Pohoiki (Isaac Hale Beach Park)

The Puna coastline is vast and rugged. With rocky cliffs and crashing waves, there aren’t many places to access the ocean in Puna, but Pohoiki makes up for that by having just about everything right in one place. Pohoiki, also known as Isaac Hale Beach Park, is the only surf spot in Puna and the only boat ramp in Puna. It has snorkeling, diving, beach, and even a heated pool. For sure, there’s plenty to do at Pohoiki.

Pohoiki is a popular spot especially among locals, so it may be crowded if you go on the weekend or when the surf is good. As you enter the park you’ll see the parking lot ahead of you and Pohoiki bay to the right. There’s a concrete pier that stretches into the bay and protects the boat ramp. The sheltered area around the pier is full of fish and marine life and hosts some good snorkeling. If the water is calm you may be able to swim out and explore the reef here which is healthy and diverse. Sea Turtles are often seen and common fish in the area include moorish idols, wrasses, goatfish, chubs, parrotfish, and trevallies. Farther out in the bay there is good diving, but conditions are often too rough to allow it. If the sea is calm you’ll be treated to many schooling fish, coral, and lava sea bed. The pier area and boat ramp area is a popular swimming and sunbathing spot despite the sometimes heavy boat traffic. This is the only boat ramp in
all of Puna, so if you’re going on a lava tour, sunset cruise, or dive charter in this area you’ll be leaving from here.

Past the boat ramp there there’s a footpath along the shore under the trees. There are dozens of palm trees here and coconuts can often be found on the ground. If coconut is something you like then be sure to bring a machete or sturdy knife so you can enjoy a free island snack.

The footpath leads to a pool heated by geothermal energy. This beach is one of the closest to the volcano, and heat generated deep within the earth warms the groundwater creating a pool that’s pleasant to soak in. The pool isn’t hot, but rather warm and enjoyable. Kids love this pool and it’s likely you’ll see some here.

Beyond the warm pool you’ll find the beach. The waves don’t usually permit swimming, but if it’s calm you may be able to enter here. The shore is mostly smooth rocks and pebbles. You may find sea glass here as well.

Pohoiki is particularly known for its surfing because it’s the only place to catch a wave in all of puna. When the surf’s up this place is packed. Waves here can reach 6-8 feet on a big day, so Pohoiki is not for beginners. For those who’d rather stay dry, the end of the pier is a great place to sit and watch the surf action.

There are restrooms at the parking lot and showers near the boat ramp.

Why go to Pohoiki?

For a Puna beach that has something for everyone. Surfing, snorkeling, soaking, and sunbathing.

Photos used under creative commons license.

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