Makalawena Beach

Explore Makalawena Beach’s unique blend of coral sands, lava rocks, and wildlife on Big Island, Hawaii. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and rich history.

Makalawena Beach is a Beach located in the city of Kailua-Kona on Big Island, Hawaii
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Things to Know About Makalawena Beach


  • Overview: Makalawena Beach, nestled in Kailua-Kona on Big Island, Hawaii, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of white coral and black lava sands. This secluded paradise is perfect for those seeking a tranquil escape from the more popular tourist spots.
  • Highlights: The dramatic landscape of Makalawena Beach, with its extensive sand dunes and striking lava rocks, sets it apart from other beaches on the Big Island. The nearby Opae’ula Pond is a significant shoreline bird sanctuary, offering a glimpse of Hawaii’s unique wildlife.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy swimming in the largest inlet where the ocean bottom is less rocky, snorkeling and scuba diving to explore the marine life, and occasionally surfing when the waves are favorable, especially during winter months.
  • Information: Makalawena Beach is accessible via a 20-minute hike on a rough lava trail or with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. There are no entrance fees or specific opening hours, but visiting during daylight hours is recommended for safety and optimal enjoyment.
  • History & Significance: The beach was once home to an ancient Hawaiian fishing village, which was destroyed by a tsunami in 1946. The Opae’ula Pond, an ancient Hawaiian fishpond, further adds to the historical and cultural significance of this site.
  • Tips & Insights: Before entering the water, always check the conditions as the surf can be rough at times. Also, remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks for the hike or drive to the beach, as there are no facilities available on site.

Getting to the Beach


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