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Kona History and Culture Tour


Kailua-Kona is rich in history and culture because of the heavy influence Kamehameha I had on the area. After this king conquered the Hawaiian Islands, he made his home in Kona. During his reign, the city prospered under the influence of foreign trade, missionary arrivals, and new beginnings. Start your trip and learn about the rich history on a IMI Tour of Kona!

Let our cultural guides take you on an adventure to observe the rich history of this area, from agriculture, Hawaiian fishponds, religious practices, royal influences, and the impact of modernization. Amongst this tour’s stops is a favorite site of visitors — Puuhonua O Honaunau, the place of refuge, is a complex of archeological structures including temple platforms, royal fishponds, sledding tracks, and some coastal village sites. This place was special for those who were kapu, or law-breakers because it was where they could escape harm. We continue our journey through many Heiau temples and significant burial grounds, allowing you visitors to truly grasp the way the ancient Hawaiians once lived.

To wrap up our cultural tour, we head to the Royal Palace, Hulihe’e, the Royal retreat for the Ali’I, or Chiefs and Chieftess, of old Hawaii. The Palace was originally built by High Chief John Adams Kuakini, Governor of the island of Hawai‘i when it was a kingdom. The Palace features beautiful koa wood furniture, ornaments, portraits, kapa, feather work, Hawaiian quilts, and other artifacts from Hawai‘i’s royal past. Hulihe‘e Palace consists of six large graciously-appointed rooms, two large inviting oceanfront lanai, and lovely grounds. Off in the distance, you can see the remaining structure of Ahu’ena Heiau, the home of King Kamehameha I. The Heiau represented peace and prosperity, and is so sacred no one can set foot on the structure.

Adventure awaits you! Come take a look around Kona and relive the ancient past.

  • Hotel pickup and return from Kona hotels and Hualalai, Keauhou, Waikoloa, Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea
  • Visit Pu’uhonua ‘O Honaunau, a place of refuge
  • Observe ancient Hawaiian Heiau-temples such as Ku’emanu and Ahu’ena
  • Lekeleke burial grounds and the story of the Ai Kapu
  • Take in the beauty of Hulihee’e Royal Palace

What to bring:

  • Comfortable shoes for walking
  • Extra pair of Slippers/Flip Flops
  • Sunscreen, Hat and Sunglasses
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Bring a water bottle