Near the southern most point of the Big Island (and also technically the most southern point of the United States if you include Hawaii) lies a remote burnt out volcano that is slowing being eroded by the ocean – and down inside the caldera of the volcano lies the Green Sand beach, one of the only two in the world. Like all of the cooler places on the island, it’s not easy to get to and you again must resort to either a 4WD or hike the 2.5 miles out on tough sandy terrain.
A rotor sculpture and other art markings can be found around a boat loading area below the parking area.
Walking eastward, the trails split up into multiple groups of tracks. Following one could lead to a dead end where the land here can quickly change from storms, sand, and waves. As you get closer, you can begin to see the volcano which hides the beach in the distance.
Wind battered signs from locals asks for visitors to refrain from taking any of the sand, which will eventually be washed away by the sea.
Finally at the volcano and after climbing down the side of the caldera, you are greeted with a perfect view. The sand itself could be better described as being olive-hued, and the area surrounding the beach is full of interesting geological features.
A peaceful walk back.
Below the parking area sits a few destroyed trucks, which apparently couldn’t make the trip back up the steep hill and were left to rust.
Back at my car I’m greeted by a local selling fruits and water out of the back of his truck. I opt for a cheap coconut and he then whips out a machete to open it, followed by a straw for me to drink from it. Before leaving, he then offers to split the coconut in half, which I proudly take home to nibble on for dinner with a bottle of Kona Brewing Co’s Koko Brown ale.