Makalawena Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii
If you really want to get away from the crowds then pack a cooler, a couple of back packs and maybe a body board and make the epic but fun journey down to Makalawena Beach.
The access road to Makalawena Beach in Kona, Hawaii is almost impossible to drive down unless you have a huge truck with a very high clearance. For most visitors to this hidden paradise, it’s a nice long hike that is more than worth the effort. This beach is never crowded and has some of the whitest and softest sand of all the beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii. The water is crystal clear and there is plenty to see on the bottom. The shoreline is mostly sand with only a few rocks, so it is an ideal place to swim without worrying about sharp coral.
To get to Makalawena Beach, park at the Kekaha Kai State Park and head north to the first beach call Mahaiulas. Walk all the way across this white sandy beach to the north end and continue up a small rocky path. From here you will have to hike almost ½ a mile across very sharp lava rock so make sure you bring some comfortable shoes. The lava rock trail turns into a shaded and sandy trail that takes you all the way into Makalawena. There is a brackish water pond just a short distance up where you can take a rest and cool down before making your way to the beach. Once you arrive, you can take your pick on which area you want to relax at. This is one of the only beaches on the Kona coast where you can actually have the whole beach to yourself at times.
During the winter months, there is a very nice surf break at the north end of Mahaiulas. The reef can be shallow at times and very sharp in a few areas so it is only recommend for more experienced surfers. Please be respectful to the locals here and remember to pick up after yourselves as there are no trash cans or restrooms at this beach.