Puukaoku Falls

Puukaoku Falls

Puukaoku Falls is a hidden gem in Hawaii that offers visitors a breathtaking view of nature’s beauty. This insider’s guide will take you through everything you need to know about this stunning waterfall, from its location and accessibility to the best times to visit and what to expect when you get there. Discover the magic of Puukaoku Falls with our guide.

Exploring Puukaoku Falls

Puukaoku Falls is a beautiful waterfall located on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is situated in the East Maui Watershed, near the small town of Hana. The falls are known for their pristine natural beauty, with crystal-clear water cascading down a series of rocky tiers into a pool below.

To reach Puukaoku Falls, visitors must embark on a moderate hike through the lush Hawaiian rainforest. The trail is about 2.5 miles round trip and takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete, depending on your pace. Along the way, hikers will encounter a variety of exotic plants and wildlife, including colorful birds and tropical flowers.

When you reach the falls, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the 200-foot cascading waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery and the sounds of nature. The pool at the base of the falls is perfect for a refreshing dip, but be prepared for the water to be chilly.

It’s important to note that Puukaoku Falls is not a tourist attraction and there are no facilities or services available on site. Visitors are advised to bring their own food, water, and supplies and to take care when hiking and swimming in the area.

Overall, exploring Puukaoku Falls is a memorable and rewarding experience for those looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Hawaii. Just be sure to come prepared and respect the environment so that others can enjoy this special place for generations to come.

Setting Up the Perfect Basecamp

Setting up the perfect basecamp is an essential part of any camping or outdoor adventure. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer expedition, having a well-equipped and organized basecamp can make all the difference in your comfort and enjoyment of the outdoors.

Guided Tours of Puukaoku Falls

As Puukaoku Falls is a hidden gem and not a designated tourist attraction, there are currently no guided tours available. However, visitors can hire local guides in the Hana area to accompany them on the hike to the falls. These guides have extensive knowledge of the area and can provide valuable information on the history, culture, and ecology of the region.

When looking for a local guide, be sure to choose a licensed and experienced professional who is familiar with the area and has a good reputation for safety and reliability. You can find local guides through tour companies, online directories, or by asking at visitor centers or accommodations in the Hana area.

Another option is to join a group hike or tour that includes a visit to Puukaoku Falls. These group tours are usually organized by local tour operators or outdoor adventure companies and may include transportation, equipment rental, and a guided hike to the falls. These tours can be a great way to meet fellow travelers and experience the beauty of Puukaoku Falls with a knowledgeable guide.

Overall, while there are currently no official guided tours of Puukaoku Falls, visitors can still access the falls by hiking the trail and hiring a local guide for additional information and insight. With its stunning natural beauty and serene atmosphere, Puukaoku Falls is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Hana area of Maui.

Top Hikes & Activities at Puukaoku Falls

Puukaoku Falls is a great destination for hiking and other outdoor activities. Here are some of the top hikes and activities to enjoy at Puukaoku Falls:

  • Hiking: The hike to Puukaoku Falls is a moderate 2.5-mile round trip hike through the lush rainforest. Along the way, you’ll encounter stunning views, exotic plants, and wildlife.
  • Swimming: The pool at the base of Puukaoku Falls is perfect for a refreshing dip after a hot hike. The water can be chilly, but cool water is a great way to cool off and relax.
  • Birdwatching: The lush rainforest around Puukaoku Falls is home to a variety of native birds, including the Hawaiian honeycreeper and the Maui parrotbill.
  • Photography: With its crystal-clear water, lush greenery, and towering waterfall, Puukaoku Falls is a photographer’s dream. Bring your camera so you can capture the splendor of this natural wonder.
  • Picnicking: There are no facilities or services at Puukaoku Falls, but visitors are welcome to bring their own food and supplies for a picnic. There are many great spots to sit and enjoy the natural surroundings while having a meal.
  • Exploring the area: The Hana area of Maui is full of natural beauty and cultural attractions, including beaches, waterfalls, and traditional Hawaiian villages. Take some time to explore the surrounding area and discover all that Maui has to offer. 


Overall, Puukaoku Falls is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone looking to experience the beauty of Hawaii’s natural wonders. Whether you’re hiking, swimming, birdwatching, or just relaxing in nature, Puukaoku Falls is a must-see destination on your trip to Maui..

Visiting in Different Seasons

Visiting Puukaoku Falls in different seasons can offer unique experiences and perspectives on the natural beauty of the area. The following is a breakdown of what to anticipate during various seasons:

Winter (December – February): Winter is the rainy season in Hawaii, and the waterfalls in the area are usually at their fullest during this time. Puukaoku Falls is especially spectacular during the winter months, with a powerful flow and lush greenery surrounding the falls.

Spring (March – May): Spring is a great time to visit Puukaoku Falls, as the rain slows down and the temperatures start to warm up. The surrounding foliage also starts to bloom, creating a colorful and vibrant landscape

Summer (June – August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Hawaii, and Puukaoku Falls can be quite crowded during this time. However, the water is usually warmer, and the weather is generally sunny and warm, making it a great time to enjoy swimming and other water activities.

Fall (September – November): Fall is another great time to visit Puukaoku Falls, as the crowds thin out and the weather cools down. The fall foliage in the surrounding area is also stunning, with vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.

No matter what season you visit, be sure to bring appropriate clothing and gear for the conditions, including comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast and trail conditions before heading out to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Puukaoku Falls.

Protecting the Area & Respectful Practices

Puukaoku Falls and the surrounding area are a beautiful and fragile ecosystem that requires care and respect from visitors. Here are some ways to protect the area and practice respectful behavior while visiting:

     ⇒  Stay on designated trails: To minimize damage to the natural landscape, stay on designated trails and avoid creating new paths. This helps protect the delicate plants and wildlife in the area.

     ⇒  Respect wildlife: Wildlife should be kept at a safe distance, and you should not feed or disturb them. Keep in mind that you are a visitor in their natural setting.

    ⇒  Pack out what you pack in: Leave no trace by packing out all trash and garbage. This helps keep the area clean and protects wildlife from ingesting harmful items.

    ⇒  Use biodegradable or natural products: When using sunscreen, insect repellent, or other personal care products, choose biodegradable or natural options to minimize the impact on the environment.

    ⇒  Do not disturb cultural sites: The area around Puukaoku Falls is rich in Hawaiian culture and history. Respect cultural sites and artifacts by not touching or removing them.

    ⇒  Practice responsible camping: If camping in the area, follow Leave No Trace principles and camp in designated areas only.

By practicing respectful behavior and following responsible tourism practices, we can help protect the natural beauty of Puukaoku Falls and ensure that future generations can enjoy this unique and beautiful destination.


Puukaoku Falls is a breathtaking destination in Hawaii that offers visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a relaxing spot to swim and soak up the scenery, there is something for everyone at Puukaoku Falls. But it’s important to remember that this is a fragile ecosystem that requires our care and respect. By practicing responsible tourism and respecting the natural environment and cultural sites, we can help preserve the beauty of Puukaoku Falls for future generations to enjoy.




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