Makalawena Beach: Read Before You Travel

makalawena beach

If you are considering to travel Makalawena beach, then you should read this post carefully before you go.

One of the most naturally beautiful beaches on Hawaii’s Big Island is Makalawena Beach, which is breathtaking. Makalawena is a remote, quiet community tucked away along the Kohala coast. It is more satisfying because you can’t drive there.

You arrive at an idyllic setting of uncrowded, long powdery white sand beaches, coves, tide pools, and shade after traveling along a rough mile-long road and crossing lava for 20 minutes.

Read More: How To Avoid Jet Lag Flying To Hawaii: 8 Tips You Need To Know

About Makalawena Beach

Makalawena Beach is located on the North Kona side of the Big Island and is one of Hawaii’s most underrated beaches. We advise adding this treasure to your bucket list.

There aren’t many people there, especially when compared to other well-known beaches on Hawaii’s Big Island, but the scenery is stunning with palm trees dotting the shoreline and black lava rock sticking out of the water in some spots.

Makalawena is the spot if you’re looking for a place to unwind and enjoy the sunshine. This beach is made up of gorgeous white sand and pristine water. This area is home to many tropical fish and corals.

Due to the chance to see nature’s best-kept secrets, swimmers and divers appreciate this area. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling are a few more entertaining things to do at Makalawena Beach.

Nevertheless, some people might find it difficult to get to the beach. You must park at the close-by Kekaha Kai State Park and hike through the lava fields for about three-quarters of a mile. Including traversing compacted sand and lava rocks, the hike will last about 20 minutes.

If you take your time and bring lots of water, it should be doable. The trail ends at a secluded beach with pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Kekaha Kai State Park – Three Great Beaches

If you like to explore, Kekaha Kai State Park, which includes Makalawena Beach, is the park for you. The beaches of Mahaiula Beach to the south and Maniniowali Beach to the north are also part of this Kona coast state park.

The park is a trifecta of three idyllic beaches, the Pu’u Ku’ili cinder cone, a rich bird habitat, and a beautiful hiking trail along a 4.5-mile section of the Ala Kahakai National Historical Trail. Ala Kaha kai means “shoreline trail”.

Hundreds of historic Hawaiian settlement sites and more than 200 ahupua’a traditional land divisions are crossed by this 175-mile trail network that runs along the Big Island’s western coast.

Makalawena Beach Overview and Activities

Makalawena’s beach is a lovely and special day trip destination because it has some of the least populated beach stretches, palm tree-lined shores, and the largest sand dunes in the Kona district.

It’s hot here, north of Kailua-Kona, in this dry, arid desert environment. You should pack lightly because of the effort required to get to Makalawena, but you’ll also need to bring plenty of water, reef-safe sunscreen, snacks, and a good sun hat or, even better, an umbrella so that you can enjoy your day in the sun.

When the sea is calm, swimming at Makalawena Beach is fantastic, and the lava rock outcroppings that run along the numerous coves make for excellent snorkeling.

Puu Alii Bay, which includes Makalawena Beach, has an abundance of marine life. Here, it’s common to go bodyboarding, swimming, and snorkeling.

makalawena beach

If you plan to swim at Makalawena, be sure to check the water’s clarity and avoid the water if the surf is rough because there isn’t a lifeguard on duty there and the current can be strong.

The Opae’ula Pond, which is known as an important habitat for coastal birds, is located on the mauka (toward the mountain) side of the beach. Many opae’ula (red shrimp) can be found in the 12-acre freshwater pond, and they are a favorite food of the local avian residents like the endangered a’eo (Hawaiian stilt).

The black-crowned night heron (aukuu), which has a remarkable habitat for birds, only breeds in this location. You might also encounter wild goats that frequent the area ambling through the lava fields.

Directions and Access to Makalawena Beach

It’s possible to hike to Makalawena beach from either the north or the south:

  1. Trailhead #1: Leaving Kona International Airport and Kailua-Kona, take Highway 19 north. Just south of the paved route to Kua Bay, between mileposts 88 and 89, is where the dirt road to Makalawena Beach can be found. 2-wheel drive vehicles can park just off of the highway before the road begins to get rough. 4-wheel drive vehicles can continue for 1.6 miles of very rough road to a gate and small parking area just north of There are no services of any kind at either parking area, Makalawena Beach.
  2. Trailhead #2: Take Highway 19 north of Kailua-Kona and Kona International Airport. The route to Mahai’ula Bay can be found between miles 90 and 91. At the trailhead, there are restrooms and picnic tables. There is no water.

Read More:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.