Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park
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Address Ninole Loop Rd, Pahala, HI 96777
Easy to reach. Genuine black sand beach. Has lifeguard and facilities.

• Facilities: Bathrooms • Facilities: Camping • Facilities: Lifeguard • Facilities: Picnic Tables • Facilities: Showers
• Sand Type: Black • Parking: Good / Plenty • Good For: Turtle Sightings

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is probably the most famous black sand beach on the Big Island. Swimming here is not recommended unless the ocean is very calm. Even then you need to be careful not to go far out due to strong riptides. Snorkeling may be a challenge because the water is not that clear. Talk with the lifeguard if you plan to swim to get updated on current conditions.

Turtles can be seen swimming and warming themselves on the sand. As tempting as it might be never not touch the turtles! They do not have an immune system to protect them against human-transmitted bacteria. They are beautiful creatures and we would like them to be around forever.

There is a Hawaiian legend that says if you take home Lava Rock & Sand Souvenirs that you will be cursed by Pele - The Volcano Goddess. There is a cabinet filled with rocks and letters sent from people returning the cursed objects back to where they belong. So, you know, maybe just leave the rocks and sand here to be safe. Don't believe us? Read Lava Rock & Sand Souvenirs for more information.

In addition to the lifeguard, this beach has bathrooms, showers, picnic areas, and plenty of parking. The south end of the beach is more heavily used while the north end is often more empty. Camping is allowed with a permit.

This beach is worth seeing. Real black sand beaches, with actual black sand (not tiny pebbles), are rare. Even if you don't swim, this is not to be missed.