Big Island, Favorites, Hawaii, Travel

A Big Island Road Trip: Paradise Found

Our road trip along the Big Island’s south shore included stops at the amazing Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park, the windy Southernmost Point in the U.S., and even the South Kona Fruit Stand where we tried Lychee’s for the first time (not a fan!) But the highlight of our road trip was Punalu’u Beach (pronounced poo-na-loo-oo): a palm tree-lined beach with the blackest sand I’ve ever encountered.




Hawaiian Honu (green sea turtles) are known to frequent the area because they love to bask in the sun, and within seconds of kicking off my flip-flops and walking through the scalding hot black sand we spotted a honu down by the shore. We saw three more turtles that day, all sunning themselves the entire time we were at the beach. From what I hear, that’s a slow day on Punalu’u for honu, but you won’t hear me complaining! 

Punaluu2-1 Punaluu1-1 Punaluu-1


Thanks to my sweet husband for taking these AMAZING photos of the Honu!

Our afternoon of silliness consisted of taking the lead from our Honu friends and sun bathing on the beach, enjoying a delicious picnic including fresh fruit purchased from the fruit stand along the way, napping, strolling along the beach, playing photographer, and dipping our toes in the feisty ocean–it was a little rough for swimming that day.


On the beach, where I belong…

Have you been to a Black Sand Beach?

16 thoughts on “A Big Island Road Trip: Paradise Found”

    1. Hi there!
      The black sand on this beach had almost the exact same texture as other beaches, however, it was incredibly HOT compared to a white or brown sand beach. As long as you walked the beach near the water you were fine. 🙂

      The black sand at Wai’anapanapa on Maui feels much different than regular beaches. The sand there is rougher and in some places has actual pebbles and rocks instead of the fine sand you would expect. That’s another awesome beach I enjoy visiting! 🙂

  1. Amazing! I remember stepping on the black sand and thinking ‘this is weird… but so cool’ 🙂 And look at those turtles, they are gorgeous! I didn’t get to see any, a few times we went to places recommended for turtle spotting, but unfortunately didn’t see any 😦 maybe next time! 🙂 I love how the ocean becomes deep blue against the black sand, so beautiful!

    1. You’re right, there is always next time. 🙂 and that sand was really neat but SO HOT! it wasn’t bad down by the water but in the middle of the beach it was scalding. I too like the contrast between the sand and the water, it was incredible. Hope you find some turtles on your next adventure back.

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