Papakolea Green Sand Beach, coffee and honey

Green Sand BeachThe Papakolea Green Sand Beach is  a long drive (1.5 to 2 hours from the house) and a long hike (1-1.5 miles for the 3 mile hike) to the green sand beach, but worth it for the day excursion, especially if stop by one of the coffee farms in Ka’u for some coffee, local honey and short tour of the coffee farm, and hang out at the beautiful beach for a bit.

Some thoughts and pointers:

1) Stop by a Ka’u coffee farm and stand on the way there. We stopped at Paradise Meadows. They grow coffee and bees. The honey ranges from winter, spring, summer blends to the creamy Ohi’a tree white honey. I loved the winter blend (from coffee and avocado blossoms), but the others were distinctive and good. Ended up buying a lot of honey and great Ka’u coffee.

2)  the sand on the beach is ‘greenish’ more than an Irish green :) . That said, it’s one of the few green sand beaches in the world (2-4 depending on who you talk to) AND… here’s a pointer, take the hike in. Because there is a spot, about half way in, just at the coast, where the sand is very green. It’s not a ‘beach’ you can swim on, but some spots on the lava rock where sand has washed up. It’s a beautiful sparkling green.

3) the hike is about 3 miles. It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes. It’s quite level, but a lava rock and gravel path, so it’s a bit rough. But it is not difficult to walk at all. We had 10 year olds to 60 year olds (almost) on our hike and we all were fine. When you get to the beach, there is a cliff you have to navigate down. Again, we didn’t find it hard at all, there are stairs and rock steps on the way down.

4) There are local ‘guides’ who will offer you a ride either inside their 4-wheel drive SUV or on the back of their 4-wheel truck. You will have no problem finding them either going or coming back. They charge 15 round trip as of this writing, per person. We decided, for time and some were tired after hiking 90 minutes and  swimming an hour or more, to take one back (20 minute drive). They charged us 10 for the 1way trip. We were all on the back of a truck, standing, with rails. One of our fellow travelers dubbed it the “Hawaiian Roller Coaster.” And it was indeed that. It was an adventure. If you don’t want an adventure but want to save an hour of hiking one way (or 2 hours round trip), try to find one of the SUVs so you can sit inside belted. It will still be bumpy and roller coasty, but a bit less of an adventure!

 

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