So if you’re looking to spend some time outside of Waikiki for a bit, a hike up the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail isn’t such a bad idea!
And if you’re on Oahu during whale season, this trail can be one of the best spots to try to catch a glimpse of a whale in the ocean, for free!
But even if you’re not in Hawaii during whale season, this coastal trail gets you amazing views from almost every part of the trail.
But this hiking trail isn’t exactly near Waikiki.
So can you get to the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail by bus?
Yes, it is possible to get to this part of Oahu by bus!
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How long does it take to get to Makapuu Lighthouse Trail from Waikiki by bus?
The bus from Waikiki to the bus stop closest to Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is a little less than an hour. Although this also depends on where in Waikiki you’ll be catching the bus.
If you type into Google Maps the destination of Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, don’t be immediately alarmed if it tells you it will take you 2 hours to 2.5 hours to reach! Zoom in to see where the actual final destination is on the map. If it tells you the trip is over 2 hours, it probably includes walking on a portion of the actual trail, and not just to the start of it.
Of course, 1 hour on a bus still may feel long to you. But at least it’s not 2 hours long!
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Bus directions from Waikiki to Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
The easiest way to get help navigating the Oahu bus system is Google Maps!
Oh, and also here to get started with taking the bus on Oahu. 😉
But once you’ve got the basics of taking the bus covered, for public transportation directions from Waikiki to Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, have a look here.
Even if you’re in the planning stage a few weeks before your trip to Hawaii, be sure to have the start time for the directions set for the morning or a time that you likely will be heading off to the trail. This will give you a better indication of the bus routes available. You should generally be able to find a single bus to get you there from Waikiki, without having to take any transfers.
And when you’re searching for the trail on the map, the lighthouse trail is not to be confused with the Makapuu Tom Tom Trail.
Which bus stop should you get off at?
There is no bus stop immediately nearby the start of the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail.
The bus directions will likely have you getting off at Sea Life Park. But you may also find it suggesting the bus stop by the Hawaii Kai golf course.
When coming from Waikiki, you’ll pass the entrance to the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail if you get off at the Sea Life Park bus stop. This bus stop is a few minutes closer when walking than the Hawaii Kai golf course. It’s also the more scenic walking route!
From either bus stop, you can expect the walk to the start of the trail to be 10-15 minutes.
The walking route going from the Sea Life Park bus stop to Makapuu Lighthouse Trail can be a little unsafe in spots.
As you can see in the picture above, there is a shoulder on the side of the road, but it’s not very wide. So be careful! Walk on the left side of the road so you can see the oncoming cars.
But otherwise, the walk to the start of the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail from the bus stop is a stunning coastal walk!
Is it worth it to go to the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail by bus?
With a bus trip of 1 hour, is it worth it when your only way to get around Oahu is by public transportation?
Well, what makes something worth it can be a really individual thing, but if in doubt, you can make it even more worth it by also doing the nearby Koko Head Hike!
If you do both the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and the Koko Head Hike, and there’s a good chance you will find yourself thinking you had a good day!
It does require some extra bus time. The bus ride itself between the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and Koko Head is 10-15 minutes, but depending on your timing, you could be waiting for a bus for 30-40 minutes.
But if you’re a fitness enthusiast and you love going up hills that offer you stunning ocean views, there’s a good chance you will love it!
There’s also the Makapuu Beach that you pass on your way to the trail from Sea Life Park that you can spend your time at. If you want to get in some more hiking near Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, there’s also the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline Trail that you can follow.
Hiking Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and Koko Head Trail
If you end up doing this Makapuu + Koko Head combo by bus, make sure you are prepared with plenty of food and water! (Or if you do any combination of activities that will keep you out all day!)
There’s not much in the way of places to eat on the road between Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and Koko Head. So it’s important that you bring along enough energy to keep you going for the whole day!
HAPPY MAKAPUU LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL PLANNING!
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- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see these travel sandals.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.
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Best things to pack for active travel- First-time snorkelers love full-face snorkeling masks.
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Don't get your valuables stolen when you travel- On city excursions: This neck pouch that tons of people love. It makes it harder for money to be stolen, and RFID-blocking feature stops thieves from scanning your credit card info when they are close to you.
- At the beach: This type of pouch that you can easily take your wallet in the water with you, instead of leaving on the beach.