Maniniholo Dry Cave On Kauai’s North Shore

The Maniholo dry cave makes for a short and fun stop if traveling to the north shore of Kauai. The cave is located at the bottom of Kaiwikui Ridge and across from Haena Beach Park. Maniniholo means “travelling reef surgeonfish.” You’ll often times here locals refer to small fish, or small things in general, as being “manini.” According to legend, Maniniholo was the name of the head fisherman of the area during the time the menehunes were leaving the island (Wichman, 1998). Apparently, a few of these little imps were caught stealing food from the fisherman and were subsequently killed. The rest of the menehune, well, jumped on their canoes at Makua Bay and was never seen again.

During our visit, we spent some time inside of the Maniholo cave taking photos. We were fortunate in that we had gone late in the day and the cave was empty. We had it all to ourselves. It’s a bit eerie in there, but makes for an interesting spot to take some long exposure shots.

Explorers: Coty Gonzales and Joel Sabugo.

Directions to the Maniholo Dry Cave: From Kapaa, you want to head north on Highway 56 / Kuhio Highway and drive toward Haena Beach Park. The cave is located directly across from the beach park and will be on your left.

Entering Maniniholo Dry Cave. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Entering Maniniholo Dry Cave. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Mouth of the cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Mouth of the cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Joel entering the cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Joel entering the cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Inside looking out. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Inside looking out. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Posing. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Posing. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Blue streak. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Blue streak. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Empty cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Empty cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Natural light flare. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Natural light flare. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Three rocks. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Three rocks. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Deepest and darkest part of the cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Deepest and darkest part of the cave. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.