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“Highlight of our return visit to Hawaii”

South Point (Ka Lae) and Green Sand Beach
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$799.00*
and up
Volcanoes National Park and Waterfall Hilo Mercedes 11 PSGR Tour
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Naalehu
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The big island of Hawaii's southernmost point features the Green Sand Beach.
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
80 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Highlight of our return visit to Hawaii”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

We had been looking forward to seeing Green Sand Beach for months.
We were on a cruise docking in Hilo (2 1/2Hour Drive each way) and unfortunately had very limited time to enjoy the beach.
We just didn't have the time to hike 1 hour each way.
It's very windy and dusty with breath taking views of crashing waves.
We opted to pay DAVE, the $15 per person to be driven to the beach and back to our car.
Dave, a local fishermen, lived his entire life in this area was a great source of information.
Dave had a 4X4 vehicle so we were inside and not sitting on the back of some pick-up.
Dave offered to take pictures of my wife and I with fantastic background scenery in each shot.
Dave offered bottled water and stopped several time to ask hikers if they needed water, a real nice guy!
Some hikers didn’t make it all the way and turned back, stating it was just to far to walk, some wearing flip/flops etc.
It’s very windy and dusty and no shade, so dress appropriately!

If you’re in Hawaii and have the time, this should be high on your list of things to see.
It was the highlight of our return visit to Hawaii.

Visited October 2012
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Thank traveling42_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York, NY
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Most amazing thing in Hawaii...you won't want to leave”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

This was by far one of the best things we did on our trip to Hawaii (on the big Island and Oahu). It's an amazing place unlike any other.

The reviews really freaked us out and so did a "local expert" at a resort where we stayed. We were told the parking lot had a lot of crime. We were told the hike was crazy hard. The decent to the beach was brutal. Don't let anyone make you nervous.

(FYI we are a couple, 28 and 30, both of us in fairly good shape and healthy)

The parking lot:
Don't be stupid and leave things in site (your GPS, backpacks, etc) and you will probably not have a problem with a break in. And honestly, there are so many people coming and going, I don't really think anyone would attempt a break in.

The hike:
We didn't keep track but I've read it's 2.5 miles. It took us less than an hour (about 40 min) one way.
It's very sunny (no shade at all along the way).
It's windy (although not as bad as some said). I forgot my sunglasses so I did feel some sand in my eyes and some sun but it wasn't so bad (and I have very sensitive eyes).
It's flat. Someone said something about climbing a rock and we did not climb any rocks so not sure what that's about. There are some rocky parts but they are like rocks on the ground not large rocks. It's sort of a cross between a desert and an unpaved road.
The scenery is nice. You can see the beautiful ocean the whole way.
There's little opportunity for getting lost because you just follow the off road path the 4x4s take.

The beach:
Amazing. The sand is so unique. The beach itself is quiet and small. The water is warm. The waves were perfect. Some people say they are rough and they were a little rough, but nothing I'd be nervous about. My husband loved swimming at this beach more than any other we visited.

The descent to the beach:
There's a little dirt/sand hill that is steep but the locals made little steps and there's even a small handrail at the top. It was not difficult at all for us. We did see some people who didn't notice the hill (or didn't feel like walking over to it) and went down the rocks. I imagine that descent would be more difficult.

My suggestions:
-Go as early as possible to try to get the beach to yourself. We got there and there was no one on the beach yet and we got great pictures of it from above completely deserted. Going early will also help to avoid the hottest and sunniest part of the day.
-Don't forget your sunglasses. A hat might also be helpful. Sunscreen or light pants and shirt will help against the brutal sun.
-Bring water. But why anyone would need 2 quarts each (someone told us that) is beyond me. Seems excessive. I guess that is dependent on the person.
-Bring bathing suit, towel and maybe a little picnic. A picnic will help to prolong your visit...we totally didn't want to leave and could have spent the day there.
-No bathrooms...just FYI. Not many places to hide along the way to do so either.
-Wear sneakers or hiking boots. Flip flops will slow you down.
-Do the hike unless you really can't. I think it's worth the longer amount of time to have the experience. Plus it will save you money (I think it's $20 per person...that's nuts).
-Allow yourself the whole morning or a good chunk of time. This is mostly because you won't want to leave.

This is an absolute must see if you're on the big island. It was truly the highlight and a once in a lifetime experience.

Visited October 2012
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4 Thank Laina990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
93 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“We Jumped!”
Reviewed October 25, 2012

It was a very long drive from Kamuela but my husband had his heart set on jumping off this cliff after we discovered it on Yelp. It was very windy here so walk carefully especially around the cliffs.
My husband ended up jumping 5 times to convince me to join him. It took me over an hour and much pacing back and forth but I finally jumped. However, I was so nervous that I forgot to enter feet first. Instead, I landed on my butt and got multiple bruises on it and hurt something in my chest area. I had it checked out a few days later when I came home and luckily, nothing was fractured. However, the doctor said it will take between 4-6 weeks before the pain goes away. Do I regret it? NO! This is not something I would typically do but this is why I love vacation, "doing something out of my comfort zone." Now I can say I jumped off the cliff at the southern most point of United States. NO REGRETS! Just remember, FEET FIRST AND HANDS TO YOUR SIDE AS YOU ENTER THE WATER." Another word of advise, if you are considering doing this jump, don't think too long. The longer you wait, the more nervous you get and harder it is to jump off that cliff.
We did not have a 4X4 so we did not make it to the Green Sand Beach. But we didn't really care to go after our jumps anyway.

Visited October 2012
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Thank TravelBug4702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
96 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Take the shuttle!!!”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

South point is a long and narrow drive, but beautiful once you arrive. It's super windy, so wear shades to protect your eyes from blowing sand. Wish we had known there were cliffs for jumping off, with a handy ladder to climb back up. Only one spot to say you jumped off the furthest south land point in the USA: South Point.

The green sand beach is also very windy. The walk to the beach seems very long. We walked for about 30 minutes at a good pace and didn't make it to the beach. Saw a few small green sand patches along the way though. If you wish to walk, be prepared for a long wall into in the wind with a lot of sand blowing in your face and bring a lot of water. We suggest taking a shuttle from one of the locals though. Don't attempt to drive in yourself unless you are given the right route from a local. We saw a couple stuck in the sand because they took the wrong path.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank liwoodco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olathe, KS
Level Contributor
263 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“One our top experiences in Hawaii!”
Reviewed October 13, 2012

While doing my research, I don't recall seeing much about this place. We noticed it on our drive to Volcanoes National Park. Luckily we took the drive here and then hiked around. We had a Jeep which made it much easier, but you still have to hike some to get to the views. When we went there was one guy fishing off the cliffs and a few locals at the green sand beach. It was so remote, we weren't certain of what areas were "off limits". We didn't not swim, but as we were leaving a few people came down and planned to swim. Outstanding views from all around the area and well worth the time spent.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Leslie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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