Kapoho Tidal Pools
Location - Approx. 20 minutes from Hale Huna Kai.
Water Entry / Exit - Tidal pools protected from surf. Easy entry into calm waters. Bring sandals / water shoes for short walk over lava rocks. Regardless of the ocean conditions, these tidal pools are protected from the surf.
Snorkel Route - Enter any tidal pool, many are interconnected. Tidal pools closer to the ocean contain more sea life. Watch out for stronger current near the ocean.
Extras - Crystal clear water; calm surf conditions excellent for children and weaker swimmers; lava shelves for sunbathing; abundant fish and coral population.
Directions - From the house, turn left onto Rte 130 (Keaau-Pahoa Rd). Follow the signs for Kalapana. Once you pass the town of Pahoa, look for signs for Kapoho. You will take a left towards Kapoho on Rte 132 after passing Lava Tree State Park. Follow Rte 132 until it ends at a four-way intersection. Do not go down the dirt road straight ahead. Turn right onto Rte 137 (paved road) and follow it until you reach Kapoho Kai Rd. Turn left on Kapoho Kai Rd into the Vacationland subdivision. Continue down the road and turn right on Ho'ola'i Rd. This road curves left and takes you to the Kapoho Coast. Park on the side of the road when you reach the large open area to the right. You should see the ocean and tidal pools here. Parking is limited.
The lava shelves offer excellent opportunities for sunbathing. This is a nice trip even if you do not have snorkeling gear. The clear tidal pools and warm sun offer a true taste of paradise.
In Kapoho small tidal pools dot the entire coastline. These pools are filled to the brim with sea creatures, making them an excellent place for exploration. The Kapoho pools boast many different types of fish and a multicolored coral bed. In Kapoho you will find crystal clear water and calm surf conditions which are excellent for children and weaker swimmers. Regardless of the ocean conditions, these tidal pools are protected from the surf. The calm conditions also allow easy entry into the water. However, make sure you bring sandals / water shoes for the short walk over lava rocks. You will also find lava shelves for sunbathing. Many of the pools here are interconnected and allow you to snorkel from pool to pool. These tidal pools are so close together, that when they are not interconnected, you can simply climb out of one and drop down into the next one.
Leleiwi Beach Park
Location - Approx. 4 miles East of Hilo on Keaukaha Coast.
Water Entry / Exit - Climb over the low rock wall onto the lava point. Enter the water to the right on the low shelf. Watch your step on the slippery lava rock, and be careful of the waves when entering the water. You may have to time your entry to right after the wave hits the lava shelf. Do not attempt to enter in high surf.
Snorkel Route - Start off to the left of the rock wall and follow the reef. Sea turtles are very common in this area. A visit to Leleiwi Beach Park without seeing turtles is very rare.
Extras - Picnic area; coral sea arch.
Directions - Take Rte 11 South / Kanoelehua until it ends (near airport) at Banyan Drive; turn right onto Kamehameha; drive along the coast approx. 5 miles. The parking lot and sign to the park will be on the left side.
Richardson's Beach Park
Location - Approx. 4.5 miles East of Hilo on Keaukaha Coast.
Water Entry / Exit - Easy via the black sand beach.
Snorkel Route - for beginners, stay in the enclosed cove. Watch out for surfers. For the adventurous, swim out and around (South) the lava rock outcrops this will lead you to a nice reef and lots of fish and usually sea turtles too - be careful during high surf conditions.
Extras - Lifeguard on duty; showers and bathrooms, black sand beach; take the time to venture South along the beach to the lava rock tidal pools.
Directions - Take Rte 11 South / Kanoelehua until it ends (near airport) at Banyan Drive; turn right onto Kamehameha; drive along the coast approx. 6 miles (pass Leleiwi Beach) until just before the road ends. The parking lot and sign to the park will be on the left side.
Leleiwi Beach Park and Richardson's Beach (see #2) are located adjacent to each other. We suggest you try to snorkel both locations in the same day. Start the morning at Leleiwi, bring a picnic lunch and drinks. After snorkeling at Leleiwi, enjoy a relaxing lunch in the pavilion and then head down to Richardson's for the afternoon.