Secret Mermaid Cave Hawaii

What You Should Know About The Secret Mermaid Cave On Oahu

I often see people, quite often those who are sent to live here for a few years, frustrated that others won’t share the location of some of the hidden treasures of the island with them, like the secret mermaid cave. These people are typically the ones who don’t like Hawaii and I have seen it over and over again since moving here. It led me to this post where I wanted to share some notes on the culture of this island paradise which most of us are a guest of. I certainly did not know until someone taught me, so now this is my chance to pass it on to others who may be new to the island. 

The Secret Mermaid CaveA visual guide to the secret mermaid cave in Oahu, Hawaii and some notes on culture and preservation of secret treasures.

Firstly, I do not doubt for a second that there are some who keep their favorite areas secret simply for the sake of it. Maybe the area is not really a secret but they just like that spot and don’t want everyone to go there. That’s frustrating, though it is important to note that there are other reasons that the information is not spread all over the Internet for anyone to obtain, particularly when it comes to some of the secret treasures of Hawaii. They are protected with an air of secrecy not through selfishness, but out of respect for the Hawaiian culture, the land and people.

Secret Mermaid Cave Hawaii

‘The locals’ are some of the most friendliest and hospitable people I have met. I remember buying furniture for my new house when I first moved here. The older Polynesian lady who sold them to me invited me to her family gathering for Christmas because she knew I was here alone and didn’t know anyone yet. “You can’t be alone on Christmas” she said as if we were old friends. I also think of the ‘locals’ from my old workplace who would always greet me by my name as we passed each other during the work day while it was hard to even get a passing nod from others. This group was the most amazingly kind, generous and friendly bunch of people I have met.

Time is different in Hawaii and the bond people here have with each other and their island is incredible. I am constantly amazed and impressed when I drive past campgrounds some weekends and see tent after tent of large family gatherings and people sharing time with each other, time being the most valuable gift we can give to one another. I love to see the family and community bonds. I went camping earlier in the year and ended up sharing a small section of the beach with a local family. During our time in this shared space I watched them enjoy the outdoors with each other and it was beautiful. They seemed carefree. The kids ran around with each other all day, laughing and playing as they moved from water to sand then back to the water. The adults relaxed, chatted and prepared food and they all came together in the evening to enjoy the meal and family time.

It is no surprise that in this island culture the sharing of the ‘secret’ experiences are appropriate to be shared through people and not read on the Internet. For example, my friend once took me to the secret mermaid cave and then I would take someone else and so on and so forth. This allows us to share a bond between those who want to enjoy the island, teaches us to respect the area and also, more importantly, helps to preserve the areas for future generations to enjoy.

I would also claim that it helps to reduce liability and keep people safe. I was near the mermaid cave a couple of weeks ago and saw a small group of people with strong European accents trying to find the cave. It seemed as though they did not have a good sense of ocean safety and came very close to serious injuries in their search efforts. They never ended up finding the cave which can only be a good thing because the tide was strong at the time and I fear they would have been injured on their attempts at the perfect photos.

Secret Mermaid Cave Hawaii

Something that is important to remember is that we are guests here, very lucky to be living here and are not entitled to anything. Hawaii does not owe us a great time while we are stationed here and your experience here will be what you make it.

I understand this seems a little unusual for someone who has a blog about Hawaiian adventures right? My personal rule for the blog is that if an adventure is all over the Internet already then I will post about it. My blog is primarily made up of the more popular areas and the more secret adventures have very little (or generally no) information of how to find them. I have always encourage readers to treat the area and animals with respect, stick to trails and clean up after ourselves because I am passionate about caring for the island and the pale blue dot we live on as a whole. I do believe in sharing some of the more well known information to help others get started on their own adventures and begin to love the island, because if people love it then they will care for it but at the same time I also believe in respecting the local culture and this is how I strike a balance between the two.

I liked Venture Hawaii’s stance on the subject when they said that they share some of the adventures though it is us, as adventurers, who have the responsibility to care for and respect the island and its natural wonders. Having a sense of adventure and an explorers spirit is half the fun of getting out and enjoying these adventures. Perhaps next time you see photos of an amazing place you would like to see, instead of asking where it is ask if that person would go with you. Perhaps you would have better luck, be kept safe and even enjoy time with a friend or even make a new one!

Secret Mermaid Cave Hawaii

[Tweet “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”]

After you have been, by all means share your amazing pictures of the day you had but be very mindful of what information you post as far as locations especially if they are the hidden treasures, otherwise you could be acting in a disrespectful manner.

Just a few things to keep in mind and hopefully more understanding will lead to an increase in appreciation of the island and a decrease in frustrations.

P.S Isn’t the cave just dreamy?? 

47 Comments

  • Dina August 11, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Totally beautiful! I’m sure I won’t find it during our time here, only because I have a little one and I’m not that strong of a swimmer. So two negatives for me there. I’ve never heard of people not sharing secret spots on Hawai’i, but then again I’m always going after kid friendly places to go. 😛

    But I totally love the pictures of the cave and I could certainly see why others would withhold locations like that for safety reasons!!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac August 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you. It is magical, but yes, this spot would definitely be tricky with the little one. Once I was out there I completely understood why it was a secret for safety and to preserve the beautiful area.

      Reply
    • Amber October 16, 2015 at 12:46 am

      I took my little one there. She is 2. She stayed up on the rocks. The tide was low and calm. My husband was with me to help us in and out of the tunnels. It was safe.

      Reply
      • Katie Mac October 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

        That’s so cool that your child got to see it at such young age!! Thanks for stopping by!

        Reply
        • Josie November 3, 2015 at 8:37 pm

          Hey Katie, I love your pictures of this breathtaking cave. I was hoping if you could help me out to find the location and directions to this Mermaid Cave, I currently live on the Big Island of Hawaii and i will be vacationing in Oahu next weekend and I think that this hike would be the highlight of my trip. I would greatly appreciate the help to find this Cave. You could get ahold of me directly through my email: j.sadumiano@gmail.com

          Mahalo Nui Loa in advanced 🙂

          Reply
          • Alyssa November 16, 2015 at 12:43 pm

            Hi Katie, I am currently living on Oahu and have seen amazing views while living here. I am hoping for some guidance on how to find this incredible place. I can be reached at ajdw510@gmail.com. Thank you and Aloha!

    • christie July 1, 2016 at 5:46 am

      coming to Oahu on bucket list with family. any chance we can find this cave? over Easter break?

      Reply
  • Lindsey McGill August 12, 2015 at 12:01 am

    This is perfectly said!! I agree 100% I think taking people to “secret spots” is much more fun! And we all do need to remember that those “secret spots” are very meaningful to most of the locals here in Hawaii!!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac August 12, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you, I appreciate that. Exactly, sometimes as outsiders we need to stop and understand the culture before making judgements. I too think it’s more fun with a friend – old or new!

      Reply
  • Malia August 13, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    I am that exact person and if you can’t publicly find a spot on the internet, there’s a strong chance that I won’t share. I’m Hawaiian, but was raised on the mainland. So naturally, I’m all about preservation especially with our culture and everything that has been going on. I know that so many people get upset about how so many of adventure seekers out there withhold information and that it’s not very ‘aloha’ of us. And I guess I’ll take that, I’ve been fortunate to meet some great friends who have taken me to some secret spots. I remember the first time we went to the mermaid cave, we stumbled upon it. Me and a friend went and talked to the lifeguard and asked if that was the cave. We showed him a picture we found on Instagram and he was a bit put off about it. He kind of warned about how there shouldn’t be any pictures on the internet, but eventually he said that it was the right cave. And then he began to share how a week before that a group of 20 went to visit the cave and were disrespectful and left their trash. And that was just upsetting to hear. I know everyone isn’t the same, but it’s a huge reason why I don’t share the location of certain places. I know I’m only one person, but it’s the best I can do. Thank you for writing such a truthful and beautiful post, it’s definitely something the locals should appreciate. I know I do … and we should definitely go on some sort of adventure together soon 🙂

    Reply
    • Katie Mac August 14, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you so much for those kind words! That is sad to hear about the trash in the cave. When I was there last I a couple of beer bottles left behind which was also sad to see because it is such a pristine spot otherwise. Even though you are only one person, you are still making a difference by helping to protect the areas! One by one we can hopefully help people understand by teaching them about this beautiful place!

      Reply
  • Jessica September 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I would love to go here! I’m in oahu until Sunday evening … would love to go with someone 🙂

    Reply
  • Venture Hawai'i September 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Awesome stuff!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac September 22, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Thank you, much appreciated xo

      Reply
  • Vanesa September 24, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    It looks amazing! Hawaii looks amazing, I understand where your coming from
    I’m going to be in Oahu for a week in October, would love to go with someone local 🙂

    Reply
    • KC September 28, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Ya I will be on Oahu for a few weeks traveling around by myself. I have a few friends that live on the island, but I’d love to meet other adventurous spirits like myself! We must protect the worlds most beautiful places

      Reply
    • Noah November 18, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      Mahalo for being respectful. I am a resident with in that area I have lived here all my life. And as of late I’ve been noticing a lot of tourists are coming more more every day. And I can honestly say 1 of 5 people people get hurt in those caves. Judging by all the photos that I’ve seen, not all of the cave have been explored yet. Which people can end up missing and drown before found. This past June there where some big waves. For some reason a pregnent woman thought it was safe to go inside. Well I had to save her because she got slammed inside the cave. Luckily her unborn was not harmed. If I had not stayed home from work that day she’d be dead. I was just strolling on the reef watching the waves and notice personal belongings. I checked the cave to see if anyone was inside and warn them of the danger and found her. Also know that fish guts gets thrown in cave to feed the fish.

      Reply
      • Katie Mac January 10, 2017 at 11:56 am

        Wow that is very lucky you were there that day. I hope people read this and understand that it can be dangerous even though it is pretty.

        Reply
  • April October 1, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Youb do realize that not everyone who has brown skin on this island is Hawaiian? I’m wondering if you meant the locals or the Hawaiians when you mention people you came in contact with. Locals might have a bit of Hawaiian in their bloodlines, but are mixed with many other bloodlines. “Hawaiians” is a term reserved for a very special group, and a group of a few. That is for the ones of ancestral Hawaiian linkage and pure bloodlines.
    I didn’t want readers to assume every person from here is “Hawaiian”, as that’s offensive to those genuine Hawaiians and locals alike.
    As for people who choose not to share their finds of cool places…it’s for two reasons. To encourage people to get off blogs and social media and get out on their own to explore. Second, once one person is shared with then it’s everyone and there’s never a time that anyone can go to these places and enjoy time alone, or enjoy the beauty without seeing what people have left in ways of trash, etc.
    I have a secret location to collect sea glass. I have gone at numerous times of the day, the week, months…and never saw one person there. I picked up 639 pieces of sea glass yesterday, and 451 this morning. I don’t tell people for 3 reasons.
    1- I got off my ass and found it while exploring on my own. So they need to as well.
    2-if I tell one person, they’ll tell 10, then it’ll be a hundred people there and no sea glass to be found.
    3- it’s my zen-place. One of the few places on this little Rock that I never see another face.
    Frustrating as that may be for some, people have the right to hold some things a secret. Especially if they lost the sweat and blood to find the places that others just want directions to.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac October 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Hi April, Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Of course I understand and meant no disrespect at all. The term Hawaiians was used for the flow of writing and referred to locals and Hawaiians alike. Basically, those who call Hawaii home and get a bad wrap from those who visit/live temporarily on the island. I agree with your comments about keeping places secret to encourage others to get and and explore on their own and also to protect the areas from damage/trash. That is what I tried to convey in this post. One last thing, WOAH 639 pieces of sea glass is a great effort! That’s amazing!

      Reply
    • Kiley January 3, 2017 at 12:43 am

      April,
      So quick to judge words others have spoken with no ill intent and yet you can’t see yourself for what you are doing wrong. If we all go to special places and take 639 pieces of sea glass that spot won’t be special for others to come. Go and enjoy your special places but take only pictures and leave only foot prints. Think about what you say and do before you’re so quick to judge others. ☮️
      -Kiley

      Reply
  • Mae October 14, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Katie – beautiful blog! I am born and raised in Hawaii and have never been to the cave … hoping soon my hubby can take me since he grew up in that area. I hear so many horror stories about people having bad experiences with those that live here and you showed that you had an open heart and the locals could see it and thats why they welcomed you. I once had a coworker who moved her from the East Coast tell me that someone randomly spoke to him at a bus stop in Waikiki and that would NEVER happen in the East Coast. That’s so sad. Best wishes to you and I hope you have more beautiful memories of Hawaii!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac October 16, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Aloha Mae, Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind words. I hope you get to see the cave soon and thank you again xo

      Reply
  • Irvin Ubante November 18, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Katie, I was born and raised in Oahu, and I loved your pictures, I have known about the mermaid cave for about a year now and I have been trying to look for it for a while, from what I have deduced, it seems like it is on the western side of the island. I am not entirely sure on thay, but it seels like a place westside. Will you please help me, you don’t need to tell me exactly where it is, just point me towards the right direction. Me and my girlfriends 1st year is coming up and I would like to bring her there to have a moment as magical as the cave, so please email me at irvin.ubante@gmail.com thank you in advance!

    Reply
  • Luz Boone December 27, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    My sister is in town for a few more days I would love to know how to get here. Please and thank you and advance.

    Reply
  • Marioly December 29, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! How i can tind this place? Currently living in Oahu and would love to go here. Can you help me with that? Aloha and thank you so much!

    Reply
  • netty February 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Hi! I would love to secretly visit this place! I live on Oahu for work for the next year. I’ll keep the secret safe. Can you email me? thanks!

    Reply
  • Leeian Armonio March 24, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Hi katie, Im here in Hawaii for a week. Tomorrow is my last day. Could you please help me out with the directions. I really really love to go. Please… Thank you!

    Reply
  • Courtney April 6, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Hey could you tell me where the cave is?

    Reply
  • Harmoni May 8, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Heyy I was wondering how to reach this spot… i live on oahu and have all my life… my friends and i are trying to make this summer before school starts up again memorable.. Email me harmoniforever808@gmail.com thank you…

    Reply
  • allie May 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Katie I am going to be visiting Oahu for the first time in couple of weeks. I would love to visit the mermaid caves. Can you please share with me the location.

    Reply
  • Elise McGuire June 15, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I agree completely with respecting the land and keeping things sacred.
    I was raised to be very respectful of others, places, nature etc. I get so frustrated when people are not, because they ruin it for everyone else. While stationed here I would love to see EVERYTHING Hawaii has to offer. Hopefully I can meet some fun people who would be willing to let me tag along.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac July 20, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      I am sure that if you put yourself out there, you will meet a lot of other wonderful, adventure loving friends. (I met most of mine on Instagram to be honest!) I wish you all the best wishes in the world and hope you enjoy your time there 🙂

      Reply
  • Zoe F June 22, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Hi there, I was wondering if you could tell me how to get to this beautiful cave!! I’m going to Hawaii in August and would love to see this!! 🙂

    Reply
  • Melissa martinez July 2, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Hey Katie ! I love this post and the pictures , I’m currently living in New York but will be moving down to Hawaii next month , I would really love to know more about this place since my goal is to discover the islands, if you could share more about this place I would really appreciate it. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  • Kylie July 16, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Hi! I enjoyed reading your blog because I am moving to Hawaii with my husband because he is in the army and I am so excited to explore! After reading your blog I am even more ready to be there! But this post did not mention anything really about the mermaid cave.. Haha where can I find where it is and how to find it? Thank you!

    Kylie

    Reply
    • Katie Mac July 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      As I said in the article,

      “It is no surprise that in this island culture the sharing of the ‘secret’ experiences are appropriate to be shared through people and not read on the Internet.”

      When you arrive in Hawaii, ask around with some people who live there and I am sure you will find it and probably make some new friends along the way. I branched out and met most of my local, island loving adventure friends on Instagram.

      Reply
  • Kana August 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Hello, your photos are awesome!!!
    I would love to be there in this trip. Could you help me to get there?
    Can I find this spot easily when I get to this beach park?

    Reply
  • Itinera Magica August 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Exciting, I love this post. I know someone who might take me there next time I go to Hawaii… maybe!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac August 24, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Awesome!

      Reply
  • Liloa Papa September 16, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Guess what Katie? While you think you’re building yourself up with this post, you’re tearing our home apart. Next time, why can’t you simply enjoy it for youselves and not spread it just to feel important?
    This spot had been secretly enjoyed for years, now thanks to self-indulgent people like you we deal with crowds we’ve never experienced before. Thank you. Feel good about yourself?

    Reply
    • Katie Mac January 10, 2017 at 11:54 am

      I think what you read and what I wrote were different things?

      Reply
  • Terri Z January 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Hi Katie, love your post. My daughter is getting married on 9/7/2017, in Oahu she wants to have it near the north shore. Would happen to know of any wedding planners were are working with a small budget it just going to small family wedding. She our youngest child. She our mermaid she found her merman.
    Thank you So much

    Reply
    • Katie Mac January 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Hi Terri, I wish I could help but I don’t have any recommendations for wedding planners on the island. Beach weddings are very common there so I am confident you will find one, best of luck to you and congratulations to your daughter!

      Reply
  • Mary Jo Harris June 28, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Hi Katie, I and a friend will be on Oahu in October. I grew up in Tonga and my friend went to school in Hawaii. We love the islands and we are wanting to avoid tourist attractions and spend our time on feeling the aloha spirit. We would really love to see the secret mermaid cave.
    We would be grateful if you would share this with us! Mahalo

    Reply
  • Nina November 5, 2017 at 1:34 am

    I love how well-thought out this post is! I agree that secrecy is the best ingredient to natural preservation of such beautiful sites like Tunnels, though it is rather astounding that many commenters read through the post and still try and inquire about the location; it feels like the post meaning was just glazed over. If a traveller really loves the destination, then why not take the time to enjoy the journey and discover it themselves? It would feel way more satisfying finding Tunnels, then just having the location “spoon-fed”, and helps lessen the “footprint” guests leave on such sites.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac November 6, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you so much for your message Nina! I agree that it is a little astounding that so many still asked for the location, I assumed they didn’t read the post. Totally agree with your thoughts, sometimes finding beautiful places is half the fun!

      Reply

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