2.5 hour drive along jagged cliffs, waterfalls, and rainforests, feels like a rite of passage. The beauty and spirit of Hawaiian Culture and its inexorable connection to the Aina (the Hawaiian term for nature, and the energy of nature) impresses and inspires a sense of wonder and awe, offering the ultimate Hawaiian nature experience.
“Road to Hana” Photo Safari Hawaii Video Haiku #1