Located in the southeast coast of the Big Island is Punalu’u beach (AKA the Black sand beach) This is a must see.
Why is the sand black?
This sand is formed of tiny fragments of basalt, which is formed from the rapid cooling of lava from the nearby volcano.
This black sand beach is known to be a turtle sanctuary as they enjoy sunbathing and swimming in nearby shallow waters, especially Ninole Cove, a popular snorkeling spot. Just follow the short grassy path along the beach. Feel free to ask this booth for directions.
You may even be lucky enough to spot the endangered Hawksbill sea turtle. These turtles swim through the reef and feed off sea sponges nearby. However, humans are the Hawksbill greatest predator, decreasing their population by 80% in the last 100 years, so be respectful and admire from a distance to protect our turtle family.
It was quite windy when we visited, so the water was rough. If you choose to swim, it’s best to enter the water from the boat ramp, but use caution as there are strong currents in these waters.
While you may have noticed a trend in my posts in regards to the beach’s unpredictable behaviors, this is typical for the winter months on these pacific islands. Which could be great for you advanced surfers. The summer months are said to have pleasantly calm waters, a greater opportunity for relaxation.
One nice feature of this beach is it’s convenient location. You won’t have to climb, bike, or hike to this location and you don’t need a 4×4 for the road to get to this destination. 👌🏽