Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Papakolea Green Sand Beach - Truly A Once In A Lifetime Experience
Lets start with how exactly to visit this unique destination. The journey it takes to get there is a very fun and interesting experience to say the least. It is located near South Point in the Ka'u district and is truly off the beaten path. The only way to access it is to hire a local for $20 to drive you, unless you want to hike 3 miles (1 hour) on foot. A few groups are packed into the bed of each off road vehicle where you can sit or stand while bracing yourself for some rugged off-roading.
The adventure doesn't stop there. Upon arrival, you are looking at a steep drop-off that you have to scale down reach the water. My amazing 83 year old grandmother Barbara made it so if she can, you can too! Look at the images below and tell me it isn't worth every step!
Once you reach the bottom, you're greeted with warm crystal blue and turquoise water along with super fun rolling mid-sized waves to enjoy. There is no shade so make sure to bring sunscreen or a hat and plenty of water and food for the day.
This beach is one of only four in the world that has green sand. This is due to olivine sand eroded out of the enclosing volcanic cove for the geology lovers out there. The beach is a half bay cinder cone belonging to the Mauna Loa Volcano. It is made up of Pu'u Mahana, a tuff ring (volcanic ash produced by violent interactions of magma with groundwater) and was formed over 49,000 years ago!
Photo Credit - Frimbits.com
This was easily one of my top favorite beaches in the world and I've explored beaches in Thailand, Costa Rica, Florida, Aruba, Laguna Beach and rest of the California coast.