I am a big fan of the Big Island. It’s my number one island for a Hawaii vacation. It feels secluded and untouched compared to the other islands, which I love.
My family loves to hike, so the highlight of our most recent Big Island vacation revolves around, you guessed it, hiking! If you’re up for an adventure, there is one hike you must find time to fit into your trip. The hike is to a beautiful beach that has green sand - Papakolea Green Sand Beach. It's very secluded and hard to get to...it's about a three-mile hike through wild lava fields.
We found a local Hawaiian in a pick-up truck to give us a ride to the beach. (Note: There aren't any signs to follow and if you are driving, it's extremely off-road terrain. I wouldn’t attempt to drive it at all, and certainly not without an SUV or four-wheel drive, but that’s just me.) We actually got lost and walked the wrong way at first, and when we stopped the driver to ask directions, he offered to drive us to the entrance to the beach and even wait for us to drive us back, which seems to be on par with the wonderful Hawaiian hospitality.
It's definitely an all day outing, but well worth the effort. You hike down into to the beach from the lava fields. I did it in flip-flops, but you might want to consider sneakers or something a bit safer.
The green sand beach sits in a secluded inlet with beautiful aqua blue water and gorgeous waves (not so much for surfing, but just rolling around in.) Depending on the time of your visit, you might be the only people there, so it’s like your own private beach. Bring loads of water and sunscreen, and if you’re so inclined, a picnic. Oh, and, don’t forget your camera!! Trust me, if you love to be outside, this hike will be one you will revisit on all of your Big Island vacations.
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