One of the great Lanai attractions for those interested in the history of Lanai or in historical sites in general is the Kaunolu Village. Located on cliffs above the Kaunolu Bay, the Kaunolu Village comprises the remains of an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. As the largest known example of a historic Hawaiian village, this historical site is of significant historical and cultural importance, and it has been designated by the United States government as a National Historic Landmark. A trip to see the numerous ruins at the Kaunolu ancient village would make a great addition to any itinerary for a Lanai vacation.
The Kaunolu ancient village on the Kaunolu Bay is a fascinating historical site. The village is thought to have been inhabited all the way back in the 1400s, and it remained so until the late 1800s. Fishing is of course a very popular activity in Lanai today, and it was popular in the past as well. Perched on the cliffs above the Kaunolu Bay, the Kaunolu Village was a fishermen's village, and its inhabitants relied heavily on the sea for survival. Clearly, the fishermen met with some success, judging from the fact that this was chosen a royal fishing vacation spot. Specifically, in the early 1800s, after King Kamehameha I conquered Lanai, the Kaunolu Village was picked to be a favorite fishing retreat of Kamehameha. He vacationed in the area and lived in a residence nearby.
What you will see at the Kaunolu ancient village are the remains of stone foundations of many kinds of structures, including homes, garden walls, storerooms, and burial sites. The Halulu Heiau is a historic place of worship, which was rebuilt by King Kamehameha I when he came in the early nineteenth century, and this village is believed to have been the religious center of Lanai. If you enjoy visiting this historical site, consider visiting some of Lanai's other historical attractions, such the Luahiwa petroglyphs, the Keomuku Village, and Keahiakawelo, also known as the Garden of the Gods.
An interpretive hike leads visitors through the various sites, meaning signs are posted along a trail to guide visitors and to provide context and information about what the village was like in the past. However, it is worthwhile to note that this is not a strenuous hike, so if you're looking for vigorous activity, consider other hiking opportunities in Lanai, or perhaps a long walk on one of Lanai's beaches.
When visiting this Hawaiian historical site, keep in mind that rules and guidelines are in place to protect the site for years to come. Visitors are not permitted to walk on the stone walls, or to move or remove any of the stones anywhere on the site. Also, the steep, rocky descent to reach the village should be approached with caution.