Destination to Paradise: Mākaha, Hawai’i
Mākaha is located on the leeward coast of O’ahu, just north, northwest of Waianae. The town sits at the west opening of Mākaha Valley, and at the foot of Mt. Ka’ala in the Wai’anae Mountain Range.
Mākaha is particularly known for its surfing waves and surfing history, the Hawaiian temple Kāne’āki Heiau, and beautiful white sand beaches at Mākaha Beach Park, which is a nesting place for several species of sea turtles.
Aside from surfing, other water activities include diving, canoe-surfing, fishing, tandem surfing, bodysurfing, and other recreational water sports. Kāne’āki Heiau is Hawaii’s most thoroughly restored ancient heiau, it was excavated by Bishop Museum archeologists in 1970 and can now be visited Tuesdays-Sundays. It originated as an agricultural temple to the god Lono in the 15th century. 200 years later, it was converted into a luakini, where human sacrifices were dedicated to the god Kū – a typical progression indicating Mākaha now supported a large enough population to have its own chief.
Mākaha has a higher percentage of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders than most settlements on the island of O’ahu. Mākaha Resort stages weekend traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts fairs and other Hawaiian cultural programs in order to preserve the Native Hawaiian traditions in Mākaha.
In the Hawaiian language its name means “fierce” or “savage”, which refers to the group of bandits who were based in the Mākaha Valley. They would hide and wait for unsuspecting passersby to show up, and then plunder and pillage them.