Have you ever seen green sand? Sand that looks like tiny emeralds? If this doesn’t intrigue you, it should! Green Sand Beach, otherwise known as Papakōlea Beach has real green sand and is one of only four green sand beaches in the world! According to geologists this sand is actually olivine, a silicate mineral containing iron and magnesium, also known as peridot when of it is of a higher gem quality.
Olivine is a common mineral component of the volcanoes around Hawaii and is one of the first types of crystals to form as magma from the volcanoes cool down in temperature. Olivine is known as the “Hawaiian Diamond”.
The beach is located about 3 miles East of South Point on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. It is surrounded by pasture land and is only accessible by foot. The paths are rugged (due to both vehicular traffic and erosion) and the land owner, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, has restricted vehicular traffic in the area. To actually reach the beach, an additional climb down the cinder cone is required.
If you haven’t seen a Green Sand Beach, we recommend that you check out this one! You will have to prepare for the hike with plenty of drinks and food. There is no bathrooms or showers at this remote beach.
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