Freshwater Swimming Holes – Big Island, Hawaii

These freshwater swimming holes are found all along the lava fields on the Big Island of Hawaii. There are plenty of swimming holes but can be a little difficult to find/get to.

Some swimming holes are lava tubes that no flow freshwater in them. Others are huge cracks in the ground that have opened up and now carry freshwater at the bottom of them.

They can be VERY difficult to find because you would never expect such a beautiful and colorful place to be below a desolate and barren landscape like the lava fields. You can light up the cave with candles, glow sticks, flashlights, etc.

Freshwater Swimming HolesBy: emmettabroad

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How to get to the Freshwater Swimming Holes

First you have to ask a local or someone whos been there how to get there. There are many freshwater openings in the lava fields all around the southern parts of the island.

Some can be 10 minutes of hiking while another might be an hour to two.

Freshwater Swimming Holes

Freshwater Swimming Holes


There are no fees because all of the places are not part of any parks. Some of these places have warning signs and that threaten to fine any trespassers up to 10,000 dollars.

Make sure you don’t ruin any of the grounds or take or tamper with anything, and you should be fine.

What to do there

Explore, have fun, and enjoy the scenery. This is something that not much people know about, not even the locals.

There are no signs that direct you where to go and tourists have absolutely no idea that its there either.

What not to do

Never disrespect the land. We Hawaiians take it very seriously.

Don’t move any rocks or break anything. Don’t pee anywhere without apologizing-for you may have peed on something sacred or on a sacred burial place… you never know.

Freshwater Swimming Holes


Freshwater Swimming Holes

How much time do you need there

Since there are many places to find it would take a few days at least to check all of them out.

You should also do your research before going and make sure you know exactly where to go. Ask someone who has been there before.

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When is the best time to go

Hawaii has no seasons, so anytime throughout the year would be perfect. You should always go during the day so that you are not stuck there overnight.

Freshwater Swimming Holes


Where to stay

Airbnb is the best way to go. Punalu’u black sand beach on the big island of Hawaii has many condos and places and it is the clasest place to stay to get to the large cracks and pools.

Why should the freshwater swimming holes be on my bucket list?

What’s so awesome about this place is that its so amazing and hardly anyone knows that its there. Its also crystal clear fresh water so it is safe to drink and swim in.

Freshwater Swimming Holes

Freshwater Swimming Holes




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