Papakolea Green Sand Beach

Explore Papakolea Green Sand Beach in Hawaii’s Big Island, a rare gem with olive green sand, turquoise waters, and scenic hikes. A geological wonder awaits!

Papakolea Green Sand Beach is a Beach located in the city of Naalehu on Big Island, Hawaii
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Things to Know About Papakolea Green Sand Beach


  • Overview: Papakolea Green Sand Beach, situated in Naalehu on Big Island, Hawaii, is a rare and mesmerizing attraction known for its distinct olive green sand. This remote gem is a must-see for visitors seeking a unique and unforgettable experience in Hawaii.
  • Highlights: The main highlight of Papakolea Green Sand Beach is its unique sand, composed of crushed olivine crystals, which create a stunning contrast against the turquoise waters and rugged cliffs.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming (with caution due to strong currents), and hiking along the scenic trail to reach the beach.
  • Information: Papakolea Green Sand Beach is accessible year-round, but the best time to visit is during the morning or early afternoon. There are no entrance fees, but prepare for a 6-mile roundtrip hike and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear.
  • History & Significance: The green sand at Papakolea Beach is the result of the erosion of the Pu’u O Mahana volcanic cone. The olivine crystals found in the sand are a semi-precious stone, making this beach a geological wonder and one of only a few green sand beaches in the world.
  • Tips & Insights: To enhance your experience at Papakolea Green Sand Beach, remember to wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the hike, as the terrain can be rough. Stay close to the shore when swimming due to the potential for strong currents, and leave the beach well before sunset to avoid navigating the challenging terrain in the dark.

Getting to the Beach


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