Although it’s full of volcanic activity, which is quite geothermal, there aren’t really traditional hot springs in Hawaii. Instead, you’ll find some warm springs and tide pools. These unique mineral water pools are sometimes found at the ocean’s edge. Either way, they are relaxing and a hit with the locals!
List of Warm Springs (68°F+) and Tide Pools in HI
Hawaii Island, popularly known as the Big Island, is filled with a few publicly accessible warm springs and tide pools, mostly located alongside the Puna Coast and often thronged with travelers. Although not true hot springs, they are relaxing and great for your mind and body.
Map of Warm Springs and Tide Pools in HI
Guide to Hawaii’s Warm Springs and Tide Pools
Hawaii is an amazing bucket-list state with tons of natural features, including soothing warm springs and tide pools. The feeling of soaking in geothermal, mineral-rich pools is an exhilarating and rejuvenating experience – but what exactly makes the water in these Hawaiian pools warm and hot?
The Big Island receives plenty of rain annually, particularly in the eastern region, usually around 300 inches or 8 meters. All this water doesn’t always directly flow into the ocean, but most of it sinks deep into the ground through the surface until it reaches a barrier of salty water.
It then dissipates slowly into the ocean or flows through heated rocks, which increases the temperature of the water. This heated water travels to the coastal areas, moving away from the magma, which lowers the temperatures a bit, but still is warm enough for a comfortable dip.
4 of Hawaii’s favorite swimming springs and tide pools
These are less are some of the spots where locals and visitors come to soak and swim in Hawaii’s springs. Let’s take a look at the most popular springs:
Ahalanui Hot Springs, Hawaii – The Ahalanui Hot Springs are situated in the Ahalanui Park. Flowing out into a warm pond, the area features basic facilities such as showers, toilets, and relaxing picnic space. The place is often crowded on the weekends, so generally, it is best to visit during the weekdays, particularly in the wee hours of the morning.
Pohoiki Warm Springs – The Pohoiki Warm Springs are situated in the Isaac Hale Beach Park, which features black sands that look immensely beautifully. Four thermal ponds lie in the region, but the water isn’t always disinfected, which may expose you to the risk of bacterial infections. However, the chances of such an event happening are rare, and the warm waters are often enjoyed by plenty of travelers.
Kapoho Tide Pools – The Kapoho Tide Pools are around 1.5 miles away from the warm Ahalanui Springs. Though these ponds are incredibly beautiful, they are difficult to reach. Nonetheless, when you do approach them, not only do you get to soak yourself, but you can snorkel and enjoy the colorfully diversified marine life.
The pools are filled with fresh water twice a day when the tide sweeps in. They are surrounded by a basalt ridge and are slightly away from the main sea. Considering the facilities, there are only portable toilets in the area, and the parking lot is around half a mile away from the pools. Just be wary of the corals in the pool, which are often fragile.
Pools of Oheo – The Oheo Pools are located in the Oheo Gulch, which takes up the lower slope of a dormant volcano. The region comprises of 7 tiered pools that are constantly filled with fresh water from the river.
Enjoy your time soaking and swimming in Hawaii’s naturally warm waters! Remember to leave these springs and tide pools cleaner than you found them.