Papakolea Green Sand Beach


The Papakolea green sand beach was  probably the coolest beach we went to while on the Big Island. But, getting there was a big to do! To give you the full story, it was the last day of our trip and the one thing we really wanted to see before we left. We had a rental car so it was not a big deal. Our flight home was not til late at night and we had to drive from one tip of the island to the other. It was a few hour ride there and back, and to be honest it took us all day. But it was so worth it.

One of the reasons this was a must see for us is that there are only four green sand beaches in the world, the one on the Big Island, one in  Guam, one in Galapagos Islands and the other is in Norway. The green color is from the mineral olivine which is found in the cinder cone which is built around a volcanic vent. So we can thank the volcanoes in Hawaii for the beautiful green sand.

We drove as far as we could in the rental car, after that it was off the road (OTR) driving or walking. I had an injured foot and could not walk the to the beach and I am glad we did not, it was super far. We paid this 16-year-old young guy to drive us to the beach in his OTR vehicle.  But, after about 5 minutes his OTR vehicle broke down. We felt bad for him because you knew by looking at is vehicle that they spent a good amount of money on it. Anyhow, he called an uncle who was providing rides for tourists as well and had him come and take us.

The uncle drove a regular truck to do this. It was a very old truck and we were shocked it made it through ll the hills and bumps we had to go through.

Once we got to the green sand beach, I was disappointed to see that we needed to hike down a cliff to get to it. But, we spent hours getting this far and we needed to complete this journey. There was natural steps down the cliff to the bottom where the green sand beach is. I took my time with each step and was the last of our family to get down there. Once I was there, I was extremely happy I made the attempt. At the top, I sincerely was planning to wait for the family to climb down and then climb back up.

I have this thing about the ocean water, to me it is just magical and I knew I needed to get down there and put my feet into the green sand and the water. I am so glad I did. I actually wish I had more time to spend there and that I knew what the tide schedule was.

Off to the left there looked like there was a cave, and I so wanted to explore this cave. We could have snorkeled are way over there and taken a quick look around. But our gear was back at our car. Plus, we truly only had a few minutes at the beach before we had to turn around and head back for our flight home.

Unfortunately, the photographs did not seem to make the sync from camera to computer. I feel I need to go and redo my vacation. Hmm, theres a thought. I guess I just need to go back and do it again!

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About Terri

Terri O’Connell is the owner of Cruise Planners – O’Connell Cruise and Travel, a full service travel company. Their mission is to encompass the full family: vacations, reunions, and history travel. Terri is a travel enthusiast with a passion for genealogy and enjoys bringing the two together to assist her clients in their travel needs.

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