Skip to content

Green Sands

A Panoramic photo of Green Sands beach

A group of students pose on the bluff above Green Sands beach

UH Hilo Outdoor EdVenture Program logo

Papakolea Beach, also known as Green Sands Beach, is a beautiful secluded beach located within Mahana Bay near South Point. The sparkling green sand is derived from broken olivine crystals created in the eruption of the collapsed Pu‘u Mahana cinder cone that half encircles the beach. However to get here, a moderate hike is involved. At the end of the hike you must descend down the cinder cone which can be a little tricky, but a rough path is provided. Hiking shoes should be worn until at the beach.

Things to do:

  • Hike around the cinder cone
  • Enjoy the unique scenery
  • Soak up the sun
  • Cool down in the water

What to bring:

  • Water (It is very important to bring lots of it! It is a long hike in an area with NO facilities)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hat/sunglasses
  • Towel

Because of the long hike, it is recommended that you keep your things in an easy to carry bag, such as a backpack.  Also, do not leave valuables in the vehicle.