Meaning “waters of the conch,” Waikapu is located in central Maui within the Na Wai Eha (The Four Waters) ahupua’a, a type of ancient land division in the Hawaiian Islands, along with the surrounding streams in Wailuku, Waiehu, and Waihe’e.
Hawaiian legend tells the story of a lava tube deep within the valley walls, stretching from one end of the island to the other.
Inside this lava tube was a pu, or conch shell, that when sounded correctly, could be heard from miles away. It was said to be so fascinating that a prophet from Kauai came in search of this shell.
Puapualenalena, a resident dog in the area who lived near a cliff that faced the lava tube, found the shell first, however, and whisking it away to safety, silenced it forever. The key, however, was that it was kept on Maui.
Today, Waikapu is made up largely of a small residential population as well as a few local businesses.
The Maui Tropical Plantation is the major draw, a beautifully landscaped area with daily tram tours of the plantation grounds and locally-grown produce, as well as two zip lines, two restaurants, a concert venue, duck pond, and plenty of events to attract both visitors and residents.
The Waikapu Country Town Project has just been approved, which will include the construction of retail stores, restaurants, an elementary school, 1,500 residences, and a 6-mile bike trail.
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