Top 5 Black Sand Beaches in Costa Rica

Playa Cahuita. Black Sand Beach in Costa Rica
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Costa Rica is an amazing country full of beautiful beaches. The actual translations of Costa Rica, mean Rich Costs. So you are planning a vacation to Costa Rica and want to ensure that you see the best beaches it has to offer. Not only the best beaches, but you want to see the best black sand beaches.

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. Probably because they are harder to find than your typical white or tan sand beach.

Thankfully Costa Rica has both. But you are not here to read about the best beach towns in Costa Rica, you are here to find the best black sand beaches.  So here they are.

Top 5 Best Black Sand Beaches in Costa Rica

Black Sand Beach of Playa Negra, Costa Rica

#1 Black Sand Beach in 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- 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.

Tired of the typical tourist scenery that Guanacaste attracts? Then this might be your place as well.

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 this is the place.

Stay here Hotel Latica is 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 Black Sand Beach of 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 more bustling party Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo.

Cahuita is great for animal lovers 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.

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 Black Sand Beach in 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 Costa Rica.

Rich lush jungles hugging the coastlines. Macaws flying 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 Black Sand Beach in Costa Rica

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 black sand beach on this list from an airport.

Coco Beach is also where you will want to stay if you are planning on surfing at Costa Ricas world famous Witch’s Rock. It is almost impossible to get to by car.

So 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.

If you don’t plan on staying in one of the all-inclusive resorts to surf witches rock, you might be happier staying elsewhere in Guanacaste and just heading in for a day trip here.

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

#5 Black Sand Beach Costa Rica

5. Hermosa, Jáco

Hermosa is yet another famous black sand beach in Costa Rica. There are several Hermosa beaches in Costa Rica, but this 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.

It is also a town that is well popular with the ex-pat community. It is a great spot to visit and is close to the San Jose airport.

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 the perfect black sand beach if you are looking for a sense of community and not total isolation.


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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