Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles400 reviews
Excellent
313
Very good
64
Average
18
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Kelly K
Ottawa, Canada23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples

I was hesitant to make the drive after reading reviews but we did it in an SUV. Drive between 3-7 mph and you'll be ok. It isn't stress free though but if you are a good driver it's ok. Don't do it in a lower clearance vehicle. It takes about 15-20 min from Hwy 19.

When you park take the trail to the right. The first 10 -15 min of the walk is easy. You'll cross in front of an old red building then the last 20 min isn't hard it is just tedious as you are walking over lava rocks. Wear running shoes no flip flops.

You'll get there when there is sand dunes on your right and ocean on the left.

Beautiful teal water and white sand. A must for beach lovers.
Written 21 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bruce R
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
The 1.5 mile drive from Highway 19 requires a 4 x 4 or a very tall vehicle. Not recommended for sedans. Lots of deep potholes and abrupt breaks in the road surface.

The walk to the beach along the lava is pretty easy. Maybe 1.25 mi each way.
Written 30 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2018CDN
Calgary, Canada73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
The beach is worth the hike! Nice sand, snorkeling, and away from the crowds. Beware of the access road, though. We did it in a car but are hesitant to do it again.
Written 11 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cyrena L
Arvada, CO115 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Gorgeous beach! Not crowded with nice sand. The snorkeling is not good but it’s a relaxing place to visit. Careful in the water, there are a lot of rocks to hurt your feet on. Also be prepared to drive a crazy lava road if you come from the south and hike in. We had a jeep and it wasn’t an issue but we say quite a few people in sedans struggling.
Written 25 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dave D
Anchorage, AK11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Couples
The absolute, hands down best stretches of sand on the Big Island. The best part is the drive in, which we rented a jeep because we did our research before going. The hike through the lava fields was equally amazing. There are three beaches accessible from the parking area. If you go left you encounter a small black sand beach which many don’t know about, we met one of the residents whom live at Billionaires beach and he was telling us all the secret spots. From Kekaha Kai start on the path on the right, you will pass three beaches along the way if it’s too hot or you’re not up to the 1.2 mile full hike. Perfect for seeing Monk seals and those seeking seclusion. It reminded us of the Abacos, Bahamas. We carry backpacks when we go to the beach, using beach umbrellas we bought at Target, the ones in the back of the store, not the crappy ones up front, in doing so, it allowed us to hang out all day until sunset everyday, and it was awesome! So in summary: rent a jeep, carry a backpack, and go to this stretch of beaches on the big island.
Written 20 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stan M
Calgary, Canada9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
Well worth the Hike!!
A STIFF soled shoe is a necessity. Do not try this hike in flip flops or Reef Walker Shoes.
Written 1 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kentgwashburn
Santa Cruz, CA72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
The lava road from the state highway to the parking area is best navigated in a 4wd, but we did fine (and very slow!) in rental 2wd. Trail to the beach seemed easy to follow &. walk even though a little uneven. The tough road access and +/- 1 mi. walk from parking area no doubt keeps the crowds away, but we were there on a lovely Dec. Wednesday and saw +/- 40-50 others spread out along the fine white sand. Plenty of privacy, no jerks observed!
Written 7 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara É
7 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
The beach itself is wonderful and amazing!
The reason why I gave 3 is the poor conditions and rules. The road is extremly bumpy, we did it with a normal car there were no problem, but I don't understand why there's no pawed road.
But the worst, and totally ridiclous is the beach! (it is a public zone) is closing (nothing is there to be closed) at 6.30 and there is a fence at the begining of the road that they close at 7pm, without any reason!!!! so you cannot see the sunset, which would be super from this place!
So the beach is totally worth, but there are some inexplicable thing which makes it worse :(
Written 30 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather E
Salt Lake City, UT47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Friends
Beautiful beach! Soft sand, great snorkeling, shade, and great whale watching. The drive in is a little rough. I made it in with a small compact car but it was touchy. I recommend a truck or suv but it can be done with smaller vehicle if you go slow & drive carefully
Written 30 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Denae D
Missoula, MT6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Couples
Great beach for light swimming. Water is a bit rough this time of year but nothing unmanageable. The hike out is about a mile and is more of a walk, would highly recommend wearing sneakers or some type of enclosed shoe. Yes, there is sand to walk through at certain points, but the lava rock and sandals can be very hazardous. It is well worth it to have close-toed shoes on.
Written 3 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MAKALAWENA/PU'U ALI'I: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i