Waiakalua Iki Beach

Waiakalua Beach — Spectacular Scenery, But Dangerous for Swimming
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Although Waiakalua Beach features two beaches, neither will satisfy your need for a cool dip in the beautiful water. Instead, they are fantastic for sunbathing while gazing upon the breathtaking scenery. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to spot seabirds as they hop along the rocks and nibble on the marine life.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Despite featuring two beaches, Waiakalua Beach is not the place to go when you want to enjoy the gorgeous Kauai North Shore waters. Along the east side, Waiakalua Nui has more than its fair share of beach rocks, which are a delight to look at but less exciting to walk over. So, bring your water shoes if you’re even thinking about walking along the shores on that side.

On the west, you’ll find Waiakalua Iki, which boasts much softer sand that’s simply begging for a few sandcastles. On both sides of the beach, the water is shallow but rather treacherous. The fringing reef would prove amazing to gaze upon if it weren’t for all the riptides that shake things up. The rough surf doesn’t help matters either.  

Despite that, experienced snorkelers occasionally risk heading over to the rocky point to take a peek at the colorful fish and so much more. A similar view can be found at the nearby Anini Beach, however, and without the risk of getting stuck in a riptide.

Since there are no lifeguards on duty at either side of Waiakalua Beach, you’re on your own if you get in trouble in the water. Worse yet, there are rarely any other visitors, so you’d likely not have anyone to call for help if you’re flying solo.

If you end up visiting this beach anyway, busy yourself with playing in the sand instead. Although the sand is medium-coarse, it still shapes up quite well upon adding a bit of water to the mix. You can also head to the back of the beach to sit in the shade of the tall trees. Or bring an umbrella and beach towel to create a shady spot to rest anywhere on the sand.

As you relax, the view will undoubtedly keep you enamored with the beauty of Kauai, especially if you stick around to see the sunset. While watching the sun dip below the horizon, the sky puts on quite a show with its vivid purple, pink, orange, and red tones. The bright hues pair perfectly with the gorgeous ocean beyond, giving you a view to remember.

If you have a camera with you, be sure to take lots of high-quality photos of the surrounding landscape and waterway. You’ll definitely want to use them as a personalized background for all your devices, so you can instantly transport back to the North Shore at a glance.

Insider Tips:
-Although there’s no running water at Waiakalua Beach, you can refill your water bottle at the freshwater spring at the end of the beach. Just remember to use treatment tablets to make the water safe to drink before chugging it down.
-You can park in an unmarked dirt road on North Waiakalua Road, but there isn’t much space here.
-Don’t come here when it’s stormy. The narrow beach can prove difficult to quickly evacuate if big waves hit the sandy shores.