Magic Sands Beach at La’aloa Bay, south of downtown Kona, is home to a beautiful beach cove, known also as Disappearing Sands Beach, or White Sands Beach. Magic Sands is one of the best Kona Beaches, suitable for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, even snorkeling and scuba diving.
The swimming conditions at Magic Sands are generally quite good, particularly when the sand is covering the beach. During the winter months when the shoreline has more rocks exposed, there is usually still a sandy bottom in the water.
A nice shore break creates some great waves when the surf is up, making La’aloa Bay another popular spot for boogie boarding and surfing. Crowds of people will often gather to relax on the beach and watch the waves roll in.
During low surf when the water is calm, snorkeling is good along the rocks on either end of the beach. Around the rocks to the south of La’aloa Bay is a small cove that’s great for snorkeling or scuba diving, easy to access with beautiful areas of coral and interesting topography.
Why is it called "Magic" or "Disappearing" sands? The action of the surf here literally pulls the sand off the beach periodically, exposing the lava rocks that were buried by the sand. When the sand is removed from the beach, the underlying lava rocks are exposed. There can be times during the winter when Disappearing Sands Beach really lives up to its name. Be aware of safety warnings and use extreme caution in or near the water, as this action of the surf can cause a strong rip current.
Later, as the surf subsides, the sand gets washed back and re-deposited on shore. This wave action serves as a sort of cleaning mechanism for the sand, keeping the beach brilliantly clean and white. There is an upper shelf that is almost always sandy. When the sand hasn't disappeared with the surf, this is easily the nicest Kona beach.
This beach is very popular and gets pretty busy. In addition to water activities, there is a volleyball net and lots of room to plant your own beach chair and umbrella.
La'aloa Bay/Magic Sands is just a short distance south of Pahoehoe Beach Park, north of the 4 mile marker on Ali’i Drive. If you're coming from the Hawaii Belt Road (Hwy 11), turn onto La'aloa Avenue 4 miles south of Kona, continue to Ali'i Drive and turn right. Facilities include a lifeguard tower, toilets and outdoor showers.
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