Green Sand Beach
Papakōlea Beach (also known as Green Sand Beach or Mahana Beach)
A truly amazing natural phenomenon and only one of four green sand beaches in the world!
Definitely worth the hike if you are a beach enthusiast. Mahana Beach is a green sand beach located near South Point, in the Kaʻū district of the island of Hawaiʻi. One of only four green sand beaches in the world. This is a desert type beach with stark arid cliffs surrounding it. The contrast of green sand, aqua water and powder blue waves is an amazingly beautiful sight.
The beach gets its distinctive coloring from the mineral olivine, found in the enclosing cinder cone. Olivine is a common mineral component of Hawaiian lavas and is locally known as "Hawaiian Diamond." Olivine is also found in Oʻahu's famous Diamond Head landmark.
There is a nearly 3 mile hike to the beach from the parking area. Locals will give you a ride for $15-$20 each. This is an arid desert area with hot blazing sun and dry wind. Once you reach the beach, it is at the bottom of a bowl like shaped bay of which you have to climb down the side of the bowl. This is not a beach for younger children. The waves can also get very rough at times. We do not recommend swimming except for those with advanced skills.
Arrive early if you want to avoid the crowd and get a decent place to park. There is absolutely no shade along the rough trail to the beach. Bring at least 2-3 bottles of water per person, the wind will dehydrate you quickly. Of course sunscreen is always recommended when outdoors.