Semi-secluded Donkey Beach (officially Paliku), just past Kapaa, is one of the few beaches on Kauai that requires a walk, hike or bike ride to visit. The easiest way to visit the beach is to take the Kapaa Bike Path from Kealia Beach (about 1.5 miles). There is also parking along Kuhio Highway with a path (the Paliku Beach Access Tree Tunnel) from the parking area. (The sloping paved path is covered with vegetation, giving it the appearance of a tree tunnel.)
Some oldtimers fondly remember the beach as clothing optional, but in recent years the Kapaa Bike Path has made the beach more accessible to visitors with laws being more strictly enforced.
Waters at the beach can be rough so it’s best not to go in the water unless you are an experienced swimmer. The beach is best for sunbathing, walks and beachcombing. Monk seals can sometimes be seen at the beach.
Donkey Beach got its name from mules that hauled sugar cane from a nearby plantation.
There are few visitors to the beach on most days. If you’re seeking a sunny, sandy slice of Kauai heaven without a lot of people, then Donkey Beach may be your answer.
Donkey Beach is on the windward side of the island. The beach’s proximity to the north shore means precipitation is a little more common than on the island’s south shore.
At the top of the Paliku Beach Access Tree Tunnel.