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Makua Beach: You Won’t Forget This Place

Makua Beach stands out as one of Oahu’s most breathtaking gems, offering a spectacular blend of incredible activities, encounters with splendid aquatic creatures, and occasional big waves!

Makua Beach, also known as Tunnels Beach, is a popular name on the north coast of Oahu. This coastal retreat is tagged as one of the premier snorkeling destinations on the island.

Yes! There are some off-limits areas for snorkeling, but the fringing reef along the beach still provides opportunities to witness vibrant marine life.

Want to learn more about this beach? Keep reading, and I’m sure you’ll book your tickets without thinking twice!

Note: I’ve used the terms interchangeably throughout my writing since Makua Beach is also known as Tunnels Beach.

Where Is Makua Beach?

 Makua Beach

Before we talk about what there is to see on the beach and why it is so famous, you should first know where it is located to make your trip convenient.

Makua Beach is a secluded beach located on the extreme west side of Oahu. It is the second last beach on that side, and if you’ve dropped by in Honolulu, it’ll take about 1.5 hours to reach here when driving.

To find the exact location, you can just type the starting point and the destination’s name. You’ll find it just before the Yokohama beach, the last beach on that side of the stretch.

Does Makua Beach Hold Cultural Significance?

While not many people like to know the history of a place, I can’t help but share the cultural importance of this place.

Starting with the name “Makua.” The name means “parent” in the Hawaiian language, and respecting this beach becomes even more important due to the local’s beliefs connected to the area.

Makua Valley is meaningful for Hawaiians; they think it’s where humans were first created. It goes from the beach to the mountains and is considered where spirits go to the afterworld.

This area is really important to the Hawaiian Community because of its cultural value. For them, it’s not just a beautiful beach but even more than that! So when you’re here, try to be thoughtful about your behavior—clean up and show respect to others and the community.

While it may be impossible to clean the beach alone, I suggest you pick up your trash and leave this beautiful place in an even better condition.

Something You Should Know Before Visiting The Beach

Visiting The Beach

If you plan to visit Tunnels during the winter season for swimming purposes, I suggest you drop your plan! Don’t get me wrong, but swimming here is seriously too dangerous due to the large waves that hit the shore.

If you’re looking for a great spot on the beach, don’t wait until the last minute. It’s a good idea to get there early to secure a spot.

With a short walk, you can park at Ha’ena State Beach Park just past “Tunnels” or in the parking area on Alealea St. near mile marker 8. Keep in mind that it’s about a half-mile walk to Tunnels Beach if you park in the Alealea St. area.

If walking isn’t your preference, you can find parking along the road at Tunnel’s Beach Park. Also, there are no bus options to reach this area, so having a rented vehicle is a good idea for easy access.

Amenities At Tunnels Beach

Like the other beaches in Oahu, don’t expect to have any facilities here. The beach is situated in a remote place, so there are no tall buildings, washrooms, or dining options. This beach has trash cans, though. So, if you’re bringing food with you, remember to throw all the garbage in the trash cans.

What To Do Here?

Now, let’s delve into the main purpose of this entire piece. What can you do at Tunnels Beach? Though the beach has a wild vibe, you can still do lots here!


What I loved doing the most on this beach was camping. The experience is nothing short of an incredible feel with spectacular views all around. It also turned out that overnight camping is a common activity on its sandy shores.

You can find small camp spots nestled among the bushes. During weekends, the beach often sees groups enjoying small fires, the atmosphere, and the stars. Both the sunset and sunrise are breathtaking, especially the sunset, as the coastline faces west.


If you plan for a camping night, make sure you respect the place. Because if you don’t go by the rules, camping here will be restricted for others. So, pack out everything you bring and act responsibly to ensure the continued enjoyment of this camping opportunity.

Watching Sunset

If camping isn’t an option, I recommend you take the time for an incredible sunset view. The drive may be a little long while returning to your hotel, but trust me, it will all be worth every mile you’ve ridden.

Watching Sunset

As you face the horizon, the sun sets directly in front of you, casting an enchanting orange glow on the limestone cliffs of Makua Valley.

It’s a truly magical place, perfect for enjoying a picnic lunch and a couple of drinks as the sun goes down.

Engage In Water Activities

Although the waves here can go high, you can find a safe spot for water activities. The water is extremely clear, and you can easily see the aquatic creatures swimming.

While snorkeling, you can explore the underwater wonders at Tunnels Beach, such as the tropical fish, coral reef and sea turtles.

Engage In Water Activities

Makua Beach provides a perfect launch spot for kayaking. Guided tours are also available to explore the hidden caves on the beach.

You can engage in a scuba diving session and swim alongside the amazing creatures, ensuring a fantastic diving experience.


Where is Tunnels Beach?

Makua Beach, also known as Tunnels Beach, is situated on the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii, USA.

Are there food and drink options near Makua Beach?

You might get limited food options here, but bringing your own snacks and drinks is a good idea.

What’s the best time to visit Tunnels Beach?

You can visit the beach during the drier months, from May to September. However, I recommend checking the local forecast before planning your visit.

Enjoy Nature In Peace

Makua Beach is a beautiful place that leaves unforgettable memories in the hearts of those lucky enough to visit. Going here is not just a trip; it’s a magical experience that leaves a lasting impression, ensuring people will treasure and remember this place.


  • Elizabeth L

    Aloha! I’m Elizabeth L. At LiveYourAloha, I am responsible for writing about sightseeing tours and Hawaiian culture. For the last 12 years, I’ve been working as a tour guide in Hawaii. It’s been a great way to see the world and learn about new cultures. I love nature and the outdoors, and have even climbed two of the world’s highest peaks! Making connections and showing my visitors the incredible beauty of these beautiful islands is a passion of mine. When I’m not out giving tours, you’ll likely find me on an invigorating hike or enjoying local cuisine on the beach.