Located within Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline, the Makapu’u Point Trail is among the most striking natural excursions visitors can embark upon while exploring Oahu. You’ll get phenomenal views of Oahu’s southeastern coastline, from Koko Head even to Moloka’i and Lana’i on a clear day.
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Go on a self-guided excursion and enjoy unparalleled views of the Makapu’u Point Light, a historic lighthouse that’s stood for over a century. It’s also a great opportunity to observe Hawaiian wildlife, from diverse seabirds to humpback whales in season (from November to May each year).
Your tour will provide transportation to and from your Honolulu/Waikiki hotel. There are two tour companies to choose from, both of which offer essentially the same tour: Kaimana Tours and Kealoha Tours.
What’s at the Makapu’u Lighthouse
The Makapu’u Point Trail offers many sightseeing opportunities for travelers. It’s a moderate, 2-mile hike (round-trip) that offers enough adventure to suit experienced hikers but not so much as to intimidate amateurs. Along the way you’ll enjoy sweeping sights of the coastline, as well as a great deal of Hawaiian wildlife. Keep an eye out for Hawaiian birds like the ‘iwa, frigate bird, and tropicbird. You may also see humpback whiles as they migrate, from November to May. There are two major attractions en route: the Halona Blow Hole and the Makapu’u Point Light.
Halona Blow Hole
A stop here is included only as part of the Kaimana Tours option, so that might be a deciding factor when choosing between tours for some travelers. The Halona Blow Hole is located off of Hanauma Bay at Halona Point. The unique convergence of rock formations, tides, and ocean breezes frequently cause the waters in this area to shoot up like a geyser, mimicking the spray of a whale’s blowhole. It’s a sight to see, and is definitely worth snapping several photos of. The Halona Blow Hole is at its best when the breezes are strong and the tide is high.
Makapu’u Point Light
This historic lighthouse actually boasts the biggest lens of any lighthouse in the entire US. Its hyper-radiant lens was designed over 100 years ago and exhibited at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago before it was utilized in the construction of the Makapu’u Point Light in 1909. This lighthouse today is the third tallest lighthouse in the entire United States, after only historic Point Loma and Cape Mendocino, both located in California. Makapu’u Point Light is still functional.
Tips for Visiting the Makapu’u Lighthouse
- This trail is moderately challenging and can be difficult for pregnant women or those who are less than of average physical fitness.
- Wear comfortable athletic shoes and comfortable clothing, as you will be active for quite a long time.
- Don’t forget to bring water! Regardless of the time of year you’re visiting, you’ll be exerting yourself enough to need hydration.
- You’ll also need to wear sunscreen, even on a cloudy day. You’re on exposed trail for the entire way and will get a lot of sun.
- If you want to see the Halona Blow Hole, you’ll have to opt for Kaimana Tours. Both tours cost about the same.