Explore Hawaii: Makua

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Location:

Located on the west side of Oahu are the spectacular mountains of Waianae. The Waianae mountain range is said to be the first point of Oahu that rose from the ocean, making it the oldest area of the island. The mountain range is also home to Oahu’s highest peak, Mount Kaala. Located below the Waianae mountains, lies the beautiful green Makua Valley.

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Swimming with dolphins in front of Makua Valley

Makua Valley

Makua means parent in Hawaiian and legend conceives that Makua Valley was the birthplace of man. Contrary to being a birthplace, many Hawaiians also believe that this is a place for souls to join the afterlife.

Nearly 50 native plants and flora can be found in the valley, including some that are now endangered and unique to Hawaii. It is also home to several native cultural sites.

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Kaneana Cave, also known as Makua Cave

Makua Cave

This cave is located just before Makua beach and is also known as Kaneana Cave, or the Cave of Kane. Kane means man in Hawaiian which also eludes to Makua being the birthplace of man. The cave is nearly 100 feet tall and was once underwater.

Legend states that a shark shapeshifter named Nanaue once lived in the cave. Nanaue, born from a shark father and human mother, would disguise himself as a man to lure victims into the cave and then transform into a shark and eat his prey.

Because of this legend the cave was once forbidden, today the cave is seen as a sacred site but can still be visited. For more Hawaiian legends check out this post!

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Makua Beach

Below the valley lies Makua Beach, a long and sandy beach that’s great for fishing and swimming in the summer. During the winter the beach can experience swells and you’ll find bodyboarders catching barrels.

This beach is also known for spinner dolphin sightings, as the dolphins like to return to shallow waters to rest during the day.

Makua is one of our top dolphin spots on our Dolphins and You tour, to experience it for yourself book a tour today!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi, AYC Team! Yet another great place to visit! You filled it with some really interesting facts that will hopefully inspire more people to visit this place. Legends and chills will surely help with that! I was wondering, what do you think is the best time of a year for this trip?

    1. Aloha and mahalo! The west side is one of the dryer sides of the island so it’s perfect for visiting year round! In the winter time there can sometimes be large swells so if you want to snorkel we recommend visiting during the spring to fall seasons.

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