Because of the constant volcanic activity, sand comes in a variety of colors in Hawaii—along with white, you can also find green and black, the latter of which is found on the well-known Punaluu Black Sand Beach.
Located on the southeastern Kau coast, between Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the town of Naalehu, this beach should be on your list of places to visit when on the Big Island of Hawaii. The coastline is framed by coconut palms, but what is often found at the edge of the sand tends to steal all of the attention. Large honu, or Hawaiian green sea turtles, basking in the sun are a common sight here. Take as many pictures as you’d like, but be sure to stay a safe distance away.
Swimming isn’t ideal here due to waves and currents. There is an area for picnics, so plan ahead and come prepared to enjoy lunch with a view. Don’t take any black sand from the beach—legend says that a curse will also go home with you.
The sand may be coarser than you are used to, so be sure to have a pair of flip flops or beach shoes that can get messy and wet. Punaluu Black Sand Beach is located between Naalehu and Pahala, off Highway 11. Camping is allowed with a county permit.