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“Great beach, but a bit of a walk.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i

Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i
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$144.66*
and up
Reef and Dolphin Snorkel Eco Adventure
Ranked #14 of 128 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great beach, but a bit of a walk.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2014

You have a chance to have a beach nearly to yourself, but at a cost. Quite a long walk over rugged terrain and no facilities.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Ramlose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 reviews from our community

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Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
148 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Very good but you should know….”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2014

We visited "Maks" twice in one week and once was probably enough. The 30-40 yards of actual beach is very, very beautiful and the stuff you find on postcards with soft light coloured sand (not really white but still amazing) and incredible turquoise water. Just be aware that there really isn't much beach available for traditional sunbathing and body surfing and the coastline is almost completely volcanic so there is only about 30-40 yards of actual beach which will have you questioning whether or not it was worth it when all is said and done. This means on a busy day you could be sharing this small portion of beach with at least a dozen other people including the occasional nude bather. After you exit off the highway and take the slow meandering road (we were following 2WD vehicles down) to the parking lot, the 30 minute walk across the rough lava rocks requires shoes and not sandals although a sport sandal might work however we wore our running shoes and were so thankful we did. There are no services whatsoever at the beach. We found out you can also drive directly down to the beach so on our second visit we did something really stupid and took our 4WD vehicle down the horrible "road" which took us 30 minutes, one way, of white knuckle driving down a bunch of giant rocks and lava to arrive at a parking area and then we still had to walk 20 minutes to the actual beach. The entrance off the highway to drive to the beach is about 200m south from Manini'o'wali beach onto a dirt road with no signage. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS DRIVE ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN A 2WD OR AWD VEHICLE BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT MAKE IT. We routinely scraped the skid plates under our Jeep during our drive and while it was kind of an adventure it wasn't much fun and we actually enjoy off-roading where we live. My suggestion is to follow the normal route to get there which will require the 30 minute walk across the lava rocks but just remember to pack your sneakers and you will be fine.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank BRUCE W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duluth, MN
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Most Beautiful Beach”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2014

This beach is, hands-down, the most beautiful place that I have ever visited.

A small portion of the excitement is based on the long journey you have to make to get there. Try to find a trick, because I certainly did not find one. I parked WAY WAY out by the highway (to the southeast of the beach), thinking that I could not drive over the bumpy road at all. In retrospect, I should have gone further before parking. Unless they have changed things, there are two or three parking lots along the way, each an indicator that the road ahead is getting even worse. When you get close to the coast, you turn right along a path that leads north. From there, you follow a trail to a VERY BEAUTIFUL beach with a weird abandoned house next to it. That's not the beach. Pick up the trail at the north side of this beach again and follow it through the lava rocks (I hope that I don't get anyone killed) and eventually you get to the actual beach. There may be another way to access the beach from the north or northeast which is easier.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Luke D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best beach on the island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2014

It's quite a trek to get there, you feel bad for driving your car over the unpaved lava rock road. Then you still have to hike about 20 min to get there...it's so worth it! The sand is fine and white and during the week you'll find hardly anyone else out there.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank enatali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC, CA
Level Contributor
44 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Spectacular Beach”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

After about 10 trips to Hawaii on three islands I will confidently say this is the most picturesque beach, and getting there makes it all part of the adventure. We rented a jeep on this trip expressly to drive the road to this beach. The road seemed to be in a bit better shape since we were here three years ago. No problem for the jeep and last time we made it in a sedan but very nervously. Head down the path on the right and keep going past the first beach you come to for a stretch of a laval path till you get to heaven. As others have said, the walk in is longer than you think. Best to wear runners as the last part of the walk is lava. About 30 mins walk. But all worth it.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank AandB1015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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