Makalawena, Kona

Challenging hike leads to crystal blue waters

Makalawena is part of the Kekahakai State Park system, and it is possibly the most stunning beach on the west side of Hawaii Island. 

Turn down the extremely rough road leading to the coast from Hwy 19. 

Know that there are no services and also no water, so plan accordingly. Park anywhere you can find a space at the road’s end and begin the hike north. You will pass a long golden beach (Mahaiʻula) and traverse roughly 20 minutes of rough lava flow. 

When youʻve found the heaped white dunes you will be close to the sapphire waters of this celebrated double-crescent bay. 

The contrast of the bone-white sand, crystal blue water shading to violet, and the greenery behind the beach never fails to stun. 

The best reef hugs the many lava formations standing nearshore in the ocean. 

Be aware of currents.