My last couple of posts have been about my recent vacation to Hawaii. Today I’m going to continue with that theme and talk about the beaches.

Beaches are the first thing that come to mind when thinking of Hawaii; miles of sand and crystal clear water. Interestingly the Big Island is home of white, black, and green sand beaches. The black sand is due to the lava from the volcanoes flowing into the ocean, and the green sand gets it’s color from olivine (a type of mineral) from eruptions of volcanoes years ago.  There are many beautiful (and unique) beaches on the Big Island, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to see them all (maybe next time!). 

One thing I must say, on the Big Island, some beaches are actually pretty tricky to get to. Yes, some have easy access with a parking lot and facilities, but the majority of them are off the beaten path. 

Green Sand Beach: 

Papakolea Beach

This beach is definitely one of the more difficult beaches to get to; it’s a 5 mile round trip hike on a rutted dirt road with no shade. However, there are locals that sit in the parking lot and offer drives to the beach for a small fee.

Green Sand Beach

Black Sand Beaches: 

Punalu’u Beach

This beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches on The Big Island. I think it’s probably the most famous because it’s easy to get to with a parking lot and picnic area. Also, the sea turtles like this beach, we saw probably about 20 of them laying on the rocks and swimming in the water. 

Pololu Beach

This is definitely one of my top favorite places we visited on the island. In order to get to this beach you have to take the Awini Trail trail (15 minute hike down to the beach and about 30 minute hike back up) from the Pololu Valley Lookout. The trail was down a steep hill, but the views down were breathtaking. 

Pololu Beach

White Sand Beaches:

Hapuna Beach

This beach is part of a state park (Hapuna Beach State Park), and is one of the largest white sand beaches on the island. It was very crowded when we went, with lots of parking, facilities, and a picnic area. You do have to pay a small fee to park if you are not a local. This is a popular place for bodyboarding and has lifeguards on duty; which is a good thing because the water can get very choppy. 

Hapuna Beach State Park

Honokohau/Ai’opio Beach

This isn’t actually a white sand beach, the sand is “salt and pepper”, a mix of both white and black sand. This was by far my FAVORITE beach on the Big Island. On one side of the beach is a protected cove with calm and shallow waters, perfect for swimming. Also this is another beach that the sea turtles LOVE. They were everywhere; you actually had to be cautious when coming out of the water not to step on them because they look just like rocks. It also has easy access with just a short 10 minute walk from the parking lot, but it was also not very crowded. It was very peaceful and relaxing. 

Ai'opio Beach
Sea Turtles

Have you ever been to any of these beaches? What is your favorite beach?

Until next time…

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