Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach

Hawaii, U.S.A.

Starfish Rating of 4

Claim to Fame

Black sand and underwater sea caves, and the mysterious natural stone bridge.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of bradleypjohnson
  • Where is it?on the northeast tip of the Hawaiian island of Maui, in Waianapanapa State Park, just off highway 360, on the Pacific Ocean
  • Coordinates: latitude» 20.7889°
    longitude» -156.004°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: remote; part of state park; very limited development
  • Length of Beach: .25m/.40km
  • Type: black sand
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This beach has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Hawaiian island chain and many unusual features. The black sand beach sits in brilliant color contrast to the royal blue and turquoise sea water, crisp blue sky, whitecaps, and the bright green vegetation on the beachís many outcrops.

In summer, this is a suitable place to swim, but in winter the surf shifts into high gear, making swimming dangerous. Summer swimming also makes for exploring the incredible, fish-filled waters and underwater volcanic ďtubeĒ caves that dot the area; itís perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, too.

Part of the 122 acre (49 hectares) Waianapanapa State Park, the area is remote, but has certain facilities because of the State Park. Here you will find family camping, with rustic cabins available, restrooms, outdoor showers and a pay telephone.

The beach is small, a graceful crescent, and usually fairly quiet. Activities, besides underwater exploration, include fishing, and hiking; many visitors rave about the pleasant hike to the scenic lighthouse.

Ultimately, itís the amazing natural stone bridge that draws travelers to this beach and the unique caves, courtesy of lava formation, that make this a delightful spot to camp and swim.

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