Fern Grotto

The Ancient & Historical Wailua River Valley is Home to one of the most Popular Area’s and most Visited Sites in the State of Hawaii, The World Renown Fern Grotto.  The Grotto is known for its Beauty and Vegetation to the Visitors of the World, but to the Native Hawaiian people it is much more than that.  This Location was used by the Native Hawaiians to Honor their God of  Harvest “LONO”.  To let the land rest, replenish and grow, and to give thanks for use of the land. This was the Makahiki Season, in which the Harsh Laws of every day Native life were relaxed to promote well being and boost the morale of the people through competitive games.

The Physical Features of the Grotto are an 80 foot opening to a shallow cave over which a waterfall once ran down to the Wailua River.  Over the past century the water source has been diverted to sustain sugar crops and the cave was opened to receive (Sword) Fern Spores which seeded in the cracks of the cave.  The thick canopy that shelter’s the cave made for ideal conditions that allow the seeded Sword Ferns to grow inverted (upside down) at incredible lengths averaging 3-5 feet long.

Today the Grotto is experienced by hundreds of visitor’s daily, yet our canoe tours to the area concentrate on small private groups 5 passenger per canoe, with 2 canoes available.


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