Located on South Lanai, Sweetheart Rock is more than just a great big landmark.
In Hawaiian, it’s known as “Pu’u Pehe.” This giant 80-foot rock sits between Manele Bay and Hulopoe Bay – and it has quite a story to tell.
The legend goes that Makakehau, a young warrior from the island, was in love with a Lahaina girl named Pehe. (“Maka” means “eyes” and “Kehau” means “mist.” It is said that Makakehau was so overcome by Pehe’s beauty that his eyes would mist over with tears upon seeing her.)
Makakehau took Pehe with him to Lanai and hid her away in a cave near the base of the cliffs at Manele Bay. One day, he noticed a storm coming and rushed back to the cave where Pehe was hidden, only to find that she had drowned. Makakehau was devastated and begged the gods to help him scale the 80-foot rock so that he could bury Pehe at the top.
The gods consented and Makakehau made the treacherous climb with Pehe in his arms. After burying her, the grief-stricken young man threw himself off the top of the rock to his death.
You can see Sweetheart Rock for yourself by taking a short 20-minute scenic hike, which winds around the ragged cliffs and ends up at the Pu’u Pehe overlook. Make sure you have your camera, because this is a fantastic spot to take in a romantic sunset and maybe even spot a pod of the spinner dolphins that love to play in the waves of Hulopoe Bay.
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