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Colored Sand Beaches – Red, Green, Orange, Black?
When people envision Hawaii (and locals, too) they think of white sand beaches, but Hawaii also has several colored sand beaches that are lovely to see and explore. Our colored sand beaches come in a variety of colors because of our lava rock, colored crystals and the chemical reactions that take place over time. These are my favorite colored sand beaches on all of the islands.
Punaluu Beach – Often referred to as Black Sand Beach, this is probably the most famous black sand beach in Hawaii and it is beautiful! Located on the Big Island, it’s easily accessible and a must see. Extra tip: Turtles often pull themselves up on this shore so spend a day with them.
Kaimu Beach – Originally this was the Big Island’s most famous black sand beach until lava flowed over it from 1990 to 1992. The short walk to the beach is incredibly fun as you get to see firsthand how the lava flowed into the ocean. You’ll be surprised at how dark the lava is here!
Papakolea Beach – There are only 4 green sand beaches in the world and Big Island has one of them! NOTE: It is illegal to drive all the way in to this beach as it damages the landscape so be aware that anyone offering to drive you in (and charging you) is breaking the law. Extra tip: I love the hike in!
Kaihalulu Beach – There are only a few red sand beaches in the world and we’re lucky to have one in Maui. This beach is unique and beautiful because of its high iron content, but it is difficult and dangerous to get to – be careful.
Extra tip: Locally, this beach is recognized as a nude beach.
Extra extra tip: It is illegal to be nude on a beach in Hawaii.
Papohaku Beach – While this beach may seem like a normal color, the hue of the sand during sunset has an orange tone to it that is really cool. But the real reason I like this beach so much is because it lives up to its nickname: Three Mile Beach. Enjoy the longest stretch of secluded sand in Hawaii!
If you want to tour the Big Island’s best features, check out this Full Day Volcano Explorer Tour where you’ll explore all things volcanoes. The Hawaii Volcano National Park is such a huge attraction that there are dozens of tours and activities for volcano and lava viewing. My particular favorites are hiking to the Kilauea eruption site and the Fire and Waterfalls helicopter ride.
Local Tip: I hope you make a stop at Hapuna Beach when you get to the Big Island. It’s one of the best white sand beaches there and everything there is perfect. If you want easy access to Hapuna, stay at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel or Mauna Kea Hotel.