When we think beautiful, pristine beaches, green sand usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. While these beaches are not completely covered with bright green sand, large portions of them do contain crystalline mineral particles called olivine. Olivine is a heavy green magnesium iron silicate that does not easily wash out to sea.

Only four beaches in the world contain this mineral, offering a truly unique beach experience that cannot be missed.

Papakolea Beach in Hawaii

The first beach can be found way down south in the good ‘ol USA. It’s not the kind of south you would think of, rather South Point which is located on Hawaii’s Big Island and is the southernmost point in the United States. Papakolea Beach is where you’ll find the green sand, but it can only be reached by an intense downhill hike, so be sure to pack your sturdiest hiking boots.

Punta Cormorant in Ecuador

The island of Floreana at Punta Cormorant is just one of the many breathtaking spots that make up the Galápagos Islands. Volcanic sites near the beach are how the olivine crystals found their way to the beach, making the green, sandy beach a particular favorite with tourists, sea turtles and stingrays.

Talofofo Beach in Guam

On the Pacific Island of Guam, Talofofo Beach is where the olivine-infused sand can also be found. However, it’s been noted by many tourists that the weather conditions have to be just right in order to clearly see the greenish hues. There is a silver lining if you ever find yourself there and are unable to witness the deposits of green sand for yourself. Talofofo Beach is regarded as one of Guam’s best surfing spots, so swap your flip-flops for a surfboard and you’re good to go.

Hornindalsvatnet in Norway

The last location may be the most unexpected, but you won’t be disappointed with the naturally green beach of Lake Hornindalsvatnet. This fjord lake is filled with green mineral deposits that feed the beach, turning it a bright shade of green. While it may not be the most ideal winter vacation spot, we guarantee a trip here in the summertime will not disappoint.

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