Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Ninole Loop Road, Pahala, Big Island, Hawaii
Punauu translates to “diving spring” because this area contains a number of fresh water springs that provided a valuable source of water for generations of Hawaiians. The black sands here are not only beautiful to the eye, but warm (and sometimes downright hot) to the touch from absorbing heat from the sun’s rays. This spot is also favored by Green Sea Turtles who often come here to lie on the warm sand and bask in the sun. However, this rocky beach is not the best site for swimming or snorkeling. Just take a page out of the sea turtles’ book—kick back, take a leisurely stroll, and enjoy the view. Take the Malama Trail within the Mauna Lani Resort to see a number of well-preserved historical petroglyphs (stone carvings) etched into the lava rock by ancient Hawaiians.