Puako, Big Island

Pukao is a small oceanfront community on the Big Island's Kohala Coast. The town is one of Hawaii's best kept secrets, known for its crystal clear, cobalt blue waters, and top notch snorkeling and diving conditions. Hapuna Beach, one of the nicest white-sand beaches on the island, is a stone's throw away from Puako. This area is one of the driest on the Big Island, receiving only about 10 inches of rain per year.

Pukao's main attraction though is its large collection of intricate petroglyphs carved into volcanic rocks. At the Puako petroglyph field, visitors can see over 3,000 breathtaking vestiges of these ancient rock drawings.

The community has a mixture of working-class homes, as well as a few upscale mansions and vacation rentals. When it comes to shopping, there aren't many options here as there's just one general store.

Hokuloa Church is located right on Puako Road. It was built in 1859 by Rev. Lyons, who was very knowledgeable in the Hawaiian language. He composed many ballads, including "Hawaii Aloha," which has become the unofficial anthem of Hawaii.

The best way to enjoy the charm of Pukao is to stroll along its shore and explore the many tide pools, which are home to a wide variety of marine life. Offshore is one of the best nearshore scuba diving locations on the Big Island, with many caverns, lava tubes and a fantastic reef to explore.

Puako Overview

  • Small town on the Kohala Coast
  • Main attraction is the nearby petroglyph field, featuring over 3,000 ancient rock carvings
  • Puako Bay is a top snorkeling and diving location with a spectacular coral reef
  • Population: 772 (2010 Census)
  • Zip code: 96738

Puako Vacation Rentals

Show Form

Reviews and Comments:
I hesitate to write this as I would like to keep this to myself. Spent a day snorkeling in the bay and was overwhelmed by the fish and the turtles. Go to one of the Shore entrance areas and jump in, you will not go wrong. As a note we went to Electric Beach near Honolulu and if Pukao was a 10 then electic beach was a 0. Seriously go, it is awesome.
Eric Bibeau, Mon Dec 24, 2012