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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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
391 reviews
Excellent
305
Very good
64
Average
17
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Denae D
Missoula, MT6 contributions
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 January 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tim L
Portland, OR9 contributions
Feb 2021 • 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 February 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Need more vacations
16 contributions
Oct 2021
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 November 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Heather E
Salt Lake City, UT39 contributions
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 January 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chesterjibowitz
Spokane, WA217 contributions
Jan 2021
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 July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA8,486 contributions
Mar 2020 • 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 March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kelly G
Half Moon Bay, CA48 contributions
Feb 2020
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 February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

trooper92
St. Gallen551 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
Wonderful calm beach with golden sand and large snorkeling on both sides. Shady trees, a toilet, wildlife includes turtles and I even saw a big monk seal today. But beware - you have either walk 1.5 miles over the lava field of use the access road to the Mahai‘ula Beach which will do horrible things to your car.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KnB RTW
45 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
The drive down would be best in a 4x4 but 2wd can manage. From the car park the walk takes about 30minutes. It's an easy but hot walk through lava.
The beach is just beautiful and worth the walk.
I did not see any toilets there or anywhere to buy refreshments which to me is just perfect.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Caitlin B
Santa Barbara, CA55 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
It’s a bit of a rocky drive down to the beach. The worst part might be the speed bumps. It’s okay if you go slow and your car isn’t too low to the ground. Had a lovely time here. They have bathrooms, bbqs, and shaded picnic tables. Easy to spend the day here comfortably. Not too many people, not a lot of safe places to swim.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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