Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Makauwahi Cave is a unique microadventure near the popular vacation destination of Po'ipu, Kaua'i. The cave is actually an ancient sinkhole that hosted several species of plants and animals. Now, this cave is known to have the largest concentration of limestone among all the Hawaiian Islands. Many of these ancient species have been fossilized within the sand of the cave. Over the years, thanks to the non-profit organization that protects and maintains the cave, significant amounts of restoration efforts have been completed. These restoration efforts enabled natural growth of this region's native flora.

The hike to the cave from atop the bluff is short, but exposed. This region of Kauai is typically arid and warm. Be sure to bring enough water with you. An unmaintained gravel road dead-ends at the trailhead, near a privately owned ranch. This ranch offers horseback riding tours to the cave and the nearby secluded beach along a separate trail. The foot trail circles around the bluff, touring native species of plants, before dropping down to views above the cave and finally to its entrance. Crawling is required to enter the short tunnel, but staff have laid a carpet to protect your hands and knees!

The interior or the ancient sinkhole is a virtual research facility with roped off project areas and informational items. A volunteer will be present to happily answer any questions. Because entrance to the cave is only possible when staff are present, there are limited hours. The cave opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 2 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends. Be sure to enjoy the secluded Gillins Beach within a short walking distance of the cave entrance.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Donation

Pros

Solitude. Unique geology. Family friendly. Near secluded beach.

Cons

Exposure to sun and weather.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Historically significant
Wildlife
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Guided tours
Cave
Whale watching

Location

Field Guide

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