Makapu’u Beach on Oahu, Hawaii:
Makapu’u Beach is located on the southern tip of east Oahu. Makapu’u Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii and extremely popular among photographers. It’s famously known for the lighthouse visible from the parking lot on the edge of a cliff lighting up Oahu’s south-east ocean at night.
It’s a smaller beach compared to its neighbor Waimanalo, however it has a mystical beauty with steep cliffs pultruding into the many shades of vibrant blue waters as it’s sandy ocean floor gradually depths deeper and deeper into the pacific.
Driving along the highway headed east around the southern tip of Oahu, Makapu’u Lookout is a perfect opportunity to grab that photo of the beautiful beach and the surrounding lava rock cliffs.
Things to do:
There are amazing views of the lighthouse from the parking lot of the beach. I always take visiting family or friends here for a photo shoot. Makapu’u Beach Park is a great spot to stop and have a picnic on one of the benches shaded by trees overlooking the beautiful views of lava rock cliffs and ocean blue waters. I highly recommend stopping here and soaking in the sun while grabbing some amazing photos.
Makapu’u Beach is a top spot for locals for body surfing and body boarding (boogie boarding). It’s a great place to take a dip when the waves are small, however, the ocean frequently changes from calm to powerful waves and riptides. You should only enter the water when a lifeguard is on duty and the waves are calm. Locals make it look easy to play in the waves but if you’re not an experienced ocean swimmer, check with the lifeguard on the conditions and riptides before entering. It’s also a great beach to just soak in the sun and relax.
This is on the top of the list of places to visit while you’re on Oahu, and I highly recommend visiting the beach and lighthouse trail. Because of its location on the windward side of the island, the steep backdrop of cliffs lifts the winds up making it a perfect spot for paragliders. It’s very common to see paragliders flying directly above the beach and is a spectacle to watch.
What’s near By Makapu’u Beach:
If you’re looking for calmer waters to boogie board or are with young ones, you can head up the road just a mile to Waimanalo Beach Park.
You can also get amazing views of the lighthouse by hiking the popular Makapu’u Lighthouse trail. The trail entrance is located just before the Makapu’u lookout and the parking lot to the trail is hard to miss.
Where to Park at Makapu’u:
There is parking at Makapu’u Beach which is easy to find. Just turn down the road right by the bathrooms which are visible from Kalanianaole Hwy. Click the map button to get directions form google maps.
Best Times To Go:
Makapu’u Beach is located on the windward side so it’s good to check the weather and wind speeds. It usually offers great weather year around because of its dry climate, but if it’s going to be a windy day the shore waves become very choppy and isn’t ideal for swimming but always a spectacular view.