Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Hawaii Vacation Blog

Unique Beaches of the Big Island

a group of palm trees on a beach

Big Island of Hawaii has one of the most diverse nature in the world. It’s mainly known as the home of the goddess Pele and two world’s most active volcanoes. But on this massive island you will find so much more than arid wastelands scorched by volcanic heat. On the contrary, volcanic activity has helped nature create one of the world’s most unique ecosystems on the Big Island. Rainforests spread over vast areas, cascading waterfalls, mountains and the most extraordinary beaches. Explore the most unique beaches of the Big Island, Hawaii.

Unique Beaches of the Big Island - Punaluu Beach
Punalu’u Beach on the Big Island

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Of the many other black sand beaches on the Big Island, this is the most breathtaking one. The contrast between the dark fine sand and the vibrant green colors all around, does it’s own thing. This unique beach of the Big Island has black sand due to basalt formed by lava flowing into the ocean and exploding when it hits the ocean and cools. Punalu’u Beach is also favorite spot of the endangered Hawksbill Turtles and green sea turtles.

Papakolea Beach

Papakōlea Green Sand Beach

There are only four beaches with green sand in the whole world. One of them on the Big Island of Hawaii. The green sand was formed from the remains of deposits of olivine crystals, after a volcanic eruption millions of years ago. To visit Papakolea Green Sand Beach, you’ll have to take a 5.5km circular hike, but it definitely is one of the most unique beaches you will ever see (not just on the Big Island, Hawaii).

Pololu Valley’s Cliff Beach

The beach in the Pololu Valley is perfectly hidden right under the viewpoint in the Pololu Valley. It’s not a prime white sand tourist beach, which makes it very unique. Actually, it’s completely different from all other Hawaiian beaches, something that Kohala Volcano took care of hundreds of thousands of years ago. After the last eruption, part of it collapsed into the ocean, creating the spectacular cliffs that stretch all the way to the Hamakua Coast. The sand here is a unique grey-black colour. Therefore, this place is a great spot for enthusiastic explorers.

Makalawena Beach

Makalawena Lava Rocks Beach

Why is Makalawena part of the unique Big Island’s beaches? To get there, you have to conquer a 20-minute hike across an unpaved lava path you will never forget. The beach itself has the softest golden to white sand and crystal clear water with colorful corals nearby. Moreover, the picture-perfect view framed by nature makes it one of the Big Island’s most spectacular beaches with Hawaiian Monk Seals often chilling around.