1.820.3345.33 Contact@TravelTourWP.com

Login

Sign Up

After creating an account, you'll be able to track your payment status, track the confirmation and you can also rate the tour after you finished the tour.
Username*
Password*
Confirm Password*
First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Phone*
Country*
* Creating an account means you're okay with our Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.
Please agree to all the terms and conditions before proceeding to the next step

Already a member?

Login
1.820.3345.33 Contact@TravelTourWP.com

Login

Sign Up

After creating an account, you'll be able to track your payment status, track the confirmation and you can also rate the tour after you finished the tour.
Username*
Password*
Confirm Password*
First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Phone*
Country*
* Creating an account means you're okay with our Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.
Please agree to all the terms and conditions before proceeding to the next step

Already a member?

Login
Blog Home

Discover The Colorful Sands of Big Island with Shaka Guide

The Big Island of Hawaii is a hot spot of terrain diversity. Expect a range from snow-capped mountain tops, to miles of dramatic rock cliffs spewing hot lava. There are also jungles so thick you can’t even walk through it and desert land scattered with white coral. It’s no wonder that you can find a plethora of different colored sands of Big Island! Hues of the typical yellow and white sand are not the norm here. The largest beaches are actually filled with black sand! And to take it even a step further, you can even find green sand. Learn a little about the unique colors of the sands on the Big Island. Check out our guide and know where to go to see them for yourself!

Sand collected in Waipio Valley
Sand collected in Waipio Valley. Look for crystal clear, olivine, red, yellow, and black sand grains

Black Sands of Big Island

You can find the richest hues of black sand at Punalu’u beach towards the southern tip of the island. The black sands of Big Island is made from hot magma hitting the cool ocean water and shattering. The black sands are also created from eroding lava rock – which there is no shortage of on Big Island! Punalu’u is known for the sea turtles that love working on their tans and basking in the sun. It’s also one of my favorite swimming spots, and you can drive right up to it! The iconic Waipio Valley on the Hamakua Coast also has deep black sand, speckled with rainbow colors. It is a great place to picnic and admire the majestic sea cliffs! Be ready for a steep walk down (and back up!) if you don’t have a four-wheel drive vehicle. 

Green Sands of Big Island

If you are up for an adventure, Just past Punalu’u Beach, you can head to South Point, the southern most point in the United States, where there is actually an entire beach filled with green colored sand! That is right green sand! It is only 1 of 4 beaches likes this in the entire world.

To get there head to South Point. It is paved for part of it but eventually turns into a bumpy 2-mile four-wheel drive ride (or walk) to Papakōle or Mahana Beach, more commonly known as Green Sands beach. I don’t recommend walking it because the sun can be brutal. Usually there are locals there with 4WD vehicles that you can get a ride with for $20 a person. It is kinda pricey but it may be worth it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to see green sand.

When you get there you will find a dramatic wind-carved-rock cliff side, spilling olivine colored sand to the beach below. This beach was formed 49,000 years ago and is actually an old cinder cone. The old volcano used to spew olivine-rich lava, which now remains trapped in the bay. This olivine mineral is what makes the sand green. I love walking around on the rock formations, and sliding down the steep hill of green sand down to the water (bring a boogie board if you have kids 😉 – or even if you don’t.)

White Sands of Big Island

You can find white sand beaches scattered all over the Kona side of the island, but if you want to get away from the resorts, my favorite lesser known beach is Makalawena (W is pronounced as a V in Hawaiian). The easiest way to get here is from Kekaha Kai Sate Park. White sand beaches are typically formed from eroded coral and other marine fragments. Even though some of this beach is outlined with black lava rock, there is enough coral being washed up and eroded here for a full beach of palm-lined white sand. This, my friends, is my go-to spot for camping, and nothing can beat an early morning sunrise followed by a refreshing dip in the ocean – without the crowds!

Different environments on Big Island:

Black Lava Rock Cliffs Mackenzie State Park
Black lava rock cliffs eroding into black sand by rough ocean waves at Mackenzie State Park
Snow-capped Mauna Kea at sunset
Snow-capped Mauna Kea cone at sunset (With my snowman friend, Fred, in bottom right corner 😉)

 

Daytime at Kua Bay
Kua Bay, white sand backed by black lava rocks and white coral chunks

 

Waipio Valley
Waipio Valley covered in clouds (but you can see Maui in the background!)

 

Turtles at Punalu'u Beach!
Little surfer buddies chillin at Punalu’u Beach. Look at that black sand!

Green Sands Beach

Rocks at Green Sands Beach
Hanging out and admiring the wind art on the rocks inside the cinder cone at Green Sands Beach

 

Rock Formations at Green Sands Beach
I love the rock formations at Green Sands Beach – unlike anywhere else on all the islands. This is the trail down to the beach!

 

Beach at Makalawena
Beautiful white sand beach section of Makalawena, lined by black lava rock and iconic palm trees

 

Leave a Reply

Seven Sacred Pools Travel Guide
August 14, 2020
Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash
Hawaii Travel in Times of COVID-19 FAQS
March 17, 2020
Best Places To Eat in Waikoloa & North Kohala
February 27, 2020
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Best Shark Dives on Oahu
February 25, 2020
best-places-to-catch-sunset-oahu-3-shaka-guide
Best Places To Catch A Sunset On Oahu
February 18, 2020

NARROW THE RESULTS BY ISLAND

Follow us on Instagram

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

There may be an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

Error: No posts found.

Make sure this account has posts available on instagram.com.