Black Sand Beach at Playa La Boca in Barceloneta

Playa La Boca

Black sand beaches sound so exotic, don’t they? On the big island of Puerto Rico, we have found only a few that have black sand, and two of them are in the Barceloneta/Manatí area on the north coast.

This particular black sand beach, called Playa La Boca, is easy to get to, and is available 7 days/week for your enjoyment.

The two black sand beaches we have found in the north — at Playa La Boca and Playa La Esperanza — are along the same mile of coast, however they are separated by a river and some beige sand beaches.

Playa La Boca

I think that the black sand beach at Playa La Esperanza is prettier, blacker, and offers better scenery for photos. But it is more is difficult to get to — it is only available on weekends, since it is is located on land owned by the Fideicomiso de Conservación de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Conservation Trust).

Playa La Boca is easy to get to — it is just a few steps off the road. This black sand beach is long, it runs westward from the river mouth for a really long way, where is gradually gets lighter in color until it is beige again. The black sand ranges in areas from smooth powdery to rough grains.

Playa La Boca

Because this beach is close to the mouth of a river, a lot of natural debris and silt come down and into the water when it rains in the mountains. That means that you should expect to find a lot of debris on the beach, and turbid water.

This is not a swimming beach. It’s more of a take a walk on the beach beach. It’s not really safe for swimming here, as the unprotected north coast has large waves, which explains why you will sometimes see surfers here.

Be careful parking at this beach. I have heard that the area is a little iffy. Make sure not to leave anything valuable in your car. I might even suggest parking at a nearby business or restaurant, just to be on the safe side.


Playa La Boca

Driving directions from the San Juan area: Take Route 22 west to the Barcoloneta exit. Then take Route 140 to Route 684 to the north. Go all the way until you turn to the left at the ocean. The black sand beach starts there. There are some houses/businesses there — where it might be safer to park, ask fpr permission. We found a small empty lot to park in just up the road a bit, from which we could walk right onto the beach.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place. assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 3 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

There is a blacksand beach at the ponce hilton too. I love your site keep it going

Comment by yea on 04 Mar 2012

Great that we have black sand beaches on the mainland!! You must see Black Sand Beach in Vieques, now that is really black!! It's so beautiful! If you ever decide to go, contact Hectors by the Sea (guesthouse/hotel) ask them about the beach and that you heard that you can park on their property while you check it out. Once there they will show you which way to go. You will not regret it!

Comment by Zoraida on 05 Mar 2012

We have found a few more this past month as we explore around the main island. It seems they are on the south shore (we found one in Salinas) and even a few on the west shore (in the Mayaguez area). Keep an eye out for them while exploring PR- you never know what you will find!

Comment by Gwenn on 14 Mar 2012

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