I saved this post about Hawaii till the end. Visiting Green Sand Beach was probably our favorite thing we did on the big island.
When we set out that morning we had plans to make our way to the Volcanoes. Our plan was to swing by Green Sand Beach, Black Sand Beach and end our day at the volcanoes. When we started getting close to the turn off for Green Sand we realized it was going to be further out from the main road than we originally thought but since we were already that far out we decided to make the trip. Thirty minutes later we got to the end of the road but there was no beach. We could see the waves and the shore from really far away but we couldn't see a way down to it. It was still very far. We get out of the car and a girl came up to us asking us if we were trying to get to Green Sand Beach. When we told her yes she explained it to us.
To get to the actual green sand you have to go off road. That's the only way to make the 3 mile trek down to the sand besides walking. Umm... what?! That's three miles away? We could see it was far but we didn't realize it was that far. She said it would be 30.00 for both of us to be taken down to the beach. I was pretty iffy about it. It seemed a little sketchy and I hadn't seen anything about this online (I'm all about research). I could tell that Beezy really wanted to do it. So we paid her in cash and loaded up with another couple (whom we didn't know but had also forked over 30 bucks) and started making our way over the very rough terrain down to the beach.
I may be from West Virginia but I have never been on an ATV nor have I ever been off roading. So this was a new experience. Since there was 5 of us with the driver, Beezy road shot gun and I was in the back with the stranger couple. The driver told it would take about 20 minutes to get down to the beach. The road that the locals have made is deep and very steep. They've basically carved it out and if you don't have 4 wheel drive and know the terrain then more than likely you'll be asking one of them for help later in the day. After what felt like an eternity of bumpy terrain we made it to the beach. Or at least what we thought was the beach.
You see when you get delivered to Green Sand Beach you're actually being delivered to the top of the beach. To access the actual sand you have to climb down the rock face into the cove where the beach lies. This would have been a great thing to know before hand since I was wearing flip flops, carrying a purse and my expensive DSLR camera. But you know what... we came all that way. So climb down is what we did. It was totally worth it. I was pretty nervous once we started going down because it was very steep.
When we made it to the bottom we had to look back up to see the progress of climbing down! You can see other people at the top so you can get an idea of how steep the incline really is...
Of course we had to check out those green sand flecks. In my mind I thought it was going to be more green but you could definitely see the green sand inside of all of the grains.
The waves at Green Sand are really strong. A few brave swimmers were indulging in the water but the locals were warning them that the waves are severely strong and can carry you out to sea quickly. Our guide was telling us that a young guy died here last year because he underestimated the current and strength. The guide said a lot of people use the buddy system when going into the water.