This was actually our first stop on the Big Island. We landed in Kona International Airport around 2pm in the afternoon. Grabbed a quick bite to eat and made our way to this black sand beach. This is not the main black sand beach on the island. The only reason we decided to go to this one was because it was relatively close to the airport (all the major landmarks on this island take a while to get to since the main roads loop around the island and not through it). The drive to the beach was around 30 minutes from the airport. It’s amazing to see how quickly the scenery changes as you drive around the island. On this drive, it was mostly black volcanic rock and shrubs, but as you make your way to the east side of the island, everything turns remarkably green. It’s quite a stark contrast!
49 Black Sand Beach is located within a resort/condo community called Waikoloa Village. The route to the beach parking lot is gated, but I’m pretty sure everyone gets granted access. There’s a person at the gate who will give you a parking permit (no charge) and you just return it when you leave. Once you pass the gate it’s just a 2 mile drive to the parking lot.
From the parking lot, there are two trails that become visible. One of them goes through the volcanic rocks, and the other seems to go inside the resort area. I wish the signs were more clear about this, but if you’re looking to go to the beach, TAKE THE ROUTE THAT GOES INSIDE THE RESORT AREA. We made the mistake of trekking through the volcanic rocks (in flip-flops too) and after about 12-15 minutes, we found ourselves in the middle of a golf course. If you have time, this trail is worth taking too, but I’d recommend close-toed shoes. It was pretty empty when we went there, and the views were beautiful! We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves! The beach was a little more crowded, but still very spacious. I’ve heard this place is great for snorkeling, so if you get a chance to rent gear beforehand, I highly recommend snorkeling here!
Beautiful, isn’t it? Wish we could have stayed longer. And I wish we had snorkel gear! This doesn’t seem like too popular of a tourist spot yet, so if you’re looking for a quiet beach with amazing snorkeling (even though I can’t speak for this myself), this is the place to go!
Stay tuned for more Hawaii posts 🙂 I just got back today and I can’t wait to share all of my wonderful experiences with you all!