Papakōlea Green Sand Beach, Naalehu

4.3
#1 of 10 in Things to do in Naalehu
Must see · Beach · Nature / Park
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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
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,133 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Since there are only 4 Green Sand Beaches in the world and you are on Kona - Big Island, then visit the area. The drive is almost 2 hours from Kailua Pier. You can stop in Oceanview at Coffee... 
    Since there are only 4 Green Sand Beaches in the world and you are on Kona - Big Island, then visit the area. The drive is almost 2 hours from Kailua Pier. You can stop in Oceanview at Coffee...  more »
  • The picture in the magazine that we looked at made the sand look really green but you actually have to use your imagination to see the green hint in the sand. The hike was fun, the scenery was... 
    The picture in the magazine that we looked at made the sand look really green but you actually have to use your imagination to see the green hint in the sand. The hike was fun, the scenery was...  more »
Google
  • Great beach, you have to decide if it’s green or not :) Do: bring water and food, also definitely bring a towel as you will want to get into the water! Hike from either south point or the designated parking spot (saves you about 15 minutes one way). It’s a great hike, with beautiful scenery. WEAR SUNSCREEN AND HILING BOOTS. Don’t: step onto sacred land and burial grounds. Locals offer a ride on their pick-ups. Some say by doing that you support local businesses. Others say you support destruction of the land, as trucks and pick-ups leave trails. The ride didn’t seem to be too comfortable, the hike is great (see above)
  • An experience but wouldn't call it a must-do on the island. We did the 3 mile trip on foot and saw nice things but when we got to the beach, it didn't really meet our expectations. On the way back, decided to hitch ride on the truck ride for $10/person. That was probably a nice highlight in itself

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