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Papakolea, Hawaii: Where the Water Is Warm and the Sand Is Green

October 2, 2012
Papakolea Beach, Hawaii
Papakolea Beach, located near the Big Island’s southern tip, is known for its unique green sand.
Photography courtesy Hawaii Visitor’s & Convention Bureau

Papakolea, Hawaii, better known as Green Sand Beach, is aptly named for its olive-tinted shore. One of only two green sand beaches in the world, its colour comes from olivine crystals created from volcanic eruptions years ago. The drive to the beach is challenging, so visitors are encouraged to hike the last two and a half miles to the water—but the experience of swimming in this rare natural treasure is well worth the trek.


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Adam H. Graham

Blogger Adam H. Graham

Based in Zürich and New York, Adam H. Graham is a veteran journalist who’s travelled to more than 70 countries and written for numerous publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Monocle, and Travel + Leisure.

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