Puu Poa Beach

Puu Poa Beach — A Small Yet Mighty Beach Filled with All the Wonders of Paradise
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Whether you’re staying at a nearby resort or just want to swing by between your other Kauai adventures, Puu Poa Beach promises to treat you to an amazing time. Although it’s relatively small, this beach boasts big opportunities for fun and excitement. The fine sandy shores and reef-filled waters let you experience all the wonders of paradise right up close.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Thanks to its location behind two Kauai resorts, Puu Poa Beach offers a private beach atmosphere while remaining wholly open to the public. As a guest at the nearby St. Regis Princeville Resort and Hanalei Bay Resort, you’ll get direct paths to the sandy shores. Otherwise, you need to park at the Hideaways Beach Public Parking lot and walk past 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay to get to the water. The path to the beach is a bit of a hike, so wear good walking shoes with lots of grip.

Once you arrive at the golden sandy Puu Poa Beach, you’re sure to delight in all the breathtaking views of Hanalei Bay and the ocean beyond. As you do that, take a moment to marvel at the mild waves that gently roll up on the shore and back again. They’re much tamer than at other beaches due to the offshore reef located just past the main swimming area. Along the other side of the reef, you’ll often see surfers attempting to ride the bigger waves that crash against that natural barrier.

When you’re not enjoying a dip in the calm waters, you’ll definitely want to take some time to explore the beach. During low tide, there are tons of tide pools filled with many of the wondrous creatures found in the shallow waters. Although high tide narrows the beach considerably, there’s still plenty of room for a relaxing stroll plus tons of shady spots to rest under the tropical almond trees. Arrive in the early morning or as the evening begins to watch the sky light up with vivid hues as the sun goes on the move.

Must-try activities at Puu Poa Beach include:

Swimming
Swimming is a popular activity at this beach since the waters are so calm and relaxing. You can practice all your swim strokes or just float along peacefully while taking in the serene atmosphere and gorgeous views all around.

Snorkeling
With its offshore reef and minimal waves, this beach is a prime spot to go snorkeling. As you dip your face in the water, you’ll get to gaze in wonder at all the colorful fish darting about through the reef. Be sure to move slowly to see eels and other shy creatures poke their heads out of their hiding spots and say hello.

Sunbathing
You can always count on a peaceful sunbathing experience while visiting Puu Poa Beach. Compared to other nearby beaches, these shores have minimal people running around and playing in the sand. And when you need to get out of the sun and cool off, the nearby trees offer plenty of shade for all to enjoy.

As you enjoy this phenomenal Puu Poa Beach, be endlessly careful of the marine life and reef structure. Never step on the reef or otherwise disturb its fragile structure while swimming, snorkeling, or surfing. Otherwise, you could irreversibly damage the nearby creatures’ habitats, causing them to die off or seek shelter elsewhere.

Insider Tip:
-The sandbar between Puu Poa Beach and Black Pot Beach appears and disappears with the tide. So, be aware of the water level as you play and explore to avoid getting stuck.
-If you visit between November and March, watch for large winter swells as you explore the beach. Also, forgo swimming and snorkeling during those months to stay safe on your travels.
-Although there are chairs set up around the outer edge of the beach, they are reserved for resort guests.
-Visit Nourish Hanalei at the end of the Hanalei Plantation Road to grab a picnic lunch for your beachside adventures. You can get acai bowls, smoothies, and so much more, all of which promise to provide the fuel you need for a full afternoon of fun.