Located in the Puna District of Hawaii's Big Island, Kapoho offers everything one can imagine from a postcard perfect vacation paradise. The beaches here are stunning, and the protected biodiversity of the area makes for extraordinary scuba diving and whale watching opportunities. Kapoho Bay offers especially beautiful coastline trails where crystal tide pools showcase a dazzling population of colorful urchins and sea stars.
But what makes Kapoho unique among all the districts of the Big Island is its volcanic history. One of Kilauea's most historic eruptions took place in 1960, which resulted in a slow moving flow that gradually encased the buildings of an entire town. The Cape Kumukahi Lighthouse remained standing, one of the few structures to survive. The area now draws visitors from all over the world who come to see nature's destructive power and astonishing resilience.
Here are a few additional suggestions for your trip to Kapoho:
- Play on the beach: Kapoho Bay Beach is a beautiful strip of soft golden sand and blue waves. This is a perfect place to go swimming, snorkeling, kite surfing, or just lie in the sun and relax.
- Go tide pooling: Explore the Kapoho Tide pools; the rocky part of the coastline is a wonderful place to encounter sea life captured by the retreating tide.
- Visit the Cape Kumukahi Lighthouse: While at the lighthouse, take the short walk to the historic Kapoho Cemetery, the area covered by lava during the eruption in 1960.
- Visit Lava Tree State Park: Explore Lava Tree State Park to see the fascinating lava formations that were left behind when volcanic eruptions overcame native Ohi'a trees.
- Visit the Panaewa Zoo: See the animals of the only tropical rainforest zoo in the United States. See beautiful white tigers and meet the friendly animals of the petting zoo.
- Hike to Rainbow Falls: The view of these breathtaking falls reminds visitors that they are truly in Hawaii. Hike to this perfect vision of tropical paradise and swim in the cold clear pools at the top.
No matter what time of year you decide to schedule your visit to Kapoho, you'll have no trouble finding a perfect place to stay. It's always summer here and vacation rentals are always available. Rent an elegant oceanside condo or luxury villa just a few steps away from the beach. While you're here, you may also want to explore Pahoa or the nearby Puna Forest Reserve.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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