Playa Negra, Vieques: An Out of Place Black Sand Beach
Vieques is famous for its amazing beaches, each one of them a sweet slice of brilliant white sand – the stuff of any beach-lover’s wildest dreams. Each one of them, that is, except for Playa Negra.
Located on the southern shore of Vieques just east of the Blue Horizon Boutique Resort, the more than aptly named Playa Negra (Black Beach) is not for everyone… And not just because of its decidedly dark appearance.
Before we get into that, though, let’s address the black sand. What’s a black sand beach doing in Vieques, an island devoid of any volcanoes?
The answer lies in the Vieques’ geology, of course – a mixture of sedimentary rocks (limestone, sandstone) and volcanic bedrock, a product of the magma that would’ve come to the surface with the shifting of the tectonic plates that formed the island so many millions of years ago.
The black sand found on Playa Negra is runoff from Vieques’ volcanic areas, Monte Pirata, the island’s highest peak (elevation: 987 feet) in particular. So, if it hasn’t rained in a while during your visit, you may not find much black here… assuming you can find Playa Negra at all.
Like a lot of our favorite beaches, Playa Negra is remote, secluded, and very much off the beaten path. Even if you do manage to run across it, there are no signs alerting you to the fact that you’ve arrived.
No parking, no concessions, very little shade… Yeah, I’d say it’s perfect for our style of uncommon adventuring, especially since you have to make a bit of a hike through the bush and traverse a small stream just to reach the sand.
The beauty, privacy, and novel black sand make Playa Negra worth the effort to me.
For more on Playa Negra, including helpful precautions and detailed tips on how to get there, check out this great Puerto Rico Day Trips post.
*Lead photo credit: Flickr user Sarah Richter.