- Type: Beaches, Swimming/Pools
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Some say the waters here are too rough and rocky to really enjoy swimming, but that's not the real reason to visit Punaluu, anyway. This beach in southern Hawai'i is ideal for its picture-taking potential. For one thing, the onyx-tinted sand here owes its unique hue to the ongoing volcanic activity of Kilauea in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. And for another, this beach is often visited by Honu (or Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) that like to swim to and sun on the shore. You might also catch a Hawksbill turtle from time to time.
It will most likely take you some time to get to Punaluu, located off Highway 11, because most of the popular accommodations aren't located closeby. If you're looking to experience its wonder with fewer spectators around, plan a weekday car trip. Pack a picnic for the beach; you'll find loads of picnic tables set up for just that purpose.