Palama Beach

Palama Beach -- A Secluded Kauai Beach That's Beautiful But Nearly Impossible to Get To
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Palama Beach is a gorgeous stretch of white sand and clear turquoise waters situated on Kauai's southwestern shoreline. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the hardest-to-get-to beaches on the island; making it not the best pick for most Hawaiian visitors. 

- The Local Expert Team

Palama Beach is located on the Kauai Coffee Company estate, which is about 20 minutes away from the Lihue airport on the southwestern shores of Kauai. This is a gorgeous beach but while all beaches are open to the public, getting to Palama Beach can be troublesome.

The biggest roadblock for those wanting to visit Palama Beach is that it is on a stretch of shoreline that is otherwise surrounded by the Kauai Coffee Company. So first, in order to even start walking towards the beach, you will need to request access from the Kauai Coffee Company. This is a  massive coffee estate that also roasts its own beans. They do offer self-guided tours through their main office and Kauai beach-goers who want to experience Palama Beach can request access via that office through the self-guided tour option. This does, however, mean you may be asked to pay a small fee. There are also some indications that the parcel immediately abutting the beach is to be sold in the near future, which may further hamper visitors’ ability to reach the shoreline. 

The second hurdle involved in accessing Palama Beach is physically getting to the beach after getting a verbal okay. There are some farm trails and roads that wind through the coffee fields of Kauai Coffee Company, but in most cases, you will not be given access to drive a private vehicle down these roads. Instead, you will need to walk down the winding trails to Palama Beach. During the summer, this can be a very hot and boring trek as there is minimal shade in these fields. Bring a lot of water if you opt for this adventure.

The alternative way to access this beach is by sea. You can kayak to Palama Beach without too much trouble if you watch the weather and choose a calm day to go kayaking. The winter months, in general, are better for this. To kayak to Palama Beach, you will want to use an outfit like Bring Me a Kayak which will transport kayak rentals to your desired launching spot. For Palama Beach, you will want to launch out of Kukuula Small Boat Harbor and start paddling west. Within a few short miles, you will see a large outcropping, and just before it on your right is the soft white sands of Palama Beach.

While getting to this beach is quite the battle, there is plenty to enjoy once you make it. This southern beach has an unblemished coastline and incredibly clear waters that offer outstanding snorkeling opportunities. You will often find turtles and seals lounging about the beach sands thanks to its secluded and quiet nature.

Just above Palama Beach is the unique Nomilu Fishpond. Nomilu Fishpond is one of the largest fishponds in all of Hawaii, spanning an incredible 20 acres. Its large size is due to an underwater volcanic cinder cone. Natural springs help file the fishpond along with ocean water, creating a more brackish lake environment.

Due to the very remote nature of Palama Beach, there are no publicly available amenities. You won’t find showers, bathrooms, trash cans, picnic tables, lifeguards, or any other popular beach amenities. If you are able to make it out to Palama Beach, remember to pack out everything you pack in and be respectful of the private grounds neighboring the shoreline. 

Insider Tip:
If you like the idea of going to a secluded beach but don’t want to deal with private landowners and companies, then a great alternative is the nearby Ka Lae O Kaiwa Beach. This is a gorgeous local beach that borders but is not surrounded by the Kauai Coffee Company’s coffee fields.