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“Hey guys, I found heaven..” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i

Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
Off Highway 19 between mile marker 90 and 91, Hiking trail near Kona Coast State Park, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
8016730220
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Ranked #3 of 35 Attractions in Kailua-Kona
Type: Beaches, Outdoors
Attraction details
Austin, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Hey guys, I found heaven..”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Take the extra walk down to Makalawena.. but don't tell anyone else about it. The seclusion is the BEST part. Signs will guide you, sort of, keep an eye out. Over a few lava fields and BAM - there's the pearly gates.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

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English first
Banff, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“You will never want to leave....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

About as perfect as white sand beaches get. The hike in is straightforward and enough effort to keep many away- it felt like I had paradise to myself!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

This earth has very few beautiful spots that are human free. This beach is close to perfect for "getting away" while close to the airport and town....bring your solitude and forget everything. Our compact rental made it three times at about 25 minutes per run. you know what I'm talking about!
I hope this area remains as is....no more development!

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Top Contributor
214 reviews 214 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Not a private beach but felt like it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

It is far enough off the beaten path that few people show up. There were maybe 5 people on it when we got there on a Tuesday right after lunch. There is a short drive through the lava field but 4wd or higher clearance vehicles won't have any problem. Water is good for swimming but poor snorkeling or boogie boarding.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“An incredible beach worth the Hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

I read through a search engine about this beach that was not easy to get to but worth it once you got there. I can tell you that when on vacation I like to relax but am also up for an adventure. So we can easily drive to a beach, park and set camp anywhere but why not pack a light picnic lunch with some cold beverages and find that special place that is not easy but oh so worth it. We did with Makalawena on the Big Island of Hawaii located the way we went by exiting Hwy 19 between mile marker 90 and 91. Coming from Kona this is just north of the Kona Airport and a few minutes drive from Matsuyama Market where we picked up a small styrofoam cooler, some ahi poke fresh fruit ice and beverages. The drive into the state park is fun as we had a jeep and bounced our way through a lava field all the way to a parking area. There are 2 parking areas. The first one one you come to is adjacent to a gravel road that sits behind a row of trees that make up the back end of the state park beach. This is where you want to park and unload. The second parking area is right next to the beach and a beautiful beach it is, but you are not going there on this visit. You could but the ensuing hike becomes a little longer and tougher through the sand.
WEAR SNEAKERS for this hike! trust me on this. We did it with Reef Flip flops and it is not the right shoe for sure. Take the gravel road around and be on the lookout for some gorgeous jet black goats and rams that blend in with the lava field you are going through. It was cool to see and no threat to us. This trail will take you to the north end of the state park, once you enter the back beach area stay to your right and cross in front of the empty wooden house structures and follow a all narrow foot path around the rocks and down to the beach area. Climb back up a narrow path up of the beach and you will see a trail of crushed lava stone that is distinguished from the lava field but runs right through the heart of the lava. Here is where you will say hajj now I know why he wanted us to where sneakers. It is very uneven boulders, rocks, pebbles and ankle turning steps await each pace. Now compound this with me carrying a cooler on my shoulder the entire way. After nearly 15 minutes of walking through the lava field slightly up hill and not knowing when the walk would end we came to a vision o high Sand Dunes. Run for the dunes folks, you are almost there. We saw the dunes and made an immediate bee line left turn off the lava to the ocean only to climb the dune an see an entire field of lava all the way to the ocean. My wife's quote. " Frank, I am going to @"?! Kill you!!!!! My answer was @ it has to be here somewhere. We went back down the dune. Walked a little further north to the third big dune and low and behold came into vision an oasis of a beach that had just 8 people on it and was 6 football fields long with a crescent shape and rocks and boulders gleaming from the water with a beautiful body board style waves breaking on the beach and the most beautiful colors blue aqua and green waters we have ever seen. Just spectacular. The beach is steep so towel laying is good. Water entry is tricky with the rocks in some areas but excellent once you find your path. We loved it as we stayed for 3 hours had our lunch and our beverages. Took tons of photos and the hike out was much easier as we knew where we were going this time so the angst was not there. The walk was 25 minutes each way for two 53 year olds and carrying a cooler. Do it folks and tell me if you think it was worth it. We loved it and if you are up for an adventure. Give it a try. You won't be sorry. Oh and use the rest room at the state park before you walk. No rest rooms or life guards are at Makalawena. Enjoy!!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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