Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Paliku Beach, more popularly referred to as Donkey Beach, is a popular, yet slightly harder to reach sandy shore on Kauai's west side. 

Lying a short distance north of Kapa'a, accessing the beach requires a short hike. The beach has somewhat of a storied history, being given its Donkey Beach moniker after visitors observed donkeys on the beach being used in the cultivation of sugarcane, and later being a popular nude beach. You'll find neither asses of the bare or jack variety there today. What you will find are visitors more willing to put in a slight bit of effort to reach this jewel of a cove.

Donkey Beach does have a small parking area off of Kuhio Highway with spaces for about two dozen cars. It's easy to miss as it is unsigned, and only a small bathroom building is visible from the road. From here it's about a 0.3 mile walk down a sloped cement path. However this walk is through a tunnel of trees enclosing the path and shrouding the neighboring housing development from the visiting crowds. Beneath the tree tunnel, a slightly steeper, but short, dirt path continues the rest of the way to the wide sandy cove.

Alternatively, Donkey Beach lies near the northern end of the Kauai Multiuse Path, so walkers or bicyclists might plan on reaching the beach via the path.

The beach is sandy, with next to no shade and no lifeguards or amenities of any kind. Those who venture and climb some of the rocks to the north will find a couple smaller more secluded coves. Those who visit Donkey Beach are usually treated to the epitome of a Kauai beach day, at the bottom of a lush garden hill enclosed by cliffs, on a spacious sandy bay with some shade beneath the trees at the sand's edge.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful wide cove.


Limited parking.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed


Snorkeling / SCUBA
Family friendly



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