Puu Poa Beach (Kauai, Hawaii)

Puu Poa Beach Kauai Hawaii
Paddle boarder at Puu Poa beach in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

Puu Poa Beach

Puu Poa Beach tends to be a beach of the super rich. The super rich tend to be the most common visitors to this beach because it sits directly behind some of the most expensive resorts on the island of Kauai and is a little bit difficult to access if you aren’t a guest at one of these hotels. 

All Hawaiian beaches must give the general public access, but Puu Poa shows that they don’t have to make the process easy, and the difficulty is exacerbated by a river cutting out to the ocean along one side of the beach. 

If you get lucky to get one of the few parking spots or are willing to hike, then you can enjoy this gorgeous reef protected beach.

Puu Poa Beach Kauai Hawaii
Paddle boarder at Puu Poa beach in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

Puu Poa Beach Quick Facts:

  • Swimming conditions: good for all swimmers, soft wave break
  • Good for: Kids & families, swimming
  • Known For: enclave of the rich
  • Facilities: none
  • Lifeguards: no
  • Parking:
  • Cost: Free (or a lot to be a nearby hotel guest)
  • Other: reef protects the shore making it perfect for snorkeling or stand-up paddle boarding

Puu Poa Beach Location

Puu Poa Kauai is on the north side of the island in the Princeville Resort area. This resort is knowing for being home to some of the fanciest Kauai hotels. 

If you are driving here from the main airport, it will take you about an hour. 

Getting there is difficult

Getting to this beach is a little bit tricky. You can park at Hideaways beach and take the steps down to the beach, BUT there are so few public parking spots here that it is next to impossible to actually access this beach this way.

If you want to hike, including a trek across a shore that might require you to wade through waves to dodge mangroves (depending on the tides) you can park at the end of Hanalei Plantation Road.

You will see that the road is actually closed off, but there is a small lot ahead of the closure. The hike took about 20 minutes and required me to wade through water to dodge mangroves.


Top ways to experience nearby attractions


Crowds

Given the difficulty in access, a benefit is that this beach is almost never too crowded, though the proximity for hotel guests means that there will almost always be someone on it.

What to Expect Once There 

If you do make it to this beach, there are extra perks to reward your effort.

Snorkeling and Padle Boarding

On the actual beach you will find gorgeous sands and tranquil waters. The waters are especially nice due to an offshore reef blocking the large waves.

A lot of Kauai beaches are beautiful to look at, but are dangerous to swim at due to intense waves.

Amazing Sunsets

Due to the beach facing due west, it makes it an ideal spot to watch the sun set behind the ocean. 

Gorgeous Mountain Views

The idyllic beach views are enhanced by lush green mountains framing the backdrop.

No Facilities

The actual beach has no public facilities. This is likely due to hotel guests being able to access their hotel for these facilities.

Conclusion: Is Puu Poa Beach worth visiting?

Puu Poa Beach is gorgeous, BUT I don’t think it is worth the hassle since there are substantially similarly beaches immediately next door that don’t require the difficulty of access.

Hanalei Beach Park and Black Pot Beach are just across the river and offer all of the same perks, but without the difficulty of access.

If you are a hotel guest in the Princeville Resort area though, there is no reason why you won’t love Puu Poa Beach.

Things to do nearby:

  1. Hideaway Beach
  2. Hanalei Beach Pier – amazing for sunsets
  3. Queen’s Bath
  4. Sea Lodge Beach

WHAT TO PACK FOR KAUAI

  • Dresses – Packing a few good dresses is essential for Hawaii. Dresses have become my go to on trips to help quickly put an outfit together. Revolve is one of my go to shops for beach dresses. ASOS also has great summer dresses.
  • Shorts – Anyone who is traveling to Hawaii needs a good pair of shorts. Khakis are great for guys. For women, cute athletic shorts or denim shorts are perfect for a breezy summertime look. These Levi denim shorts are my current favorites! These high waisted athletic shorts have gone viral on instagram and for good reason, they are AMAZING.
  • Sandals – LOVE these Teva’s! They are my new go to travel sandal. Shop my favorite Teva’s here. They are great to wear in the water snorkeling and also amazing for hiking in Hawaii.
  • Sports braThis SKIMS bra is the most comfortable sports bra you will ever wear! Trust me. I travel with 5 of them. Also, highly recommend checking out the SKIMS fits everybody bra is to die for as well.
  • Tank tops – Free people is my go to place to buy cute and affordable tank tops. I have this tighten up tank in almost every color.
  • Hat – essential. Shop the newest hats at Nordstrom.
  • Beach cover-up – Having at least one good cover-up is essential on any beach trip. I recommend ASOSNordstrom and Revolve as well.
  • Hiking boots – I have two pairs of hiking boots that I love. My Columbia waterproof boots and my Salomon hiking boots. Highly recommend checking them both out! Warning – they both sell out really quick.
  • Tennis Shoes – I guess you could wear sandals hiking this trail but I would recommend tennis shoes. It can get narrow and slippery in parts. These Nike high tops are my current favs. They look so cute with shorts too!
  • Packing cubes – I always go to Urban Outfitters for my packing cubes. They have the cutest ones!
  • Quick Dry Travel Towel – This quick dry towel is amazing to travel with. It really will come in handy when you need extra room in your suitcase.
  • Snorkeling gear – for obvious reasons.

Planning a trip to Kauai? Read everything we know about Kauai here:

My husband and I have been to Kauai many, many times and have written up more guides to help you plan your trip. These are my most popular blog posts and Kauai travel guides to help you plan your trip.

Kauai Beaches

Best Beaches for Snorkeling on Kauai
Best Cliff Jumping in Kauai
More awesome beaches

Kauai Hiking Guides

Read about all the hikes we have done in Kauai here.

Read all other posts on Kauai here.

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Hey there! I'm Claire, the founder of avenlylane.com & avenlylanetravel.com. While spending 4 years completely bedridden and miserable from an unexpected illness I decided to begin writing about my past travel adventures and now the rest is history. Thank you so much for visiting the website. I hope you enjoy it!

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