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10 Destinations Where You Can Find Colored Sand Beaches
Colored sand beaches are rare, but they’re one of the most spectacular sights to see.
Many people are familiar with white sand beaches, the ones you would typically find on your Caribbean vacation. But, did you know that beach shores can be green, orange, red, brown, gray, and even black?
When there is an erosion of beachside cliffs or runoff from nearby mountains this adds material and minerals to those sandy shores.
If you’re wondering where you can travel to and how you can access these colored sand beaches, we’ve comprised the perfect guide for you. From California, Indonesia, Hawaii, Alaska, The Maldives, and Italy there are many destinations to experience a new hue of sand.
Happy hunting as you chase new colors around the world.
1. Papakolea Beach, Hawaii
On the big island of Hawaii, you can take a hike to a remote beach that looks other-worldly. The beach’s sand is green and from afar it looks like a hidden cove.
The color comes from olivine, a mineral deposited into the sand by the adjacent cinder cone. Be careful not to get lost on your way back, as there are no signs that will lead you to this beach. You will have to follow locals and other tourists to reach these money green shores.
2. Harbour Island, Bahamas
This island is known for its long pink shores. The outlying coral reefs like the Devil’s Backbone are home to marine life such as stingrays and turtles.
The remote islands are only accessible by water taxi. If you’re in the Bahamas, make sure you add a day trip to the blush beaches of Harbour Island.
3. Red Sand Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Kaihalulu Beach is currently closed by local residents to keep away tourists and prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, when it can be reopened to the public, you need to add it to your trip.
If you’re looking for a more authentically Hawaiian experience when visiting Maui, take the trip down the “Road To Hana”. At the end of this route, right outside the town of Hana, you will find this beautiful red sand beach. Hikers say the short hike can be dangerous if you’re not wearing proper footwear or are not cautious.
4. Porto Ferro, Italy
The orange sand and volcanic deposits make this beach in Italy a rarity. Porto Ferro beach is in northwest Sardinia. Behind the beach are sand dunes covered in sea lilies, which helps separate it from the lake and trees.
At a quick glance, this beach might seem like a normal tan sand beach but its shore varies in color from amber to red.
5. Shelter Cove, California
Many travelers boast about black sand beaches, but have you ever experienced gray sand?
This popular tourist destination in northern California. The color of the sand comes from eroding shale cliffs along the shore. You may even catch migrating gray whales, as well as seals and sea lions while visiting this gray beach.
6. Pfeiffer Beach, California
A color almost unheard of when it comes to beaches is purple. Pfeiffer Beach has one of the most unique and stunning colors. To think you can access its purple hues right in the United States of America, and many are unaware of this beauty.
Pfeiffer’s sand is said to change colors after the rain, where you can find its purple-ish tone.
7. Ocean Cape Area, Gulf of Alaska
Near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, you can find the Ocean Cape area of the Gulf of Alaska. The cape has amazing gray sands that you can explore without tourists.
It’s near an isolated town with only 700 residents, Yakutat. If you plan to visit the gulf, make sure to spend a day exploring the Glacier Bay National Park and the grey sands of Ocean Cape.
8. Tangsi Beach, Indonesia
Tangsi Beach is one of the few beaches in the world with coral pink sand. Its blush-colored shores are located in the South-Eastern part of the Indonesian island of Lombok.
Due to infrastructure, the pink shores are said to be fairly inaccessible to mass tourists. However, there are working facilities at the beach, and it is known to be a great site for snorkeling.
9. Angaga Island, Maldives
The sugar-white beaches found on Angaga Island in the Maldives are breathtaking. It will be an experience, unlike any other white sandy beach you’ve experienced. Angaga is located in the middle of Ari Atoll. The resorts that you can find here are water bungalows.
10. Rockaway Beach, Pacifica, CA
Rockaway Beach is located near San Francisco. You can find its chocolate sands along your drive down the Pacific Coast Highway.
This beach is popular, and you can find dining and hotel options if you were interested in staying the night. Chocolate brown sand is only 7 miles south of your next San Francisco vacation.