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Puako/Waialea

Puako celebrates old-town charm on the Big Island.




Welcome to Puako

Puako, located on Hawaii’s South Kohala Coastline, makes coastal living easy. This close-knit community of nearly 800 residents savors the sun in one of Hawaii’s driest locations, just 22 miles north of Kona International Airport. Puako’s laid-back charm is largely attributed to being the only oceanfront area along the South Kohala Coast that isn’t served by a resort. The beaches are largely untouched, which has preserved the quiet beauty of the island and helped Puako remain true to its ancestry. The Puako area offers a variety of living accommodations with beachfront single-family properties as well as condominiums.

Puako is delightfully retro, perfect for anyone nostalgic for a time before speed dial and email lists. Without a resort community inhabiting Puako, it has maintained the essence of Old Hawaiian charm. Disconnect in Puako so that you can reconnect with nature, family, and community.

Puako’s diverse landscape offers a little something for everyone. Surfers can take advantage of the Paniau surf spot, and history buffs will enjoy glimpsing ancient Hawaii in the petroglyphs carved into volcanic rock in the Puako Petroglyph Park. Whale watching tours are an excellent way to spend an afternoon, and Adventure Whale Tours offers two-hour excursions to see nursing humpback whale mothers and their calves. After dark, join the manta rays on a night dive or snorkel to see the creatures up close in their natural habitat. Year-round balmy weather and easy entry to the tide pools encourage people to get lost exploring nature, and easy snorkeling access makes it simple to dive into the clear blue waters for an afternoon in the sea.

Dig into incredible hot malasadas at the Manuela Malasada Food Truck, where they take traditional Portuguese fried doughnuts to the next level with customizable fillings and sugars. Other dining options in Puako include nearby Mediterranean food in the open air at Meridia, picturesque breakfast joint ‘Ikena Landing, and The Seafood Bar, where guests can experience fresh seafood delicacies in a tiki-inspired atmosphere. A picnic at Holoholokai Beach Park is the perfect recess from an afternoon splashing in the waves. The mix of lava rocks and white coral creates a stunning backdrop for an evening barbecue watching the sunset.

Puako is served by Waimea’s incredible private schools, Hawaii Preparatory Academy and Parker School.