Papakōlea Green Sand Beach, Naalehu

#1 of 9 in Things to do in Naalehu
Must see · Beach · Nature / Park
Thought to be where Polynesians first arrived in the Hawaiian Islands Papakōlea Green Sand Beach marks the southernmost point within the 50 states of the United States. A National Historical Landmark District, the area houses the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian heiau (temple), a fishing shrine, and other cultural relics. You access Ka Lae via a 19 km (12 mi) narrow paved narrow road. When the road forks near its end, you can go south to the point or east to Papakolea Beach, known for its green sand, which comes from the mineral olivineis. The beach boasts waters rich with red snapper and ulua, making it a popular fishing spot. Swimming in not advised due to dangerous currents and powerful winds. Make Papakōlea Green Sand Beach a centerpiece of your Naalehu vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Naalehu online journey planner.
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Papakōlea Green Sand Beach reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,136 reviews
  • Very beautiful. Magical place. Definitely will visit this place again soon someday. I love hawaii and wish I could live here.  more »
  • This was a fun stop, just to "say we did it." For the love of all that is holy, do not walk to the beach! It is FAR and hot and long and DUSTY! Pay the $20 (drivers take Vennmo!) and ride in a...  more »
  • Definitely worth the trek. About an 1.5 hr drive from Kona plus another hour hike to the beach (occasionally you can pay a local to drive you down to the beach) . Hike is pretty flat and easy (plus really scenic). Even got to see a sea turtle up close.
  • This is a very interesting place to go on the Big Island! Once you reach the trailhead near the painted abandoned cars you hike about three miles to get to the beach. The sand isn’t as green as some pics I saw but it was very beautiful none the less! You have to scale down about five hundred feet to access the beach but even that combined with a 6 mile round trip hike I thought it was very worth it and I would definitely do it again! There is a shuttle provided by locals but if you are able to make the hike I would suggest doing it it’s very beautiful and a good workout plus I hear it’s supposed to be sacred ground so you shouldn’t take your own vehicle(if you did it has to be a 4x4 or you will be BIG STUCK). Even though it’s about 3 miles each way, the hike isn’t too tedious at all. Nice breezes the whole time and a very scenic walk(if you lobster in the sun you NEED sunblock if you don’t lobster in the sun you NEED sunblock). Just take water and comfortable shoes and you’re good to go. It was pure enjoyment being here yesterday I will definitely be returning! One more thing the tide ain’t for the faint of heart! I’m always down for a good time but I stayed very close to the shore because to me it seemed like those waves would easily suck you right out into the Pacific Ocean. I ain’t about that life!! (The big sea turtles are nice to see)

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