Planning a trip to Maui and looking for black sand? Check out this post for 7 amazing black sand beaches in Maui!
Standing out from average tan colored beaches, black sand beaches in Hawaii evoke an element of curiosity in visitors and tourists alike. They are very common around areas of high volcanic activity and they create a stark color contrast with the ocean. In fact, the black sand beaches in Hawaii are the most common type on Earth. They’re made of volcanic materials like basalt, andesite, and volcanic glass as well as other lava fragments. Iron, in this case, is the most dominant mineral in these volcanic materials and it is what gives these beaches their rich black color.
So, if you’re planning to stop by some black sand beaches in Hawaii, be sure to check out Maui! Although it’s just one of Hawaii’s main islands, it has 7 amazing black sand beaches you don’t want to miss.
Maui Bucket List Series
P.S. This is a post in my Maui Bucket List series. Here is the complete 19-part series:
Hidden Gems: 10 Magical Hidden Gems in Maui, Hawaii
Black Sand Beaches: The 7 Most Amazing Black Sand Beaches in Maui
Poke: 12 Top Places to Get Poke in Maui
Breakfast: 8 Amazing Places to Get Breakfast in Lahaina, Maui
Coffee Shops: 7 Cozy Coffee Shops in Lahaina, Maui
Restaurants: The 12 Best Restaurants in Maui with a View
Accommodation: 10 Unique Places to Stay in Maui on a Budget
Sea Turtles: The 12 Best Places to See Sea Turtles in Maui
Surfing: The 10 Best Surf Spots in Maui
Road to Hana: The 7 Best Stops on the Road to Hana in Maui
Sunsets: 8 Incredible Places to Watch the Sunset in Maui
Waterfall Hikes: The 7 Best Waterfall Hikes in Maui
Vegan Food: 8 Incredible Vegan Restaurants in Maui
Instagram: 10 Incredible Maui Instagram Spots
Cheap Food: 10 Amazing Cheap Eats in Maui
Grocery Stores: The 8 Top Lahaina Grocery Stores You Need To Visit
Ka’anapali Restaurants: 9 Amazing Ka’anapali Restaurants You Don’t Want to Miss
Lahaina Restaurants: The 12 Coolest Restaurants in Lahaina on Front Street
Instagram Captions: 100 Media-Inspired Hawaii Captions for Your Instagram
Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach (black sand beaches in maui)
Located in Wai’anapanapa State Park, Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach is considered to be the best black sand beach in Maui. The Road to Hana is the best way to get there and most people drive there on their own. In fact, if you come here, you’ll be able to see the black sand on the beach as well as the fullness of its color.
In addition, off to the side of the black sand beach, there’s also a little lava tube you can explore that opens up all the way to the ocean. In fact, it might even be the perfect place for that ideal Instagram shot. So, if you’re planning to visit Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach for the first time in Maui, I highly recommend it. There’s also the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail you can walk that goes in both directions from the beach.
***PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Advanced reservations are required to visit Wai’anapanapa State Park if you are not a Hawaiian resident***
One’uli Black Sand Beach (black sand beaches in maui)
One’uli Black Sand Beach is another black sand beach you don’t want to miss in Maui! Located near the resort areas (Wailea and Kihei), One’uli Black Sand Beach isn’t as well-known as Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach. In fact, one of the reasons why it’s less popular is due to the fact that the black sand at the beach disappears quickly at the shoreline to reveal the hard lava rock beneath it. However, if there’s something you can enjoy at One’uli Black Sand Beach, it’s snorkeling and diving. In fact, there’s actually a coral reef close to the shore that you can go to check out a variety of sea creatures up close.
So, if you’re planning to visit One’uli Black Sand Beach for the first time in Maui, I highly recommend it. Green Sea Turtles tend to frequent the ocean area underneath so be sure to book a snorkeling or diving tour if you can.
Honomanu Black Sand Beach (black sand beaches in maui)
Honomanu Black Sand Beach is another black sand beach you don’t want to miss in Maui! Known for being a quiet beach, Honomanu Black Sand Beach doesn’t really get many visitors. In fact, the reason for this is due to the fact that the beach isn’t directly off the Hana highway. So, as a result, the beach is kind of like a hidden gem. Since it’s not easily accessible, it won’t have as many tourists as other popular stops.
In addition, if you do end up driving to this beach, be prepared for the rough road ahead once you get off the Hana Highway. Unless you have a jeep or a 4wd, it’s generally not recommended to drive the road to the beach. However, this does depend on the weather conditions for the day, since non-4wd vehicles have done the drive too.
So, if you’re planning to visit Honomanu Black Sand Beach for the first time in Maui, I highly recommend it. Although it’s not the most famous black sand beach in Maui, it can be a nice quiet stop as you drive along the Hana highway.
La Perouse Black Sand Beach (black sand beaches in maui)
La Perouse Bay also has another black sand beach you don’t want to miss in Maui! Different from other black sand beaches, the one at La Perouse Bay isn’t a sandy beach. In fact, not many people can spread out or lounge on it. However, whatever the beach misses in quality, it makes up for with incredible views of the Haleakala and some inspiring color contrasts: charcoal colored lava, white coral, turquoise water.
In addition, the La Perouse Bay itself was even named after a French explorer, Jean-Francios de Galaup. He was a count of La Pérouse and he surveyed and mapped the area in 1786. So, if you’re planning to visit La Perouse Black Sand Beach for the first time in Maui, I highly recommend it. Snorkeling is a very common thing to do on this beach and it also has several small coves that lie between rocky points.
Alelele Beach (black sand beaches in maui)
Alelele Falls also has another black sand beach you don’t want to miss in Maui! Located in front of the Alelele Bridge, Alelele Beach is on the back road to Hana. So, as a result, it’s a much more quieter beach than most. In fact, if you were to drive there, you would also notice that the sand tends get really wet. This actually brings out the rich color in the sand so that it looks black as charcoal.
In addition, you’re also welcome to walk the Alelele Falls trail if you’d like. It takes you to a beautiful waterfall that can also be another Instagram spot. So, if you’re planning to visit Alelele Beach for the first time in Maui, I highly recommend it. You can always relax there after taking a hike to the Alelele Falls.
***PLEASE TAKE NOTE: The back road to Hana is a dreadful part of the Hana Highway, so proceed with caution.***
Waioka Pond (black sand beaches in maui)
Waioka Pond also has another black sand beach you don’t want to miss in Maui! Like Honomanu Black Sand Beach, it’s also another hidden gem. You can find it along the trail to the Venus Pool after you pass a large field to your left. Then, once you go down the trail to the Venus Pool, keep left across the large field. Doing this will take you to an area that overlooks the Black Sand Beach near Waioka Pond.
So, if you’re planning to visit Waioka Pond for the first time in Maui, I highly recommend it. Waioka is also believed to be a shortened form of the word Waioaoaka which means “open mouth of fresh water”.
Hana Bay Beach Park (black sand beaches in maui)
Hana Bay Beach Park also has another black sand beach you don’t want to miss in Maui! Small and crescent-shaped, Hana Bay Beach Park has a black sand beach that’s spiced up with Hawaiian culture. In fact, if you were to drive there, you would notice a grassy zone, multiple picnic areas, a snack bar, and restrooms.
In addition, the beach at Hana Bay Beach Park is perfectly safe for swimming since it’s protected by an outer coral reef. In terms of the locals, get ready to encounter multiple Hawaiian families celebrating a birthday or a special event there. In fact, it can even be a great way to get an exposure to the culture as a tourist or a repeat visitor.
So, if you’re planning to visit Hana Bay Beach Park for the first time in Maui, I highly recommend it. Outrigger Canoe Racing is also a common sight at the Hana Bay.
Map of Black Sand Beaches in Maui
Overall, I really hope you enjoyed this post on the 7 most amazing black sand beaches in Maui! Please let me know in the comments down below which beach you would like to visit the most! I would love to hear from you. 🙂
Oh my gosh, these all look so cool! I’d especially love to visit the Venus pool, I love hidden swimming holes! Great post 🙂
Thanks Virginia!! I’m glad you enjoyed it
Hawaii is definitely on my bucket list, hopefully sooner than later! These pictures are amazing, thank you so much for the great ideas!
Hey Erin, you’re so welcome!
Anja | Anja On Adventure
Those just look so perfect! I love the Pacific and its culture and everything… Hawaii are on the top of my bucket list for so long and the decision on which island to choose is getting easier now. White sandy beaches are nice but there is just something magical seeing black sand!
I totally agree Anja!! I fell in love with black sand beaches the moment I traveled to Iceland