Oh my Makalawena Beach!  This beach is the most spectacular on the island in my opinion, and the most difficult to access.  The most luscious, soft white sand squeezing between your toes, aquamarine waters and swaying palm trees.  Extaordinary.  This one has been a local secret for years although lately rumors have surfaced that a resort has decided to build in the area.

To get there one most drive down a road of lava so tumultuous that it can 1) Use 1/4 tank of gas to go the total 1 mile there and back, 2) can induce labor for a pregnant mother whose baby just won’t come, or 3) can test out those commercials whether your 4-wheel drive is as durable as they say.  It’s a doable but it’s a doozy.  ONLY 4-wheel drive if you want to have anything left of your car, and no rental cars.  They won’t come to pick you up WHEN you break down.  Add Makalawena Beachto that the entrance is unmarked and rather obscure.

Having said that there’s a back-door way in.  You can drive through Kekaha Kai State Park just south of Makalewena, park and walk about 1  past the beach and on a beaten path.  The path is level but mostly rough, shoe-eating a’a lava.  Preferred shoes are tennis shoes, Chacos or Teva’s.

Yes, this beach is tough to get to.  But ah…so worth it.

PS–This picture DOES NOT do justice to this beach.  Need a good aerial for that as this is a double-arched beach.




The best way to get there is to go to Kekaha Kai State Park.  Once you park your car, head to the beach on the north and keep walking past the red building.  You will find a trail that is about a 20 minute walk over rough lava.  You will know when you get to the beach by the gorgeous view and fine white sand.

The other way is by 4 wheel drive/walking road.  It’s such rough driving that locals joke that pregnant women whose babies are late should just drive a little ways down this “road.”  Ha!   

There is a small drive that is mostly obscure between mile 88 and 89 that is unmarked, save for a path over the lava.  You can go for a ways before a gate stops you and then you will still need to walk.  Just head to the shore.


Parking:  Nada.  Nope.  None.  Just a lava field.
Restrooms and showers:  Bushes and palm trees.
It’s rough, very rough.  Pack good shoes, Teva’s or Chaco’s




Lifeguards:  No
Waves:  Can be calm or strong

* If you get hurt, the only way out is the way you came in–walking.  Phone service is sketchy at best.
* Another safety issues is this beach is best enjoyed within a groups.  Sometimes this beach attracts colorful individuals (an on occasion those unique individuals don’t wear clothes).

Handicapped Accessibility

Not handicapped access at all.