Punaluu Beach — A Big Island Black Sand Beauty

Punalu'u Beach
On the southeast coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, you’ll find a picture perfect black sand beach at Punaluu. Here, the black sand seems to intensify all the surrounding natural colors. It’s an eye pleaser, for sure!

On the black sand and black lava beach of Punaluu, green sea turtles are often seen basking in the sun. (Photo credit to Hawaii Tourism Japan)

This black sand beauty is easy to access without a hike, unlike some others on the island. Punaluu is located directly in between Hilo and Kona, so it’s a toss up as to which way is easier depending on which side of the Big Island you’re staying. (See my article, Where to Stay on the Big Island, to help you with your decision.) When we’re spending a few days on the Hilo side, we stay in the the Volcano area, which is much closer to Punaluu. See the following Google Map to help you navigate to Punaluu.

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And, if you’re hungry while you’re in this neck of the woods, check out the Punalu’u Bake Shop just down the road in Naalehu.


See more ideas of what to see and do on Hawaii’s Big Island.

1 comment
  1. A few years ago, we found the condos at Sea Mountain Colony One and stayed there for our first visit to Volcanoes…small, well maintained complex. Quiet and out of the way, but, quicker access to all the South Big Island and Ka’u District.

    We liked it so much we ended up buying a condo there a few years later! Punalu’u Beach is “our” beach and is a great place to swim and see honu. Plus, there’s a lifeguard at this county park – something not found at all beaches but so good for visitors.

    For visitors who are looking for a more adventurous vacation or something that’s not “cookie cutter” staying anywhere outside of Kailua-Kona is going to offer a different experience. Punalu’u beach is just a waypoint for so many visitors who are stopping by to look at it while on their way to elsewhere. Which is too bad as it’s a great and unique place to swim and spend a day!

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