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“Absolutely gorgeous beach”

Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
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Reef and Dolphin Snorkel Eco Adventure
Ranked #14 of 129 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
South Jordan, Utah
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Absolutely gorgeous beach”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

We walked to this beach from Kekaha Kai Beach Park. We parked just off the "road" and walked across a lava path until we got to the first beach. Then walked through the sand past the Magoon house, tripped through an a'a lava field, slogged through more sand...and found paradise.

There were a couple of spray painted notices on the lava stating that it was a nude beach (everyone we saw had bathing suits). There were also several official looking posted signs that stated it was a private beach owned by Kamehameha schools though no one seemed to pay any attention to them.

We must be slow, because it took us 40 minutes to reach the beach, which was about twice as long as we had heard. We were extra careful on the lava (we were certain that if we fell, the resulting injury would require stitches), but we passed other people, so I know we weren't the slowest. Our group ranged in age from 10 to 40.

There were very few people on the beach and plenty of room for everyone. The surf was high the day we were there and it wasn't good for swimming, but great for body surfing. The sand was soft and fine. There were a few large rock formations, but nothing that impeded beach play. The sand near the dunes on the way into the beach had some thorns and burrs, but they didn't make it on to the beach. Towards the north end, there were a few people with vehicles parked, so I'm sure there's another way in, but most everyone walked in from Kekaha Kai beach. There was shade and even picnic tables on the north end. There are not any bathrooms, and no drinking water available, be prepared to take whatever you will need.

Most of the other people left in early afternoon and we had the beach to ourselves for at least an hour. Walking back sandy, damp, and salty wasn't fun, but we would go back to the beach again. Be sure to leave the beach before sunset, you don't want to have to find your way across that a'a lava in the dark. Wear good sandals or shoes. We had hiking sandals with toe protection, and we were glad.

Visited December 2013
5 Thank Hansonfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
102 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Best Beach in Kona”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We thought this was the best beach in Kona. It took us awhile to find it, as we ended up at Manini'owali Beach (Kua Bay) the first time we tried to go (but that was good too). Definitely have to use the mile markers to find it, between 90 and 91. That made it easy to find. But then after we walked to the beach next to the parking area, we realized that wasn't the beach! So we hiked further north to find the beach. If you can see some abandoned houses next to the beach, then you aren't at the right one. Hike past those to the north and you'll see the path. The cell phone with google maps here was really helpful as all of the beaches were marked and our location was very accurate, so if you have a phone and you are unsure, that could help you out too.

The snorkeling here was great. We saw mutliple turtles. It wasn't very crowed (we went on a weekday) and I would definitely recommend wearing shoes. One in our party broke a flip flop and that caused a minor injury on the way back. We spent about 2 hours on the beach, but should've spent more.

Visited December 2013
5 Thank Jlengel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
87 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
Reviewed November 29, 2013 via mobile

You take an unpaved road and then hike for about 20 minutes to Makalawena beach. The hike is easy but the path is full of roads, do wear sneakers or sandals. The beach is pretty but the waves were strong for swimming or snorkeling. Most reviews say this is a secluded beach but the place was full of families spending the day. Maybe it was because it Friday after thanksgiving, but I was surprised to see that many people on the beach. There were some tents and some cars parked, so I guess there might be another path to the beach.
If you're looking for a secluded place this is not the place to go.

Visited November 2013
3 Thank LorenaFortuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Best Beach in Kona- If you can get there”
Reviewed November 20, 2013

Hands down this is the most beautiful beach on the whole western side of the island. Soft white sand, crystal clear water, and hardly any people make the hardship of getting there absolutely worth it. There is an off road kind of trail, but we found it treacherous even with our Wrangler...lots of places to bottom out. The best way to get there is to park down at state park beach and walk north on the gravel. Travel past the red building and out into the lava field. After about 20 minutes you'll finally come across some greenery, you might even see some goats lingering about, and you know you've made it. Set up your towels and a picnic and enjoy the aloha lifestyle.

Visited August 2013
6 Thank LostinHI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not crowded”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

There were quite a few people on the beach but it wasn't crowded. Made a great first time snorkel area for my husband!

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Irish_clover14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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