This is the most easy accessible black sand beach on the Big Island. It is also a sanctuary for green sea turtles. There is an excellent chance that you will find one lying in the sun on the beach.
The beach offers some of the only safe snorkeling and swimming on the south coast. Use caution, however, the waves here are unpredictable, and there often is a bad riptide. The beach has a picnic area, pavilion, restrooms and showers.
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is located off of Highway 11 near the 56 mile marker, about 20 minutes driving time from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you'll come to a turnoff for Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.