Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
4.5

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles401 reviews
Excellent
314
Very good
64
Average
18
Poor
3
Terrible
2

chesterjibowitz
Spokane, WA292 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. 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, UT55 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 January 30, 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.

Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA9,550 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly G
Half Moon Bay, CA47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

trooper92
St. Gallen538 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KnB RTW
48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara É
11 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 August 30, 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.

kentgwashburn
Santa Cruz, CA71 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 December 7, 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.

Rochelle S
Leavenworth, WA5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This is an absolute gorgeous beach. My husband and I come to the big island every year and be sure to rent a high clearance Jeep or pick up truck to make the journey down the roughest road you’ve ever been in your life. We do it several times while we are here and know the road well. Every time we come down the road at least one vehicle has lost their oil pan along with other parts of the vehicle. You can tell by the scratches on the speed bumps alone the entire underside of their vehicle is scratched up. Many vehicles give up partway, which is a very long hike to the beach and back, so if you don’t want to have an expensive charge from the rental car company, think twice before attempting this beach especially because there are so many beautiful beaches on the island without the hassle, and that are also much more kid friendly if you have not prepared ahead and gotten the proper vehicle.
Written April 2, 2024
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, CO210 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 March 25, 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.

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Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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