Kapoho Tide Pools

This beautiful destination was destroyed by lava flow in June of 2018. It is now closed and it may not ever return to its former glory. Feel free to read the description of what this destination used to offer tourists from around the world.

The Kapoho Tide Pools are one of the most unique destination in all of Hawaii. A lava shelf extends some 200 yards out into the ocean, and, at low tide, the lava shelf is covered in numerous tide pools.

Kapoho Tide PoolsThe depth and size of these pools vary. Some of them are perfectly shallow for the kids. Some are deep enough for swimming and snorkeling. And others are even heated by underground thermal activity. It's not uncommon to find a 90-degree pool here in Kapoho Bay on The Big Island's east coast.

The tide pools near the lava shelf's edge are full of marine life. Sea turtles, fish, shellfish and sea cucumbers can been seen near the shore break. But it's best not to swim near the edge of the lava shelf. The ocean is powerful enough to reach into the pool and take you out to sea.

The pools near the shore are almost always calm. Only on rare occasions does the surf get to the back of the lava shelf, and that happens almost exclusively during the winter. These near-shore tidal pools are calm, safe and perfect for an unforgettable snorkel. 

You'll notice that some of the pools are incorporated into private property. Shoreline houses like to use these tidal pools as hot tubs, so make sure you're not swimming in someone's private pool.

There is almost no sand on this lava shelf, and much of the rock is sharp and uncomfortable underfoot. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes during your visit to the pools. And, when the water is incredibly calm, there's really good fishing off the lava shelf near the open ocean.

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Price: Free
Pahoa, Big Island