hike out, ride back

We visited the olivine beach after we did some cliff jumping and snorkeling at South Point, the hike out was not difficult but there is no shade, bring a hat and plenty of water. The most breath taking view of the beach is on the way in. The hike down to the beach looks intimidating from far away, but its totally do-able. After we did lunch and watched surfers and boogie-boarders, we hitched a ride back. The locals hang out at the beach and give rides back when asked. The ride back is a completely separate and terrifying adventure on rough recreational vehicle paths, but still worth the money back if you were as exhausted as we were.

walk the plank!

Don't just come to take a look. Bring your trunks and tell yourself that you're jumping in before you get there. Don't linger too long on the edge if you are like me and can be easily talked out of jumping off something tall. If the waves are rough - don't jump. But don't walk away from the southernmost point of the US without getting wet. There are two ladders to climb out, but if that's not your style, swim to the right of the ladders and around the rock, there is a nearly stair-like climb out of the water on rocks. The water is crystal clear and ~30 feet deep according to locals. Bring your snorkel and goggles and look for yourself before you leave - the clearest water we had snorkeled on the Big Island! Clearer and deeper than Two Step. Would not recommend swimming in the hole (you'll see what I mean), but still another interesting rock formation and feature here.

bring goggles!

excellent views on the drive here if coming from the north; winding downhill roads through lush vegetation give way to views of the coast and the coastal flat lands. we came during the evening of a cloudy day and were still able to see a multitude of marine life in the water, just past the boat ramp. you would be remorseful if you come without goggles and a snorkel. would recommend water shoes if you don't have fins, urchins are rampant. brace yourself for up-close swims alongside sea turtles! gopro cameras offer the possibility of excellent shots also ;)

Honu!

The walk down from a marine dock was very short and easily navigated in sturdy sandals. Not a very crowded place, the hut is totes tall! The ancient Hawaiian Aiopi'o Fishtrap was pretty incredible, make sure you look into the history. Snorkeling was not the best for us, the water was a little too murky to see very far in front of you. We got spooked by honu a few times - could be good or bad? Also, turtle "breaching" was a little more majestic than I was prepared for.