Did you ever think you would swim in an ancient volcano filled with green sand? Well, you're looking in the right place if you're up for the adventure! Papakolea, commonly known as ‘Green Sands Beach' is located at the southern tip of the island, just west of South Point. The green sand beach was once a cinder cone, where three sides of the cone are still present today.
Whether you plan to 4-wheel drive into the beach (only advised if you are a very experienced off road driver on the Big Island), or to hike in, visiting Green Sands Beach is an all day adventure. The 3 mile hike (each way) is a very dry, hot hike.
Be sure to bring plenty of water and food for the day. In the parking area you will probably see a spot where some locals will charge anywhere from $20-$30 per person and they will give you a ride in the back of their truck to the beach. This is the best way to avoid the long hike in. Either way, it's worth it! Papakolea Beach is a ‘must-see' on the Big Island for visitors and locals alike.
Click here to learn more about Green Sands Beach and to view the map.