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“A Side Trip That is Well Worth It”

South Point (Ka Lae) and Green Sand Beach
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$895.00*
and up
8-Hour Custom Private Tour on the Big Island of Hawaii
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$1,000.00*
and up
Jeep Tour: Custom Big Island Adventure
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$1,099.00*
and up
Circle Big Island Mercedes 11 PSGR Tour
Ranked #1 of 7 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.
Reviewed August 16, 2014

A comprehensive experience for such a short detour when driving to or from Volcano, as part of a trip south of Kona or as a trip in its own right.

Drive down South Point Road to a parking lot, preceding a ~3 mi rough dirt road / trail to the green sand beach. This is handled one of 3 ways:

1) Rent a Jeep 4x4 - a generally useful vehicle in a place like Hawaii, it is also essential to easily access several gems on the island. The road here is certainly heavily-rutted and muddy, however, the right suspension and ground clearance make it a very doable drive.

2) Ride with locals - there is typically a group of locals seeming to have a barbecue near the junction between the paved parking lot and the dirt trail. They have beat-up trucks that they use to shuttle people to and from the beach. Expect to sit in the bed of a pickup on cushions or a mat. My experience found them to be very friendly and efficient, albeit the ride was a (enjoyable) roller-coaster experience. They will ask for $15 R/T pp (generally as part of a group of people, i.e., my group of 4 was quoted $60 - this can be reduced to $10 or less pp quite easily. We ended up paying $30 altogether, which is more than fair for the service. Great interaction with locals who speak the local creole amongst each other and really do seem to care about your experience.

Driving would take 15-20 minutes each way, perhaps a bit quicker when riding on one of the trucks.

3) Hike - self-explanatory, a pretty reasonable trail that will take about 1 hr. Direct access to the beach requires climbing down a staircase-like trail that can be a bit slippery (common to all methods, vehicles cannot do this last part).

The green sand beach is in a very scenic cove, with fascinating textures on the rock walls surrounding the beach. As far as the green sand itself, it is certainly unique and also seems to have a more mud-like consistency than typical sand. The surf is fairly rough, often quickly changing strength (some waves reach close to the back wall of the cove, although this area is generally beyond the reach of the water). Swimming far from shore would not be recommended, but a dip at the edge of the water is no issue. Semi-skilled surfers could attempt the waves, as I saw several doing.

Not a negative in my opinion, but there are no beach facilities available, i.e., showers, changing rooms, restrooms, etc. If you ride with the locals, they will likely let you use a makeshift outhouse near the picnic tables where they hang out.


Overall a must-do, particularly if passing nearby.

3  Thank abijain29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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762 - 766 of 1,293 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2014

$15 per person to get a ride on a 4x4 if you don't want to hike the 3 miles over 1hr each way trail. There are a few locals giving rides to tourists if they want for that fee. They are all related to each other so don't think you can get them to drop the price. They are out to get your money. The road is dusty and I was coughing up sand through my nose and ears. It is a trek and not for young kids or older people. When we finally get there in the sweltering heat the sand wasn't even that impressive, it was poo colored sand. It was interesting being at the most south point of the island and even the USA but not worth it!

5  Thank drifting_nomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2014

Getting to green sand beach is a ~90 minute hike or you can pay someone $15/person round trip. If you hike it, take some water so you don't dehydrate. Either way don't miss this! The view is amazing, and the beach is an interesting and oddity that isn't available anywhere else. The sand really is green! Even my little kids enjoyed the water and the sand.

Thank Patel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2014

First, this beach is REMOTE. We went to Volcano National Park first so we got to the beach later in the afternoon. My husband has a broken ankle so we took the advice of others and paid a local to drive us there in his ATV. Worth every penny! The path is bumpy and long but that was such an adventure. You have to go down a pretty steep hill to get to the beach but so worth it. It was just us and another family when we were there so like a private resort. The waves were big and my teen had a great time body surfing. My little one loved playing in the green sand. The whole experience is something our family will be telling stories about for years to come.

2  Thank jdmded
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2014

The trek is not easy (you need a 4WD vehicle) or you can walk it in about an hour but there is no more unique or breathtaking spot that I've been to in all of my travels. Don't question anything, just make it happen and visit the green sand beach! There is also cliff jumping at South Point (before you start the drive/hike to green sand) that is tons of fun

Thank Brady D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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