Makalawena Beach, Hawaii: 4 Things You Need to Know

Photo by Eli Duke via Flickr - Guide to Makalawena Beach Trip
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Mar 24, 2020 12:00 PM

Hawaii is that kind of island that will make you feel like you’re in another world. We can bet that you will never want to leave once you arrive at this island. Hawaii spoils you many beaches with solitude, peace, and refreshing feeling.

While you're in Hawaii, make sure you spend your special day on Makalawena Beach. There’s not much urban development around the beach, so it just feels very natural. The fresh air, the cool breeze, the sound of crashing waves, you can find it all on this beach.

If you have a plan to visit this beach, it means that you’re challenging yourself to fall in love again and again. So, are you ready to fall in love with a place you’ve never been to? Go scroll down for 5 minutes and see if you find yourself packing clothes in a suitcase!

Makalawena Beach Directions

Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr - Route 19 to Makalawena Beach

Makalawena Beach has another name. That is Pu’u Ali’I Beach. This beach is located in Kona Coast State Park, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740. To get to Makalawena Beach, you can choose one of these two options. 

The first and the easiest one is to drive to Kekaha Kai Beach. From there,  walk north and go straight. Start on Highway 19 and then turn towards the ocean between mile markers 90 and 91. You will see a sign for Kekaha Kai State Park. After you’ve arrived at this point, you can just walk and follow the road towards the ocean for about 20 minutes to reach Makalawena Beach.

The second way is to drive all the way to Makalawena Beach through Highway 19, between mile markers 88 and 89. This road requires a real 4 wheel drive vehicle and driving skill that could handle uneven terrain. It would be a bumpy road ahead. After you arrive at a gate, get off of your car and walk for a few minutes towards the beach.

We recommend you to wear good and comfortable walking shoes because it’s going to be a hot walk on the way. So it's better if it’s a closed-toe shoes. That's all the two options of Makalawena Beach, how to get there. 

Makalawena Beach Snorkeling and Swimming

Photo by Live Zakynthos via Flickr - Snorkeling

Generally, swimming is safe as long as the water is calm. However, we do not recommend if you’re not used to swimming on a beach against its waves and tidal pushes and pulls. Besides, Makalawena Beach has limited swimming spots. 

Same goes with snorkeling. The sights underwater is unrivaled! But the waves can be pretty big. There will be no lifeguards on the beach, so choose the calmer area and be extra careful at the beach.

What you can enjoy in Makalawena Beach

Photo by Dan via Flickr - Green sea turtle

You can find a lot of things in this hidden gem of Hawaii. Even though it’s just a half mile long, Makalawena Beach has a few sections with each fun things to do. The southern part has the longest sandy shoreline and calmer waves.

Up to the north, you’ll find some bigger waves and freshwater pool. Usually, it is livelier than the southern part. However, this beach is regularly quiet since it requires effort to access.

You can also find some wildlife around the beach. Many green sea turtles are resting on the lava rocks and if you’re lucky, you can see a Hawaiian monk seal. 

There will be a lot of palm trees which you can sit under, protecting yourself from the sunlight. However, don’t forget to bring sunscreen and lunch, in case you will want to stay for a day at the beach. 

Facilities and rules

Photo by Karen via Flickr - Makalawena Beach

As we have mentioned before, Makalawena Beach is untouched – you can barely see urban development around the area. However, you can find some helpful facilities such as bathrooms. Picnic tables are also available at the beach, allowing its visitors to hang out with friends and family. 

We recommend you to bring a lot of water, since you’ll find no tap water or any kiosk that sells it on the way. As a part of Kekaha Kai State Park, Makalawena Beach has some rules for its visitors. Even though it’s a secluded area, you are not allowed to smoke, bring or drink alcohol, camping, or even make beach fires. 

The area is officially open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. You will see some people go nude at Makalawena Beach, but most of the visitors wear a bathing suit. 

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