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5 Best And Only Black Sand Beaches In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an amazing country full of beautiful beaches. The actual translations of Costa Rica, mean Rich Coasts. So you can plan on seeing some incredible beaches.

Planning a vacation to Costa Rica and want to ensure that you see the best beaches it has to offer? More importantly, do you want to see the best black sand beaches in Costa Rica? If so you are in the right place.

These amazing black sand beaches are just as beautiful if not more beautiful than white sand beaches.

There is something unique about them that makes them sexy and more appealing.

After living in Costa Rica for six years, I spent my time traveling around the country and checking out the best beaches it has to offer.

Since black sand beaches are harder to find than your typical white or tan sand beach, I decided to make a list of the only black sand beaches in Costa Rica.

Best Black Sand Beaches In Costa Rica

Black Sand Beach of Playa Negra, Costa Rica

1.  Playa Negra, Guanacaste

Playa Negra literally means “Black Beach” in Spanish. So it’s no surprise that it is a black sand beach. A beautiful one for that matter of fact.

Playa Negra doesn’t only attract tourists for its black sand, but it is also a hot surfing spot in Costa Rica.

But beginners beware, you don’t want to surf here unless you know what you are doing.

Playa Negra rips fast- with some gnarley right-hand barrels.

Its waves are hollow, fast, and shallow. If you don’t know what you are doing, you shouldn’t be surfing this wave.

It is a great beach to come enjoy the hot black sand and watch the pro surfers catch barrels all day long.

Playa Negra is more laid back than its more traveled to the beach town of Tamarindo.

You won’t catch loads of tourists here, so if you are looking to truly escape and have a laid-back vacation with no nightlife this is the place.

Stay here Hotel Latica is an arty unique hotel. Even if you don’t stay here, stop by for a drink when you are in Playa Negra
Cahuita black sand beach Costa Rica

2. Cahuita, Limón

Way over on the other side of Costa Rica sits the small little town of Cahuita.

It is just North of the bustling party Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo.

Cahuita is great for animal lovers and is a great place to see sloths.

as it is home to a great national park that sits right on the beach.

It is also a great spot for laid-back travelers, as there is not much going on in this sleepy little town, which is a break from Puerto Viejo.

Cahuita is getting more and more popular these days as Costa Rica gains popularity with tourists and tourists are always on the hunt to find the next untouched location.

However, it is still a sleepy village compared to other places.

If you are a foodie, you will love the Afro-Caribbean cuisine that you will find on the Caribbean side.

It is a must that you try the Caribbean-style ceviche that is made with coconut milk. YUM!

Pavones Black Sand Beach Costa Rica

3. Pavones, Southern Puntarenas

Pavones, where the jungle meets the sea.

If you are looking for a true jungle experience you want to plan on heading south and checking out Pavones and the Osa Peninsula.

This is what you imagine when you think of the beautiful black sand beaches of Costa Rica.

Rich lush jungles hugging the coastlines.

Macaws fly overhead and you swim with sea turtles in the ocean. This is the untouched land of Costa Rica.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Costa Rica if this wasn’t the site of yet another hot surfing spot.

This one is actually home to the longest warm water left-hand wave in the World.

It is actually so long that most surfers usually only ride it once a surfing session.

Because when you finish your ride you have to get out and walk back to ride it again.

Playa del Coco, Guanacaste

4. Coco Beach, Guanacaste

Jumping back over to the Pacific Coast we come to Coco Beach.

A hot spot with lots of big all-inclusive resorts. It is also home to the only Four Seasons in Costa Rica.

Playa del Coco is just a quick drive from Liberia airport, which makes it a hot spot for a quick weekend getaway.

The closest dark sand beach on this list from Liberia airport.

Want more beaches options near Liberia?

Coco Beach is also where you will want to stay if you are planning on surfing at Costa Rica world famous Witch’s Rock.

As It is almost impossible to get to by car.

Most surfers opt for renting a boat for the day and heading to it that way.

All the boats leave from Coco Beach, as it is the closest starting point.

You might want to consider staying in Tamarindo rather than Coco Beach though, as it will be a more enjoyable experience.

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

5. Hermosa, Jáco

Playa Hermosa is yet another famous black sand beach in Costa Rica.

There are several Hermosa beaches in Costa Rica, but the one we are talking about is the Hermosa beach just south of Jaco.

This is another well-known surf spot on the Costa Rica map and makes for a great day trip from San Jose.

It is also a town that is well popular with the ex-pat community.

Playa Hermosa is very different to Jaco even though it is only a few miles away.

The ex-pat community loves it here because of its small beach town vibe.

There are only a few restaurants on the beach and it is not nearly as developed as its neighboring city of Jaco.

It is Costa Rica’s perfect black sand beach, especially if you are looking for a sense of community and not total isolation when visiting.

Which Beaches In Costa Rica Have Black Sand?

There are a few beaches in Costa Rica that have black sand, however, they are all in different areas of the country. So you have to know where to go if you want to see a black sand beach.

Can You Swim At A Black Sand Beach?

Yes! The color of the beach doesn’t make a difference on whether you can swim or not. But, before you swim you are going to want to make sure there are no rib currents which will be posted at the beach if there are.


Well, guys and girls there you have a list of the top black sand beaches of Costa Rica. I hope you enjoyed this read and that you enjoy your vacation in Costa Rica.

It is a beautiful country and the people are so friendly.

It is has a laid-back vibe that tourists continue to come back and search for.

There is so much to see and do in Costa Rica. It is not only full of beautiful beaches and beach towns but also offers mountains, clouds forests, jungles and so much more.

You are truly in for a trip of a lifetime.

Before you leave for Costa Rica make sure you don’t forget any of the essential items.

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