Nestled in the jungle and a short walk through a bamboo lined path in central Oahu rests the Kaniakapupu Ruins, aka King Kamehameha III’s summer home. Dating back to 1847, it is said that King Kamehameha III liked to escape the heat and escape the western influence on the island. It is rumored that this tiny complex once held a luau of 10,000 people, which is very hard to believe when you see the size of this place!
First, to get to the ruins you have to drive down Nu’uanu Pali Road, which looks like a tunnel of jungle straight out of the Disney movie The Jungle Book. We were in awe driving slowly down this road with little traffic and tons of lush, green jungle to admire. Of course we had to use this opportunity to take some photos!
After walking down the magical jungle road, you will have to look for an easy to miss small pathway right off the road with a small brown sign that tells you that you are trespassing if you continue. We continued and came across a beautiful, bamboo lined pathway. At the fork go left for the ruins or continue right to see the tiny, cascading waterfall. (We skipped the falls, but they are only about a 5 minute walk away). The ruins will only take you about 5 minutes to reach.
The ruins gave us a brief flashback to our visit to Ankgor Wat, but much smaller. We thought the ruins were beautiful, especially with the dense green jungle surrounding it. After admiring the ruins we decided to take some fun engagement photos!
This ended up being one of our favorite activities in Oahu because of how much unexpected beauty we ran into on Nu’uanu Pali Road and the bamboo forest. Our favorite part would have to be how you felt like you were in a storybook setting of a jungle.
The ruins are not open to the public, and by going you are technically trespassing, whoops! If you do choose to check these out on your own, please be respectful to the sacred site as well as the local community surrounding them. Also, make sure to wear bug spray!
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