Kauai’s Two Secrets

Have you ever been on vacation just in an effort to get away? And then did you find that once you got there everybody else in the world was on vacation there too? You may have thought that you had chosen a safe place because the guidebooks told you it was the least crowded. You may have also discovered that everyone else read the same information and thus turned the least crowded spot into the most crowded spot. Kauai, Hawaii’s Garden Island, has several “secret” spots (how secret can it be when its official name says it is secret?) that actually are not overcrowded.

Secret Beach

Located on Kauai’s north shore this beach is a true getaway. It is best not to expect total seclusion, but you will find plenty of elbow room at Secret Beach. First of all, most lodging on the island is located on the south and east shores and they each have plenty of beaches for their guests so not too many make the trip up north. Access to secret beach takes a little effort, but it is well worth it. A little jaunt down a dirt road off of highway 56 leads to a small parking area, which then leads to the beach access trail. This trail is a little tricky because it is fairly steep and slow going, but only takes about 10 minutes to get down. Don’t pack too much with you to the beach because coming back up will be a bit of a work out. These factors help keep the beach comparatively empty. A little extra effort for a lot of extra space!

Kauai’s Two Secrets

Once down the trail, you will find the beach in front of you and to the right. It is an expansive beach that sits between black lava rock on either side. The sand here almost looks groomed – it is clean – no debris, no garbage, just the hot sand and you. The waters give slow rolling waves with a decent break on the shoreline. Swimming and boogie boarding are fun things to do in the ocean here. Walking the beach and getting a good tan are very relaxing as you can do it without extra company.

Secret Lava Pools

Instead of going right off the trail to Secret Beach, take a left (with shoes or sandals) towards the Secret Lava Pools. Here, there are several boulders and an area where the flowing lava met the shore to create a hard rock shoreline. These can be safely walked over to reach the pools, but be careful as it can be slippery and walking too close to the edge isn’t advisable. You will see puddles of water in many of the lava rock holes where there are fish and crabs living. Often fish will jump from one puddle to another as you approach which is highly entertaining.

Continue on the rocks for a few minutes until you get to a point where they take a turn back towards the south and eventually to a neighboring beach. At this bend there are a few areas where the lava rock gives way to tranquil pools. These are safe for swimming most of the year and provide a secluded getaway. After taking a dip, you can wash off in a fresh waterfall just down a few steps further south. The pools offer a perfect combination of seclusion, fun, and beauty.


Wherever you find yourself on Kauai these two secrets will help you get away from the more crowded areas. Hopefully you can turn your vacation into a true getaway and enjoy the serenity.

The article and pictures are contributed by Jake Garrett of the Villas at Poipu Kai.


  1. Those look like great places to visit in Kauai. I'm always looking for the least crowded places so it's good to read about stuff like this. Those lava pools sound like they would be fun too. And a waterfall too? That really is serenity.

  2. I havent seen a lava pool myself… looks like fun to try 😉

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