Waikoko Beach

Waikoko Beach — Where to Find a Private Escape Near Hanalei Bay
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

When you want to jet off to a hidden paradise all your own, Waikoko Beach is the place to go. Parking is a challenge as is the scramble down the embankment to the beach, inspiring many to go to a different beach altogether. If you tough it out, however, you’ll be well rewarded by a private beach experience to remember.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

If you’re just looking for a truly secluded place to gaze upon the beauty of the ocean all around, Waikoko Beach might serve you well. Very few people put this beach on their itinerary due to its lack of dedicated parking and tricky route to the sandy shores.

Rather than scramble down its embankment to experience this little piece of paradise, most beachgoers set their sights on the many other beaches along Hanalei Bay. Weekends are usually the only time anyone else tries to navigate down to this beach for any length of time. The majority turn right back once they see what it takes to get here.

If you do decide to tackle the difficult climb down to this beach, you’ll be rewarded by its tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking sights. You can then sunbathe, play in the sand, and wade to your heart’s content — all while enjoying the sounds of nature coming from all directions. You won’t even have to strain to hear it all since there’s unlikely to be any other beachgoers around making a ruckus.

The shallow waters don’t make for great swimming, but that’s best anyway since it’s tough to bring any gear down to the waterside. You’ll be hard-pressed to drag even a single boogie board down the embankment, much less floaties, towels, and the whole nine yards. It is well worth taking a picnic lunch down to the water’s edge, however. Just be sure to pack out what you take down with you since there are no garbage cans to speak of anywhere close to this beach.

If the water ever looks choppy when you arrive, just plan to stay out of the waves altogether. Dangerous rip tides are common and there’s often no one here to call for help on your behalf. Even if there is, the emergency personnel would have a hard time making it to you in a timely manner due to the poor access to this beach.

While spending time at this beach in the winter, you may see skilled surfers attempting to conquer the surf break that’s located just off the nearby reefs. If you want to enjoy a close look at all the action, bring your binoculars and get comfy on the sand to enjoy the show. Only the most advanced surfers tend to come here since the rough waves can make it difficult to get in and out of the water. So, you’re likely to see pure talent as you watch the surfers ride the waves while working hard to avoid the reef ahead.

Insider Tips:
-As it’s truly a private place to escape from it all, there’s no lifeguard on duty at any time.
-At Waikoko Beach, you won’t find any picnic tables, restrooms, or other creature comforts waiting for you. Public bathrooms are available at the Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park to the east if nature calls.
-Free parking is available all along the right side of the Kuhio Highway near Waikoko Beach. Be careful of oncoming traffic as you get in and out of your vehicle while parking along the roadside.