Get To Know the Area
Dating back to ancient times, Puako was a fishing village that, until the 1950s, was accessible only by boat or by the Ala Kaha Kai (the ancient “shoreline trail” that is now partially restored as a National Historic Trail). One of Hawaii’s largest petroglyph fields is nearby.
Still a small beach community—fewer than 200 homes along a single road just 2 ½ miles long—Puako is blessed with a consistently sunny and gentle climate. An eclectic mix of residents, snowbirds and vacationers, the kids you see on bikes and the surfers at Paniau probably live here. As you cross paths with them, stop and “talk story” at the General Store, an informal community center as well as a convenient resource for supplies. Life in Puako—year-round and short-term—is relaxed, very relaxed, but never boring.
Rimmed by a protected marine preserve, the Puako reef offers endless sights for snorkeling, SCUBA diving, kayaking, swimming and tide pool wading. Join the “honu” (protected sea turtles—please enjoy them at a safe distance) for a swim or follow their lead and bask in the sun nearby. You’ll have a great vantage point for watching the wintertime display of whales and their young during their calving time in our warm waters.
If all this isn’t exciting enough, you can walk to the Mauna Lani or Fairmont Orchid Hotels for a sunset beverage, or visit the nearby Shops at Mauna Lani or the King’s Shops and Queen’s Marketplace just down the highway for shopping and a variety of restaurants and galleries. On the way upcountry to Waimea, home of Parker Ranch and the “paniolos” (cowboys), a stop at Kawaihae Harbor offers additional restaurants, galleries, and a fish market. Golfers have numerous options, and adventurers may head for the summit of Mauna Kea, the active volcano Kilauea or a trip to the Zipline in Kapa’au.
When hunting for an oceanfront vacation rental in Hawaii, Waialea Bay is an excellent choice. Known locally as Beach 69 (for the telephone pole that marked the beach access), Waialea Bay is a small, sandy crescent surrounded by rocks and shade trees. Beach entry is gentle; the coral reef is near; the sea life abundant: turtles float in the shallows; a variety of fish swim the reef and giant-but-gentle manta rays often grace the north end waters. When the surf’s up, bring the boogie board instead of the snorkel gear.
Located between the beach community of Puako and Hapuna State Beach, the homes on Waialea Bay are very secluded, despite their proximity to this wonderful beach. We offer a range of rental homes, from modest to spectacular. When you think of Hawaii vacation rentals, especially Big Island rentals, think of 2 Papayas!