The sun shines on the West Maui Mountain’s historic Olowalu Valley across a lava rock-lined bright blue ocean, saturating the hillside with orange, red, and green.
Olowalu, just south and east of Lahaina on the island of Maui is a beautiful spot with a strong history from ancient times to present. Before western contact, Olowalu was a self-sustaining ahupua’a (Hawaiian land division). Residents used trees from the forest above for wood, grew breadfruit, coconuts, and taro closer to shore, and harvested fish from the ocean.
Several former heiaus (temples) and religious sites show that this area was likely a center for worship in the Lahaina district. Olowalu was also part of the alaloa, the great road, that circled the island, facilitating travel around Maui and helping royalty collect taxes during harvest time. The Olowalu Valley was used as a shortcut across Maui’s narrow middle to ‘Iao Valley. This was a difficult, yet strategic, path that helped militarily.
Today, Olowalu is known for it’s fantastic near-shore snorkeling, turtle cleaning stations, and beautiful spots like this one to watch whales, sunsets, and the slow pace of life on Maui.
To learn more about Olowalu, you can read the town’s informative website.