Driving back to Kona from Volcano National Park, we happened upon the famous Punaluu Black Sand Beach. The black sand is made of basalt and is created by lava flowing into the ocean which explodes as it reaches the ocean and cools. While the scenery is quite spectacular this isn't a great beach to swim at for a couple of reasons. The surf is pretty rocky and the black sand will get all over you and it's pretty messy, but more importantly, it's a favorite spot for several endangered species most notable the "honu" or sea turtles who come here to eat and nest nearby.
We admired the beach from afar and were awed by the crashing waves that pounded the rocky shore. The is a super place to discover the power of mother nature and to observe some of the rarest sea turtles in the world. I am not sure what it is but there is something very mystical about black sand beaches. Yvonne and I felt it was best to treat our visit as scientific observers and respect nature from a distance instead of beach bums for a change and watch the Honu come ashore, something we never get to see on the beaches back in California.