Donkey Beach (Paliku Beach)

4.5 stars from 3 reviews
Address Off Kuhio Highway, near Mile Marker 11, Kealia, HI 96751
Hidden gem of a secluded beach that's often fairly empty.

• Facilities: Bathrooms • Facilities: Showers
• Sand Type: Regular • Parking: Good / Plenty
• Good For: Sunrises • Surfing Level: Intermediate

Full Description
Donkey Beach is sort of hidden away in the Kealia area on the east coast of Kaua'i but it's easy to find once you know how. It actually got its nickname from the herd of donkeys and mules that used to be kept in a nearby pasture. Today, you can expect it to be donkey free.

The parking lot is located right off the Kuhio Highway between the 11 and 12 mile markers. If you are heading north you'll pass a housing development on your right called Kealia Kai and then you'll see a brown parking sign and the next right turn you can make is the parking lot. If you are heading south take the second left after the 12th mile marker into the parking lot, if you pass Kealia Kai you've gone too far.

Park your car (note that bathrooms are here and only here) then walk towards the entrance to the parking lot and you'll find a nice paved trail to walk you towards the ocean.

Follow that and it will intersect with another walking / bike path, turn right and walk down to the second set of dirt access paths (which are easier to navigate than the first set) and head down to the beach. It's about a 15 minute walk from your car to the beach.

At one point this was a popular nudist beach because it was so secluded but that's not the case anymore so you aren't likely to find any nudity here. Trust us when we tell you this is a good thing because nude beaches are never what you think they are.

The water here can be pretty rough so it's not really a good beach for swimming or snorkeling but can be good for surfing if you know what you're doing. Of course, if you go in the water you'll be on your own as there are no lifeguards here so swim at your own risk.

For everyone else, just kick back and relax and enjoy the views, peace and quiet, and the fact that you may have the entire beach to yourself or just be sharing with a small group of people.

Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
I really like this beach for the seclusion. We've been here a few times with nobody else on the beach at all which is just cool and gives that "lost on a remote island" feeling. The water here is usually too choppy to swim in but it's still a fun place to hang out and explore on land.
Tracy M
Joined: Feb 2016
Reviews: 57
Likes Received: 6
We were able to visit Donkey beach on our last trip to Kauai and it is indeed a hidden gem. We accessed it by the bike trail and then took the semi steep trail down to the beach. This beach has a rugged beauty all it's own and it is a hidden gem that has few visitors. In fact you may just have the beach to yourself and the shelling is great!
rachel m
Joined: Aug 2014
Reviews: 229
Likes Received: 19
I walk past Donkey Beach 5 days a week, and it is empty 4 out of 5 times. It is a gorgeous beach. The water is often rough, I would not recommend swimming here. But if you want to hang out on a secluded beach (most likely with no one else around) this is a must see. I have only accessed it from the walking/bike path. If you park at Kealia Beach and take the bike path, it's a little over a mile. The beach access path from the highway is steep and looks not so fun to walk up so I stick to my flat bike path.
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