"The famous black sand beach" Punaluu by 4streegrrl

Punaluu Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 15 photos

Black sand, what black sand?

Andrew and I took a day trip around the Big Island, and this was one of our first stops: Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. The black sand is genuine, apparently formed when the chunky a'a lava flow meets with ocean and shatters on contact. The wave action pulverizes the smaller chunks, thus forming a black sand beach. These kind of beaches don't stick around long, unless there is some kind of continuous feed of lava. So enjoy it while you can!

Oh yes, that's an endangered green sea turtle ("Honu") having a little snooze on the beach. I can honestly say that I didn't look much at the beach, since these guys were far more entertaining. We didn't think we'd see any turtles when we came to Punalu'u (or in all of Hawai'i, for that matter), but lo and behold! So many you could trip over them if you weren't looking...

But be nice: if you see a turtle, don't harass the poor thing. It has enough trouble trying to keep its species fruitful and alive, let alone deal with annoying tourists.

I don't get out of bed for less than $10, 000/day

A very obliging Honu nonchalantly paddled in a quiet pool area, not the least big perturbed by the 10 people gathered around with cameras.

Punalu'u coastline

That's me, who had some difficulty with the "flower behind the ear" tradition. How the heck do the Hawaiian girls make it looks so easy? My flower stayed put for a bit, but eventually my ear got itchy and I had to give up. Guess I'm not cut out for the Hawaiian hula girl look.

Feast your eyes on the coastline instead...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Warm black sand, relaxed green sea turtles
  • Cons:Lots of tour buses and general busy-ness
  • In a nutshell:Go for some photos, but look for quieter beaches for relaxation
  • Last visit to Punaluu: May 2004
  • Intro Written May 18, 2004
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Comments (2)

  • triplehelix's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2005 at 2:04 PM

    how do they hold the flower up to their ear? two words... bobbi pin lol. i've gotten used to seen women do that here hahaha.

  • CandS's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2004 at 10:45 PM

    Hehe...I had a similar problem with the hibiscus behind the ear at Vanuatu... ;) There must be a certain knack to it!


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