Learn About The Puna District on The Big Island of Hawaii

Here’s a little history of The Puna District and Pahoa Town. Read about the lava flow, community, locations, and more!

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“Kaimu Beach Park, Pahoa (504163)” by Bob Linsdell is licensed.

Recent History of The Puna District

On May 3rd, 2018, lava activity that lasted a little over three months created 875 acres of brand new land off the shores of The Big Island of Hawaii. Sadly, however, 13 miles of the land already being lived on was entirely covered. Today, the aftermath of the natural disaster can be seen across the region. Many homes were destroyed in The Puna District because of the 2018 LERZ Eruption.

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“Big Island of Hawaii, Puna lava flow [Image 7 of 16]” by DVIDSHUB is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Kīlauea Volcano is one of the most active volcanos on the planet and has erupted into The Puna District numerous times. This makes Puna a very risky place to live. The entire population has practically everything to lose. Yet, because the area is such a gorgeous place — the risk is worth it.

The Town of Pahoa In Puna

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“Pahoa Hawaii~ annual Holiday parade” by eye of einstein is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Within The Puna District is a town called Pahoa. It is known as the “Big Island’s [H]ippy [C]apital” where many free-spirited and unconventional people live (2). Further, it is the region with the largest population of old Hawaii buildings. The area is filled with colorful houses and business structures reflecting the inner state of a hippy.

In Downtown Pahoa, there is a “Wild Wild West” atmosphere. Business buildings on either side of the main road face each other. Moreover, the radiant establishments and the general vibe of the region make it a neat place to visit. There are a collection of cool businesses such as art galleries, craft shops, a variety of tasty restaurants, and more.

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“Anthurium sp.” by Tatters ✾ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Today, agriculture in Puna includes many anthurium cultivation sites whereas in the past the main products were timber and sugarcane. Given the colorfulness of the flower, it is understandable why there are so many nurseries in the town. Papayas are also grown in abundance too.

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“Anthurium.” by Bernard Spragg is licensed under CC0 1.0

Places to Go In Puna

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“Kapoho Kai St, Pahoa (503747)” by Bob Linsdell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Puna region is one of the most beautiful areas on The Big Island of Hawaii. There are black sand beaches, hot springs, as well as Lava Tree State Park. All of these locations speak for the wonder of the natural landscape. Besides the coastline and rainforests, the farmer’s markets are also lovely places to visit.

There are many farmer’s markets in The Puna District. A few of them include Maku’u, Rufus Poets Corner, and Kinoole Farmers Markets. These marketplaces provide fresh local and seasonal produce and delicious handmade foods. They also have locally made arts and crafts as well as community connections too.

Overall, Puna offers beautiful beaches, forests, and community attractions. Since the lava has repeatedly flowed into the region, the locals call the place “Pele’s [W]orkshop” (3). It is believed that the Volcano Goddess, Pele, continually recreates the land. Over time, the shores, the trees, and the buildings will change with each volcanic eruption. The magic of the island’s volcanoes is truly seen over time.

Getting Around Puna

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As with most areas on the island, it’s ideal to have a personal vehicle to go where you want to go and when you want to go. Luckily, a local auto car rental company provides great deals for locals and visitors alike. Car In Hawaii offers local-style vehicles at the same rate for anyone in the world.

If you are planning to visit The Puna District or stay in the area, check out Car In Hawaii for their car rental bookings. They have the most affordable best price guarantee on the island, so you’ll be sure to get a good deal. If you find a better price, they’ll beat it with a discount on top of it.

In the end, if you’re staying in Puna, remember to enjoy the colorful community and nature. Allow the energy from the volcanos, beaches, and forests to heal and inspire you. Take in the beautiful Aloha and enjoy your time on The Big Island of Hawaii in Puna.


  1. https://www.lovebigisland.cgom/puna/

  2. https://www.to-hawaii.com/big-island/cities/pahoa.php

  3. https://www.gohawaii.com/islands/hawaii-big-island/regions/puna

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