Punaluu Beach Hawaii
Beautiful Black Sand Beach
One of a Kind Black Sand Beach
The Ideal Beach
Located between Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the small town of Naalehu, Punaluu Black Sand Beach's jet black shores are an unforgettable sight. Coconut palms fringe the upper edge of sand and you may also discover large honu, or Hawaiian Green Sea turtles, basking on the beach. Although it may be tempting, do not touch these protected turtles and do not remove any black sand from the beach.
Although swimming isn't ideal, there is a picnic area and restroom facilities so you can have lunch while you experience the unique feeling of black sand between your toes.
Punalu'u's black sand formed when molten lava from the active Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes spilled into the water and quickly cooled, breaking into the granules that became the "sand." Because the creation of the sand is such a rare natural occurrence, many signs warn visitors against taking any of it away from the beach.
The name Punalu's literally means "diving spring" and is derived from the bay's bubbling springs, where Hawaiians once swam out to sea and obtained their fresh water.
Endangered turtle species, the Green turtle and the Hawksbill turtle
Punalu'u has also gained fame as the home of 2 endangered turtle species, the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle, which both can be seen swimming in the water just off the main beach. The hawksbill turtle often crawls ashore at night to deposit eggs, an incredible sight for nature lovers to witness.
The beach provides the perfect setting for picnics or sunbathing, but the bay's choppy waters and a lack of lifeguards make it less than ideal for swimming.