ALOHA!

 

So the famous green sand beach in Hawaii is on the Big Island!

You also may hear this called the Papakolea Beach or Mahana Bay. 

 

Hike to Papakolea green sand beach in Hawaii. green colored beaches in the world on the Big Island. best big island beaches. Mahana Bay. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach hike to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

Just how green is the green sand beach?!

Well, if you’re expecting arrive at the beach expecting an amazing colored green sand, you might be disappointed.

From far away, it doesn’t actually look all that green. 

 

Colored sand beaches in Hawaii: Where is the green sand beach in Hawaii? Papakolea green sand beach on the Big Island of Hawaii in the world. Hawaii travel blog.
Colored sand beaches in Hawaii: Where is the green sand beach in Hawaii? Papakolea green sand beach on the Big Island of Hawaii in the world. Hawaii travel blog.

 

If you get up close and personal, that’s when it can look extra green.

 

Why is the sand green in hawaii at the green sand beach? What makes it green? olivine minerals. Best beaches on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog.

 

Still, you might want to go to this beach anyway, because apparently a green sand beach is an unusual natural occurrence! It’s said that the mineral of olivine is what gives the sand a green color. And supposedly there are only 4 (known) green sand beaches in the world. And if you’re on the Big Island, you can visit one of them!

 

 

How to get to the green sand beach?!

The green sand beach may not be the easiest to access, but it’s still pretty accessible.

There are basically 3 ways people get there:

 

1. Drive your jeep rental car (or another 4wd)

How to get to papakolea green sand beach: jeep off-road 4wd driving on your own. Best scenic drives on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

2. Take the green sand beach shuttle

How to get to papakolea green sand beach: shuttle. Best beaches on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

3. Hike to the green sand beach!

How to get to papakolea green sand beach: Hike. Best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog
How to get to papakolea green sand beach: Hike. Best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

Hiking might actually be the best way to get to the green sand beach. That’s because it’s said that the other ways might be illegal. Although plenty of people drive on the road (that includes locals and tourists), it’s questionable whether it’s legal. You can read more about the drive here.

 

No matter how you choose to get there, it does require a bit of a hike down to get down to sea level.

 

Papakolea green sand beach hike - how difficult to go down. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

Swimming at the green sand beach

Can you swim at papakolea green sand beach? Beaches for swimming on the Big Island. mahana bay beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

Papakolea Beach aka Mahana Beach isn’t really known for being a calm beach. 

It’s more of a beach that you get in the water to float along with the (sometimes rough) waves. You might need to time it well to get out into the water, and to get out of the water. Ocean waves can be powerful!

 

Can you swim at papakolea green sand beach? Beaches for swimming on the Big Island. mahana bay beach. Hawaii travel blog
Can you swim at papakolea green sand beach? Beaches for swimming on the Big Island. mahana bay beach. Hawaii travel blog
Can you swim at papakolea green sand beach? Beaches for swimming on the Big Island. mahana bay beach. Hawaii travel blog
Can you swim at papakolea green sand beach? Beaches for swimming on the Big Island. mahana bay beach. Hawaii travel blog
Can you swim at papakolea green sand beach? Beaches for swimming on the Big Island. mahana bay beach. Hawaii travel blog
Can you swim at papakolea green sand beach? Beaches for swimming on the Big Island. mahana bay beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

 

What the people of the Big Island want you to know

Can you take green sand at papakolea green sand beach? mahana bay. Big Island Hawaii travel blog
Don’t take the green sand at the green sand beach!

 

 

What to bring hiking to the green sand beach

The walk is completely out in the open (lots of sun and heat), so make sure you are prepared for this with your Hawaii hiking essentials and Hawaii everyday essentials since you’re hiking to a beach!

Most importantly, this means be sure to bring along water and snacks!

Comfortable walking shoes or hiking sandals would also be very good. You’ll be on a dirt path pretty much the whole time so regular shoes that you’re used to walking in will likely work out just fine.

 

 

 

 

🌴

 

 

 

Now…

Here’s a bit of what it might be like to hike to the Papakolea green sand beach at Mahana Bay!

I went to the green sand beach in September 2019, and this is a bit of what it was like!

 

Google maps marks it as the “green sand beach trailhead” and following this will get you to where you want to go.

So going to the green sand beach means that you’re heading towards South Point, aka the southern most point on the Big Island, in Hawaii, and the United States of America. (So you might as well head to South Point too!) 

As you are driving on the highway, you’ll come across a sign for South Point, and you can also follow that.

 

Driving to papakolea green sand beach, highway to south point, start location of trail. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

Once you turn off the highway, it will feel as though you’re driving through rural America!

 

Getting to papakolea green sand beach driving. Rural Hawaii road. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Getting to papakolea green sand beach driving. Rural Hawaii road. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Getting to papakolea green sand beach driving. Rural Hawaii road. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

You’ll soon come across a sign for the green sand beach.

 

Driving to papakolea green sand beach parking lot, start location of trail. Rural Hawaii road. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Driving to papakolea green sand beach parking lot, start location of trail. Rural Hawaii road. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

And this will take you to the green sand beach parking lot. 

 

Driving to papakolea green sand beach parking lot, start location of trail. Rural Hawaii road. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

You’ll probably be approached and asked if you want to take the shuttle. You can decline because you’re hiking instead! 😉

 

So once you’ve parked, it’ll be pretty straight forward which way to go to start walking towards the green sand beach.

You are really just following the same road as the cars.

And then you’ll start the hike to the green sand beach with great coastal views!!

 

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

And soon enough (maybe after around an hour), you’ll start to see Mahana Bay!

 

Hiking trail to papakolea green sand beach to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

Then you can hike around the bay.

 

Papakolea green sand beach hike to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach hike to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach hike to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach hike to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach hike to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

And then take the trail down to the green sand beach! 

 

Papakolea green sand beach trail to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach trail to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach trail to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach trail to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach trail to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach trail to mahana bay. best hikes on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach. green colored beaches in hawaii on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach. green colored beaches in hawaii on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Papakolea green sand beach. green colored beaches in hawaii on the Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit of what it might be like to hike to the green sand beach on the Big Island!

 

Plan more of your trip around the southern part of the Big Island!

 

And see more of the best beach hikes on the Big Island!

 

More colored beaches in Hawaii?!

 

HAPPY HIKING TO THE GREEN SAND BEACH IN HAWAII!

 

Papakolea green sand beach in Hawaii. green colored beaches in the world on the Big Island. best big island beaches. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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ALOHA!