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Pu'u Poa Beach

Pu'u Poa Beach
Swimming, Snorkeling, Fishing, Paddle Boarding, Sunbathing, Surfing, Sunsets
Pu'u Poa Beach
No Restrooms, Public Parking, No Lifeguard, Drinking Water

Pu'u Poa Beach - Kauai

Pu'u Poa Beach is mainly used by guests of the St. Regis Princeville Resort and the Hanalei Bay Resort. Hanalei Bay Resort guests can take the steep and paved path that leads to the beach (or use the resort's shuttle). Guests of the St. Regis Princeville Resort can take the elevator to the ground level and you are there! If you're not a guest at either one of the two resorts, you take the almost 200 steps that start near the public parking lot. This public lot is located near the entrance of the St. Regis Princeville Resort on the right. See directions for more details on access.

The choice is easy whether to use the elevator or stairs, especially if you have a recent vivid memory of the seemly endless staircase. However, the elevator is only for St. Regis guests, so if you bring a loaded ice chest, chairs, and snorkel fins, I think they'd catch on pretty quickly. So if in doubt, use the stairs. Just be prepared to take a few breaks on the way down, and several more on the way up. Packing light is always a great idea, but here it's amplified by the trek.

This beach is framed by lush green mountains. The shoreline changes with the surf, narrowing in winter and widening during calm summer months. Pu'u Poa Beach is the longest beach near the St. Regis Resort as it extends from the hotel all the way down to the Hanalei River. When the tide is low, a sandbar appears extending from the river to Black Pot Beach.

You will most likely see swarms of snorkelers out and about, however, we haven't had good luck at this beach. It's usually very shallow in summer months, and leaves little room for fish or aquatic life to see. If you get further out, you may have better luck, but beware the currents of Hanalei Bay.  Since it's shallow and near the mouth of the Hanalei River, it can be pretty murky. 

The view from this beach is hard to beat. Looking over the famous Bali Hai point and lush mountains just doesn't get old. You can also rent paddle boards, and other surf apparatus from the St. Regis staff by the pool.

An offshore reef protects the beach, making it generally safe for swimming. The reef, however, is not enough barrier for the beach from winter swells.

During winter international surfers flock to Pu'u Poa Beach. The ocean water that breaks against the outer edge of the reef close to Hanalei River provides some of the best surf rides on Kauai.

Pu'u Poa Beach Video

Map & Directions

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Turn onto Ka Haku Road from Highway 56. Drive until you reach the end of the road. There is a small public parking lot about 100 feet before the St. Regis Princeville Resort's gate house (on the right side of the road). 

Of course, if you're a guest at either the St. Regis Princeville Resort or the Hanalei Bay Resort you can use their parking lots. Your car can be towed if you park on the side of the road in this neighborhood.

The public path starts just past the guard building (which are un guarded) to the left.

Parking is very difficult, since there are no public lots outside of the small 8 car one mentioned above. However, if you are hungry, thirsty or tired, you can use the valet parking at the St. Regis to store your car, then hit the beach afterwards. Afterall you are a paying customer. However with anything, use your best judgement on fair and reasonable use versus abuse of their hospitality.

The address: 5300 Ka Haku Rd., Hanalei, Hawaii 96722 

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Pu'u Poa Beach Safety

Please check with appropriate resources and authorities regarding beach conditions, tides, etc. This website is produced in the interest of public safety and injury prevention and cannot guarantee or warrant your safety at any of the locations described herein. That is your responsibility. This website and any sponsors or affiliates accept no responsibility, express or implied, for the use or misuse of this website and the information contained herein. Any statements or assessments of conditions are based solely on opinion and should NOT be considered expert advice.
Swimming and snorkeling are discouraged during winter months.