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Big Island’s Hot Springs: Where to Relax

  • Post category:Hawaii

Hawaii’s Big Island is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and its warm springs are no exception. From the tranquil waters of Pohoiki Warm Spring to the scenic surroundings of the Pools of Ohe’o, these geothermal gems offer unique experiences for relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful soak or an adventurous swim, the Big Island’s warm springs provide the perfect escape.

Key Takeaways

  • Pohoiki Warm Spring at Isaac Hale Park offers a serene environment with easy accessibility and unique features.
  • Queen’s Bath in Princeville is renowned for its natural beauty but requires careful attention to safety precautions.
  • The Pools of Ohe’o in Hana are surrounded by breathtaking scenery and offer various activities for visitors.
  • Olivine Pools provide a unique geological formation perfect for swimming and snorkeling, with important safety guidelines to follow.
  • Ahalanui Hot Springs, although currently closed, holds historical significance and offers insights into the island’s geothermal activity.

Exploring Pohoiki Warm Spring at Isaac Hale Park

The Pohoiki Warm Spring, located in Isaac Hale Park, is a unique destination on the Big Island. This area became the newest black sand beach on the island following the volcanic eruption of 2018. The park features four thermal ponds, offering a relaxing experience for visitors. However, it’s important to note that the water isn’t always disinfected, posing a rare risk of bacterial infections. Despite this, the warm waters are often enjoyed by many travelers.

The Allure of Queen’s Bath in Princeville

Natural Beauty

Queen’s Bath in Princeville is a stunning natural pool carved into a lava shelf, offering a unique and picturesque swimming experience. The pool is filled with water from the ocean, creating a serene and beautiful spot for visitors. Despite its name, Queen’s Bath is open to everyone, making it an accessible and enjoyable destination for all.

Safety Precautions

While Queen’s Bath is a beautiful spot, it is important to exercise caution when visiting. The location near the ocean can be dangerous during high surf days, so it is crucial to check the weather and surf conditions before heading out. Visitors should be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe visit.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Queen’s Bath is during the summer months when the ocean conditions are calmer. This allows for a safer and more enjoyable experience. Early mornings or late afternoons are ideal times to visit to avoid the crowds and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the pool.

Discovering the Pools of Ohe’o in Hana

people swimming near shore with waves during daytime

The Seven Sacred Pools of Ohe’o, also known as the Oheo Gulch, is an iconic natural formation located in east Maui on the Road to Hana. This deeply spiritual and tranquil setting consists of a series of freshwater pools connected by cascading falls, all spilling into the Pacific Ocean. Each pool is surrounded by lush rainforest and spectacular rock formations that make this area truly breathtaking.

Relaxing at the Olivine Pools

The Olivine Pools in Maui offer a truly unique experience for visitors. Located on the back side of West Maui, these natural pools are accessible via a 0.4-mile out-and-back trail near Wailuku. The pristine tidepools are filled with crystal-clear water and are surrounded by hardened barren lava, formed by years of ocean waves crashing against the shore. Birders and hikers alike can appreciate the beauty and solitude of the natural pools, which are filled with vibrant colors ranging from bright greens to deep blues and turquoise, due to the deposits of olivine particles in them.

Geological Formation

The Olivine Pools get their name from the olivine particles, naturally occurring minerals, that give the water its vibrant colors. These pools are formed by the ocean waves crashing against the shore, creating a unique and picturesque landscape.

Swimming and Snorkeling

Visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Olivine Pools. The vibrant colors and clear waters make it an ideal spot for underwater exploration. However, it is important to be cautious as the waves can be strong and unpredictable.

Safety Guidelines

While the Olivine Pools are a beautiful and serene spot, it is important to follow safety guidelines. The waves can be strong, and the rocks can be slippery. It is recommended to visit during low tide and to avoid the pools during high surf conditions. Always be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution when exploring the area.

Ahalanui Hot Springs: A Historical Perspective

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Ahalanui Hot Springs, also known as Puʻalaʻa County Park, was a man-made pool filled with geothermally heated seawater. Located on the eastern coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, it was protected from the ocean by a rock wall. The area was historically significant as a local gathering place for celebrations, such as weddings and birthdays.

The hot springs were closed after the 2018 Kilauea eruption, which inundated much of the area with lava flows. This natural disaster led to safety concerns, making it inaccessible to both locals and tourists. The closure marked the end of an era for a beloved community spot.

Before its closure, Ahalanui Hot Springs featured basic facilities such as showers, toilets, and a relaxing picnic space. The warm pond was a popular destination, especially during the weekdays in the early morning hours to avoid the weekend crowds. The serene environment offered a unique experience for those looking to unwind and connect with nature.

Warm Springs and Tide Pools Along the Puna Coast

aerial view of green and brown mountains and lake

The Puna Coast on Hawaii Island is renowned for its publicly accessible warm springs and tide pools. These natural features, while not true hot springs, offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for visitors. The geothermal, mineral-rich waters are perfect for soaking and unwinding.

Popular Spots

The Puna Coast is dotted with several popular warm springs and tide pools. Among the most frequented are the Pohoiki Warm Spring at Isaac Hale Park and the Kapoho Tide Pools. Each location offers a unique experience, from the black sands of Pohoiki to the vibrant marine life at Kapoho.

Marine Life

The tide pools along the Puna Coast are teeming with colorfully diversified marine life. Snorkelers can enjoy the sight of various fish species and other sea creatures. The Kapoho Tide Pools, in particular, are a snorkeler’s paradise, offering a glimpse into the underwater world.

Tips for Visitors

When visiting the warm springs and tide pools, it’s essential to be prepared. Here are some tips:

  • Bring water shoes to protect your feet from sharp rocks.
  • Pack a snorkel and mask to explore the marine life up close.
  • Be mindful of the environment and avoid using sunscreen that can harm the delicate ecosystem.

The Puna Coast’s warm springs and tide pools are a must-visit for anyone looking to relax and connect with nature. Whether you’re soaking in the warm waters or snorkeling among the fish, the experience is sure to be memorable.

Essential Tips for Visiting Hawaii’s Warm Springs

brown wooden clothes hangers on green plants

What to Bring

When planning a visit to Hawaii’s warm springs, it’s essential to pack wisely. Be sure to bring your reef-safe, eco-friendly sunscreen to protect both your skin and the delicate marine ecosystems. A sand-free Tesalate towel can also be a great addition to your beach gear. Don’t forget to pack water shoes, as some areas can be rocky and slippery.

Best Practices

To fully enjoy your experience, follow these best practices:

  1. Respect the Environment: Always leave no trace. Dispose of any trash properly and avoid disturbing the natural surroundings.
  2. Stay Safe: Pay attention to local safety guidelines and warnings. Some warm springs may have strong currents or slippery rocks.
  3. Be Mindful of Others: These spots can get crowded, so be considerate of other visitors looking to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

Environmental Considerations

Hawaii’s warm springs are part of a unique and fragile ecosystem. It’s crucial to minimize your impact. Use only eco-friendly products and avoid using any harmful chemicals that could damage the water quality. By following these guidelines, you help preserve these natural wonders for future generations to enjoy.

Taking the time to go for a dip in the local warm springs or tide pools is a great way to enjoy Hawaii’s unique climate and aquatic ecosystems.

Planning a trip to Hawaii’s warm springs? Discover essential tips and make the most of your visit by exploring our comprehensive guides. From the best times to visit to must-see attractions, we’ve got you covered. For more detailed information, visit our website and start planning your dream vacation today!


The Big Island’s hot springs offer a unique and rejuvenating experience for travelers seeking relaxation and a connection with nature. From the tranquil Pohoiki Warm Springs to the scenic Pools of Ohe’o, these natural wonders provide a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re soaking in the warm waters, exploring the surrounding landscapes, or simply enjoying the serene ambiance, the hot springs of the Big Island are a must-visit destination. So pack your bags, bring your eco-friendly sunscreen, and get ready to unwind in one of Hawaii’s most enchanting settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring when visiting Hawaii’s warm springs?

When visiting Hawaii’s warm springs, it is recommended to bring reef-safe, eco-friendly sunscreen, a sand-free towel, water shoes, a hat, and plenty of water. Don’t forget your snorkeling gear if you plan to explore underwater.

Are Hawaii’s warm springs safe for children?

Many of Hawaii’s warm springs are family-friendly and safe for children, but always check specific locations for any safety guidelines. Some areas may have strong currents or rocky terrains that are not suitable for young kids.

What is the best time to visit Hawaii’s warm springs?

The best time to visit Hawaii’s warm springs is during the weekdays and early mornings to avoid crowds. The weather is generally pleasant year-round, but always check local conditions before planning your visit.

Are there any safety precautions I should take?

Yes, always be cautious of slippery rocks and sudden drop-offs. It’s also important to be aware of local wildlife and marine life. Follow posted signs and guidelines, and never enter the water if conditions seem unsafe.

Can I swim and snorkel in the warm springs?

Yes, many of Hawaii’s warm springs are great for swimming and snorkeling. However, always check the specific location for any restrictions or advisories. Some areas may have delicate ecosystems that need to be preserved.

Is there an entrance fee for visiting the warm springs?

Most of Hawaii’s warm springs are free to access, but some locations may charge a small entrance fee or require a permit. Always check ahead of time to ensure you have the necessary permissions.