off Hana Highway, East Maui
Wai'anapanapa is "glistening waters" in Hawaiian. But these waters once ran red when King Ka'akea brutally murdered his wife, Popu'alaea, in this cave where she was hiding from him. Every year during spring, millions of red shrimp appear in the fresh water of this cave. Legend states that the glistening waters of Wai'anapanapa turn red as testimony to the tragic event.
A great way to see Waianapanapa Caves is to let our expert local guides take you there. We recommend the Maui's Road to Hana Adventure.
Located off Highway 360E (Hana Highway). Just beyond mile maker #32, turn left onto the paved road.Wai'anapanapa State Park is at the end of this road. The cave is situated next to the black sand beach.
Cave is well-marked with informational plaque
Water in the cave is brakish and extremely cold
Tiny endemic shrimp, 'opae 'ula, (Halocaridina rubra), hatch in the water here during the spring providing the legendary red color.