Green Sand Beach

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is ‘Tour Guide’ which I’m happy to use as my theme for this week’s posts. Since this is Hawaii, a good place to start is at the beach. This one is Papakōlea Beach, better known as Green Sand Beach. It’s about 3 miles northwest of South Point, the most southerly point in the United States.

The beach lies in a bay formed when the ocean eroded one side of an old cinder cone, Pu’u Mahana. The green color of the sand is a result of olivine in the lava. Since it’s heavier than other things in the lava, it stays on the beach. Swimming is possible in the shelter of this deep bay, but be careful. This coast is notorious for dangerous surf and strong currents.

It’s 2 1/2 miles to the beach from the parking area. There’s a very rough four-wheel drive road, which you can drive, or locals will ferry you out for a fee. The other alternative is to hike out along the coast, which is what I did.

You’re not likely to have the beach to yourself, but you will have a share of a beautiful, remote beach, a view all the way to Tahiti (you might have to stand on a rock), and the opportunity to broil on the distinctive green sand.