Description: Puna means “spring of water” in Hawaiian and there are indeed tide pools along this district’s coastline where water bubbles up from the earth. Puna is a place of old Hawaiian values, rapid growth and expanding population . Much of the district is “jungled-in” by tropical rain forests and there can be interaction with lava flows. Puna is also the fastest growing district on the island due to the substantial amount of sub-divided lots that can be had at affordable prices. Many areas in Puna are “off the grid” and rely on catchment systems for their water supply. You won’t find anything resembling big city life in Puna, but for those with an adventurous spirit who crave a quiet life surrounded by natural beauty, the Puna district may be the perfect place to create a Hawaiian paradise.
Activities: Nature is what it’s all about in Puna. Agricultural tourism is becoming more of a draw with anthurium flower production being the strongest on the island. The premier park of the Hawaiian islands, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, lies mostly in the Puna district. The Kapoho Tide Pools are a favorite for locals and visitors alike and team with marine life. The old plantation town of Pahoa is the heart of the district and is filled with colorful characters who cherish their freedom and Puna’s frontier lifestyle. Outside of the few shops in Pahoa, most people drive into Hilo for their major shopping needs.
Heritage: Puna is the land where the battle between jungle and volcano continues, as well as the creation of land where the lava dives into the ocean. One of the oldest heiauʻs in all of Hawaiʻi still stands in Puna though the land around it is covered in lava flow. A wildness of spirit still exists in this district, and those who make Puna their home find satisfaction in living on the edge of civilization and enjoying the personal freedom that it brings to their lives.