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  • Address: Kaumana Caves Co Park, Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA
Created by lava flow from Mauna Loa in 1881, the Kaumana Caves are located near Hilo. Legend says Princess Ruth sat in front of the lava flow praying to the goddess Pele to save the city and the flow stopped just in the nick of time.

Concrete stairs (that visitors say can be slippery) lead down through the skylight to the entrance. The caves’ exterior is full of thick and lush foliage, while the inside is loaded with lava rock.

You can explore the area near the mouth of the caves in a fairly quick visit, but if you are the explorer type, you’ll need to come prepared and have some time. The lava rocks can be slippery and sharp, and the caves get dark quickly.

You’ll need good sneakers or hiking shoes and a good flashlight. A headlamp is even better since it keeps your hands free. The rocks can be sharp; gloves will protect them from scrapes and cuts. Headroom can get tight at times, and some who have trekked through say a hardhat and knee pads are something to think about too. Expect the caves to be cool and damp, so dress accordingly.

Practical Info

To get to the Kaumana Caves from Hilo, make a left on Waianuenue Avenue and in a little over a mile, another left onto Kaumana Drive. It will take about 10 minutes. Entrance is free, and parking is located across the street. Picnic tables and restrooms are available.

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Journey through Hawaii Island’s incredible range of ecosystems and climate zones before experiencing first-hand the phenomena that makes it all possible – an ...  Read more

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