A lovely and secluded east shore beach, Donkey Beach requires about a ten-minute walk from the parking lot to reach the water. The shoreline is rocky in areas with one very nice stretch of sand, and trees line the beach providing plenty of places to relax. While Donkey Beach is great for sunbathing and relaxing, it isn’t the best swimming or snorkeling beach because the waters on this windward beach are often quite rough. Sometimes the conditions are good for experienced bodyboarders and surfers but not suitable for beginners due to the remote location and unpredictable conditions.
Sunbathing, relaxing. Swimming and snorkeling are only good when the water is very calm. Bodyboarding and surfing are sometimes good but only for those who are experienced.
Donkey Beach got its name from the burros and donkeys used by sugarcane plantations to haul cane in the early days of Hawaii’s sugarcane era. Many of the donkeys were held in a nearby pasture.
Need to Know
Donkey Beach is subject to dangerous shore break waves as well as strong currents that often flow just offshore. The seafloor takes a sudden drop-off and so swimming and snorkeling are not recommended unless the water is perfectly calm. Always stay close to shore, and never go in the ocean during times of high surf or rough seas.
Donkey Beach is reached by driving north from Kapaa on Hwy. 56 and parking about .5 miles from Mile Marker 11 where there is a trail down to the beach.