Beautiful Colored Sand Beaches

Beautiful Colored Sand Beaches: How Come?

You’ve finished a year full of hardworking, arranged your holiday, talked to your boss about your beach holiday and started packing your bags after having a look at our list of the best beaches in the world… You’re dreaming of all the colors that summer brings, the sea, countless beaches you’re going to see and maybe some colorful nightlife? Why not? You spent hours to earn this, after all! Now it is your righteous freedom to have some sand and sea! You take your flight, leave your luggage at the hotel and the first thing to do is to walk down to the beach! But there’s a surprise! The sand does not have the regular sand color, which is a tone of beige. How come is there colored sand where you go? Don’t you worry, this article was written specifically to introduce you to the reasons why there are colored sand beaches in the world while giving you tips on where to see those beautiful beaches in various colors!

How do colored sand beaches occur?

Colored Sand Beaches


As a matter of fact, the color of a sand beach is determined by its natural surroundings as well as its natural habitat. Since sand is basically small pieces of rocks and minerals carried towards coasts by waves, it is not really surprising that the waves carry whatever type of rock or mineral is around. Winds, too, are able to contribute to the formation of beaches again with the same principle of carrying around what there is. Therefore, given that a particular region is rich in volcanic activity, the eroded basalt (lava, basically) produced by a volcano will most likely result in a black beach while a region which is a natural habitat for corals is more likely to have white sand (unless there is a much more common material to dominate sand material) since corals have white bones, like humans.

Where are some colored sand beaches in the world?

As previously mentioned in this article, the sand color is determined by the natural surroundings of a particular area, so it is quite possible to find out a lot of color differences among different beaches wherever you go. The regular sand you see everywhere? It’s just a mixture of this and that material, quite common in regions that do not have a specific type of rock or species dominating within their boundaries. But there are really special beaches with special colors that we would like you to see. Please scroll down to do so.

Pink Sand Beaches

Pink Colored Sand Beach - French Polinesia

Pink Colored Sand Beach – French Polinesia


Pink sand beaches are generally a result of marine creatures that have pink or red shells (see also Foreminifera). Having lived and died in the same region(s) for thousands of years, the remaining pieces of those tiny creatures cause the beach sand to look pink. Pink sand is mostly observed in the Bahamas (Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Cat Island) but it is also possible to come across with pink sand beaches in Bermuda, Barbados, Puerto Rico (Culebra), Barbuda, the Philippines (Great Santa Cruz Island), Hawaii (Maui) and Greece (Santorini).

Red Sand Beaches

Red Colored Sand Beach - Hana, Maui

Red Colored Sand Beach – Hana, Maui


It could be accurate to distinguish between ‘pink sand’ and ‘red sand’ since they are composed of different materials, yet some beaches may also look reddish pink so it may be difficult to choose which color they are. But there is a sand beach that is straight red due to its being really close to iron. This red sand beach is in Kaihalulu Bay, Maui, Hawaii. This bay is protected against the ocean by reef, which acts like a natural wall between the waves and the beach. Having iron all around it, the beach is deep red, quite distinguishable from the pink sand beaches mentioned above.

Green Sand Beaches

Green Colored Sand Beach - Kourou

Green Colored Sand Beach – Kourou


Green sand beaches are much rare in comparison to others. Actually, There are only two green sand beaches in the world, the first and the famous one being in Hawaii (Papakōlea Beach) and the second one being in The Galapagos Islands which is quite small. Lava has something to do with this color of sand. The Hawaiian Lava is a rich source of olivine, composed mainly of iron and magnesium. Also known as Hawaiian Diamond, olivine crystals are separated from the rest of the lava thanks to the wave effect mentioned above. The worst part of green sand beaches is that they are not eternal. Although not in the near future, these beaches are expected to run out of olivine resources, resulting in a look which is like that of an ordinary beach.

Black Sand Beaches

Black Colored Sand Beach - Punaluu, Hawai

Black Colored Sand Beach – Punaluu, Hawai


It is quite possible to come across with black sand beaches in areas rich in volcanic activity. In most cases, a large volume of lava flows into the sea and due to the rapid change of heat, lava is shattered and becomes sand that is black. The material is generally quiet rich in valuable metals but it also has titanium and zirconium in its composition. However, the life span of a black sand beach may not be long unless the nearby volcano keeps on sending lava into the sea since the pieces will be washed away by the waves. The Punalu’u and Kalapana Beaches in Hawaii, The Muriwai Beach in New Zealand and the Vík í Mýrdal in Iceland are great examples of black sand beaches.

White Sand Beaches

White Colored Sand Beach, Aruba

White Colored Sand Beach, Aruba


White sand comes into being predominantly due to the shattering of limestone, coral or fragments of different types of shell. In some regions the excrement of some fish species (i.e. parrot fish) may also contribute to the formation of white sand. Although white sand beaches are relatively rare, many can be found in Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritus and Comoros, used also for industrial purposes (which have harmful effects on the environment). Also, the  famous White Sands National Monument located in New Mexico, US, is a great example of a white sand beach composed of dunes of gypsum, which is a sulfate mineral.


As you have seen above, which color the sand in a beach will be is mainly determined by its surroundings and with what the waves and winds are capable of bringing into the area. Most of the metals around a beach, lava and organic materials contribute to the color of the beach, which form these amazing beaches. Not sure how to go those places? Do visit our Budget Transportation Alternatives section!

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