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Papakōlea Green Sand Beach, Naalehu

4.3
#1 of 10 in Things to do in Naalehu
Beach · Nature / Park
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Thought to be where Polynesians first arrived in the Hawaiian Islands Papakōlea Green Sand Beach marks the southernmost point within the 50 states of the United States. A National Historical Landmark District, the area houses the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian heiau (temple), a fishing shrine, and other cultural relics. You access Ka Lae via a 19 km (12 mi) narrow paved narrow road. When the road forks near its end, you can go south to the point or east to Papakolea Beach, known for its green sand, which comes from the mineral olivineis. The beach boasts waters rich with red snapper and ulua, making it a popular fishing spot. Swimming in not advised due to dangerous currents and powerful winds. Make Papakōlea Green Sand Beach a centerpiece of your Naalehu vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Naalehu online journey planner.
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Papakōlea Green Sand Beach reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,152 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We just visited the green sand beach in January 2023. This is native land, and the local natives still do offer rides for $20 a person. According to our driver, they are still allowed to do this as... 
    We just visited the green sand beach in January 2023. This is native land, and the local natives still do offer rides for $20 a person. According to our driver, they are still allowed to do this as...  more »
  • We had heard about the green sand beach and it was on our list to do. We did some research and came prepared to walk the 6 mile round trip. The road to the parking lot was perfectly fine, in great... 
    We had heard about the green sand beach and it was on our list to do. We did some research and came prepared to walk the 6 mile round trip. The road to the parking lot was perfectly fine, in great...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful, remote beach! It was overcast on our visit but the water was still beautiful and felt so good (a little chilly maybe). We did not hike in but spoke with a local who did not have a problem with us following him in. The ride, If you dare, is rough and you do need to be fairly knowledgeable of off road driving to prevent damage but once you get there it is totally worth it! The hike down to the beach is fairly easy with a well worn path.
  • The beach was awesome! Hiked the 2.8 miles with a 3 yr old only shoulders in 1.5hrs, but only doing that once in a lifetime. There are private individuals offering round trip rides to the beach for $20/person, but you’re only allowed 1 hour at the beach. We hiked to the beach and took a truck ride back for $15/person. We were able to spend as long as we wanted at the beach this way.

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