Waikanaloa Caves

Useful Information

Location: Nearly at the end of Hwy 560, Northern Kauai, Hawaii.
Dry Cave: on the left side of the road, before Mile Marker #9, across the street from the Ha'ena Beach Park.
Wet Cave: on the left side of the road, before Mile Marker #10, past the Ha'ena Beach Park.
Waikapala'e Cave: on the left side of the road, before Mile Marker #10, past the Ha'ena Beach Park, follow a short trail uphill.
(22°13'12.88"N, 159°34'57.71"W)
Open: no restrictions [2007]
Fee: free [2007]
Classification: ExplainSea cave
Dimension: Dry Cave: L=300m.
Address: -
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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the tsunami filled the Dry Cave partially with sand.


Waikanaloa Caves are three small caves at the end of the highway, which can be easily visited.

Wet cave, Blue Room Wet cave, or Waikanaloa Cave is a sea cave which contains a small freshwater lake. The freshwater comes down through the basalt layers from behind. But as it is no brook or river, the water is not suitable for drinking or even for bathing. A big sign warns visitors not to swim in this water because of the danger of leptospirosis, a dangerous bacteria which is common in Hawai'i freshwater. So we can not recommend any kind of exploration on the water. The cave is located only a few meters from the road.

Dry cave is a three metre high, 50m wide and 100m deep sea cave. The floor is dry sand from the beach, brought in by a 1957 Tsunami. It was formed, when the island was a few meters lower, and the cliff above the cave was the coast line. This cave is located 100m before the road ends at Ha'ena Beach, right at the roadside. It is also called Manini-holo Dry Cave after the legend of Manini-holo, the chief fisherman of the Menehune (little people). He dug this cave in search of Akua, a supernatural beast who stole their fish.

The third cave, Waikapala'e Cave, is not this easy to find. It is 5 minutes walk up the hill from Wet cave, but there are no signs. But there are signs in front of the cave, as at Waikanaloa cave, the water is dangerous for leptospirosis. Unfortunately this means, that it is not possible to see the main feature of this cave, the Blue Room. At the back of the main cave is a small opening into a second, smaller room accessible only by swimming throughthe ice cold water. The sunlight reflected by the water filles the room with blue light. This works best during high tide, as the water level is effected by the tide. The higher water level in the cave narrows the opening and so less sunlight falls directly into the cave intensifying the blue light effect. We warn to swim into the cave because of the danger of leptospirosis. However, if you do it anyway be aware that the water is very cold, and there is no floor in the "Blue Room" and nothing to hold on, so you will have to tread water the entire time. We recommend reef shoes because of the slippery lava rock.