Green, Red, Black and Yellow Beaches

In Hawaii you can find plenty of yellow sand beaches as well as many black sand beaches including the Pa’iloa Black Sand Beach at Wai’anapanapa State Wayside Park along the Road to Hana and Punaluu and Kehena beaches on the Big Island. There are even red and green sand beaches.


Photo by Phil Hollman

The red sand beach, popular with nudists, is close to the center of Hana, a secluded town on the eastern end of Maui island. The “red” is formed by waves washing against a red cinder cone. Kaihalulu Beach on the far side of Ka’uiki Hill south of Hana Bay, is a little treacherous to reach as the path is slippery from the crumbling cinder, and there are signs warning that you go at your own risk. The swimming is also not the safest, as there is no lifeguard, and you should not swim beyond the lava sea wall because of strong currents. But the blue water, red sand, lava sea wall and green pines around will win you over. It is not over populated like other beaches, but there are nude bathers.

The Green Sand Beach – Papakolea, is even harder to reach, and many web sites warn against trying. It is a long trek(2.5miles),from the boat launch at South Point, and even if you get close with a jeep ( which may be trespassing) there is still a steep climb down to the beach, so only go if you are fit. Climb down the south side not the looser sandy north, and wear good shoes. It is also not a good idea to swim out too far here, but shallow snorkeling is safe, and just soak up the sun, and surroundings. But it is after all a unique experience, as there are only 2 green sand beaches in the world (the other is in Gaum) your efforts getting there will be rewarded by one of the best views in Hawaii.
You are supposed to call DHHL(808-974-4250) to let them know you will be going on their land, if you plan to trek there. The trek is about 1.5 hours, and dusty and hot, so go early in the day, and take water. If someone tries to charge you for parking it is a scam.
Red sand beach: Hana, Maui Island, south of Ka’uiki Hill.
Green Sand Beach: Get to South Point, Big Island.
Black Sand Beaches:Big Island. Punaluu Beach off Highway 11 on the southern shore between Kona and Hilo, and Kehena Beach off Highway 137 near Puna along the Eastern shore. Easy access.
Getting there:
Once on the islands get info from tourist info, they can give you up to date info and maps.
Open Hours:
All the time

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