Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i

Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i, Kailua-Kona: Address, Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i Reviews: 4.5/5

Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
4.5
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4.5
391 reviews
Excellent
305
Very good
64
Average
17
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Heather E
Salt Lake City, UT43 contributions
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.

Denae D
Missoula, MT6 contributions
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.

Need more vacations
16 contributions
Not the easiest beach to get to but well worth the effort. Driving to the parking lot is a beast in itself, very few paved sections once you get off the highway.....basically driving over pitted out old lava fields. Not sure how some of the vehicles parked down there made it without damage. We were driving a Yukon and I still felt like I was going to break something. Once you park, the beach is about a mile long trek. It goes behind some trees and comes out at the first beach and a red building. If you are lucky, there may be some Hawaiian monk seals resting on the beach or playing around in the water. We were fortunate enough to see 5 or 6 around the area, two of which were wrestling/playing in the water. Once past that beach, it is a hike across a rocky lava field. It is flat and looks smooth, but flip flops definitely were not the best choice of walking shoe that day. In the end, the hike to the beach was well worth it. It is a large beach and kind of broken in half with a rock structure. There were some people down in the further half, but for a good half an hour, the four of us had the first half of the beach all to ourselves. The water is crystal clear and the white sand is extremely soft. There are some rocks out into the water, not a lot, but be careful when walking/swimming around. The undertow pushed me down and I nailed my shin on one of them. Outside of that, I would absolutely go back to this secluded beach again.
Written 11 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HardyDanger d
8 contributions
So the beach is great, but the road there is a killer.
You don't need a 4x4, but high clearance is a must, and or be a good technical driver. know how to drive on terrain, where the low points on your car are and how to approach and depart obstacles....most humans can't navigate a road with pot holes or when it is raining. The road hear will explain to you what a bad driver you actually are.

Then there's the goats. The walk to the beach is about 35 mins at a leisurely pace. It you are traveling with kids (the baby goat variety, not the human kind) this might take you an hour. We encountered some kids and their angry momma goat - who was doing her best Gandalf "thou shall not pass" impression and held us up on the a'a lava for 20 mins.

then when you get here....there WILL be people there. we were on the beach at 830 am. There was one zodiac in the bay that had vomited 14 people on the beach already. Then more walkers showed up. plus other that got there on the real 4x4 trail.

yes,. the beach is wonderful and out there...we enjoyed the trek to get here, but it's not a hidden gem any more...that's all.
Written 18 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

chesterjibowitz
Spokane, WA217 contributions
After reading the Dec 29, 2018 post by nodoor, I’m guessing (based on distance/time they mention) they used the north road to access this beach. The south road is better, but you still need to know what you’re getting into. Using the south route, expect it to take about 20 min (one way) to cover the 1 mile from the highway to the parking lot. We made it there in a small sedan, but I would not try it again without a vehicle with more clearance. Once you’re there, you will walk past a small beach (interesting story of an old home built there many years ago) and through a lava field for about one mile. You’ll be on lava rock, so good shoes will make the walk more pleasant than sandals or slippers. The beach itself has several different sections, so don’t just stop at the first one. If you want shade, there are multiple spots where you can find it. If you like to snorkel, bring your gear!
Written 27 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BdMorons
Wisconsin178 contributions
Beautiful area and a favorite of locals. Although remote still has bathroom facilities. A lot has been said about the road which I think is good as it detours some visitors. We made it fine - it's a rental car, right?
Written 19 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tim L
Portland, OR9 contributions
Family
We went on a Sunday and there was a decent number of people, but not over run. Many of the people were not tourists & clearly visit frequently given their day camp set ups.

We rented a Jeep Wrangler and went down the 4WD road. I would not recommend doing this unless you really want an adventure and/or you have some experience driving a serious rocky road.

We made it fine, and at the time of this review was totally doable, but it wasn’t without a few serious considerations about if this was a huge mistake.

The beach is terrific, the kids had a great time — but unless you enjoy a true 4WD experience I would not recommend going that route.
Written 22 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

takemeaway23
Texas346 contributions
I went here on a Friday and when I left at 2:00pm, I stopped counting when I hit 100 people. I thought I read that there are hardly any people that come here. Well not on Friday’s. It was still a nice day! It takes about 15mins to drive down to Mahailua beach, and then you walk to Makalawena beach. You don’t have to walk along the water. I did this going there, which is beautiful, but coming back I took the trail and it was much faster. It’s about a 30min walk to Makalawena beach. I hit it lucky, too, saw a monk seal and a turtle, resting on the beach!
Written 30 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA8,491 contributions
Solo
Be prepared for a hike over the lava flows to reach this beautiful beach. The drive is very bumpy so drive very slow. The hike keeps the crowds way, beautiful sand,swimming is safe as long as the water is calm. Make sure to pack your picnic basket with necessities.
Written 8 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly G
Half Moon Bay, CA48 contributions
Can't believe we didn't make it out here until our very last day! Had we only known! The road is really rough, and takes 20 minutes or so from the highway, so pack a full picnic lunch. There are bathrooms and picnic tables and parking, clearly also a popular spot, as we saw a lot of people braving the road coming in as we were headed out mid-morning to catch our plane. We will definitely plan a day here if/when we return to Kona.
Written 24 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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