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Puako Beach

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Puako Beach

Is Puako a good place to snorkel, tidepool, watch tutrles and Kayak? Is there anything special about this Kohala Beach? Does the beach have showers? Is Puako better than Kukio Beach and kikaua point beach?

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Puako Beach

There's not much beach at Puako beach. It has a nice reef but fairly difficult entry. Snorkeling is really just as good if not better at the very nice Waialea beach a couple minutes down the road, which has showers and bathrooms. Another option to access the better outer reef at Puako for snorkeling is Kohala Kayak's snorkel tour.

Kikaua Point and the adjacent Kukio Bay (which are in North Kona, not Kohala) are completely different from South Kohala beaches. It's a beautiful, historical area with tons of turtles on Kukio Beach, fishponds and wetlands with endangered birds, a resident monk seal, and several ocean options, from a shallow lagoon area for keiki to an excellent but slightly tricky (due to shallowness) snorkel area beyond the sea arch at Kikaua Point. Both the Kikaua Point and Kukio bay entrances have showers and restrooms. The turtles usually outnumber the people at Kukio and on the Kikaua Point side there's so many areas, from shade to beach to grass, to park yourself that even with it's "busy" it doesn't feel that way. It's a gorgeous area, unique in all Hawaii, and I'm amazed more people don't visit it, which I should probably be grateful for :-). So shhhhhhhh. Lol. And there's the added bonus that it's walking distance to the beach bar at the Four Seasons :-)))

Edited: 6:19 pm, August 05, 2013
Coronado...
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2. Re: Puako Beach

Is the entry to the reef at kikaua point easier with a kayak? What about entry at high tide? Why do the turtles come onto the beach? Can i find eels, dolphins, octopuses,or sharks on the reef? Does the seal visit the reef? Do they close off the beach if the monk seal appears? Have you seen the seal? How much space do I need to give it? Sorry to bother you with questions, I'm just really curious and excited to come the big island. :)

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Puako Beach

Lol! Love your enthusiasm.

Ok, first off, the snorkel area I'm talking about at Kikaua point is just about 100 feet from shore, so no, a kayak won't help you :-) Yes, it's much better at high tide but you still have to navigate carefully over some tall coral heads and rocks in shallow water. For that reason it's better for experienced snorkelers who have no need of fins.

It's a small area but has very clear water and the coral is excellent as well as schools of fish and eels and turtles, and yes the occasional octopus although they are hard to see/find. It isnt the beat snorkeling on the island by any means, but it's a nice diversion in a beautiful area. Sharks, reef and otherwise, are quite uncommon everywhere for snorkelers.

See the TQ on snorkeling for a comprehensive rundown on island spots. Honokaope, Makaiwa and Honokaope Bays are some of the best places on island to snorkel.

Dolphins are not common on reefs, they stay in the open ocean or rest in deep, sandy bays. You should not approach dolphins if you see them while in the water. Your best bet for seeing dolphins is to go with a respected boat tour operator who does not participate in dolphin swims and similar harassment.

Turtles go to areas with lots of algae on rocks for them to eat and where they can haul out on the beach to sun. They are common at Kukio where there are few people to harass them. Stay at least 15 feet away.

The seal hangs out in Kukio bay and on the beach, not at Kikaua Point. Yes, I've seen her many times, both in and out of the water. No, they don't close the beach, but you should stay well away from her, at least 25 feet, if you do see her. She gets agitated and starts barking at people who get too close to her, as do I :-)

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4. Re: Puako Beach

>>> She gets agitated and starts barking at people who get too close to her, as do I :-)

You bark at people who get to close to the seal, or are you saying you are like the seal, and bark when people get too close to you? Or both? ;-)

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Puako Beach

Both! Lol.

Btw, I said algae, but I meant seaweed re turtles eating at Kukio although I think they may eat both.

Edited: 10:18 pm, August 05, 2013
Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: Puako Beach

I bet you really get agitated when tourists throw bottles of Aquafina at you, thinking you are beached and need water.

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7. Re: Puako Beach

I will never, ever forget that. I've seen some bizarre tourist behavior in my day, but that one really was the pinnacle. Or I guess I should say, the low point.

Big Island, Hawaii
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8. Re: Puako Beach

It even eclipsed the turtle riding tourist.

Edited: 11:31 pm, August 05, 2013
Coronado...
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9. Re: Puako Beach

What about Honaunau bay? Do you recommend snorkeling there? Or is it over done like Kealakekua bay? Can I easily snorkel Honaunau bay and visit Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Park during the same day? What about Hapunna beach, Kua bay and Mauna Kea Beach are they good spots? Could I visit Honokaope and Makaiwa in one day?

Big Island, Hawaii
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10. Re: Puako Beach

Honaunau Bay is excellent snorkeling, ocean conditions permitting, and yes, you can combine it with a day trip to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau.

Hapuna, Kua Bay (Manini'owali), and Kauna'oa (the beach at the Mauna Kea hotel) are all lovely beaches but do not have good snorkeling.

You can walk between or swim/snorkel between (ocean conditions permitting) Makaiwa and Honoka'ope.