Where Can Black Sand Be Found?

We here at LavaHQ obviously use lava sand (or black sand) in our products, because that is what makes them so great.

There are a few places within the world where lava sand can be found.

These places include Hawaii, Iceland, the Canary Islands, California, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Puerto Rico, Greece, and many more.

Read on to learn more about black sand.

What is lava or black sand?

Before we get into talking about what black sand is, we do need to spend a little bit of time talking about how this compares to scoria.

You see, when you go to the store and buy lava sand, what you are typically buying is scoria.

It is important to know this difference between scoria and black sand because scoria does not keep heating very well.

As an example, you can have a scoria rock in a fire and once you take the rock out of the fire, you can touch it with your hands.

This is because scoria doesn't keep heat well at all.

You wouldn't want something like this in your heating pad because it would never stay warm enough to do anything for you.

Scoria is commonly used in drainage and landscaping works.

It is also used commonly is barbecue grills, since again it doesn't retain heat very well.

We, of course, don't use these in our products and it is very important that we don't have.

Black sand is a little different.

Both scoria and black sand originate in the same place.

Both come from volcanoes.

Scoria is formed when the lava comes out of the volcano and it trails down the side of the volcano until is eventually cools down and hardens.

Black sand is created when the lava explodes from the volcano out of the top and then lands in the water.

Because of the experience that black sand goes through, it is more successful at keeping in the heat and cold.

Over centuries, these black sand rocks are broken up and brought to the beach making up the black sand beaches.

Hence why we use it in our LavaBags.

Black sand also contains basalt.

According to

"Basalt is a dark-colored, fine-grained, igneous rock composed mainly of plagioclase and pyroxene minerals. It most commonly forms as an extrusive rock, such as a lava flow, but can also form in small intrusive bodies, such as an igneous dike or a thin sill. It has a composition similar to gabbro. The difference between basalt and gabbro is that basalt is a fine-grained rock while gabbro is a coarse-grained rock.

Basalt underlies more of Earth's surface than any other rock type. Most areas within Earth's ocean basins are underlain by basalt. Although basalt is much less common on continents, lava flows and flood basalts underlie several percent of Earth's land surface. Basalt is a very important rock."

Basalt is a very important rock to our civilization.

There are only a few places that you can actually take black sand away from the beaches.

It is illegal to do it in Hawaii.

But us at LavaBag have found a source that is perfectly fine to use.

Where can you find black sand?

Albay Islands, Philippines

As we've mentioned previously, the black sand comes from volcanic eruptions and then centuries of the dried lava getting corroded by the waving of the oceans.

Albay Islands is a good example of this.

They actually have an active volcano near by and that volcano is called Mayon.

It is a stratovolcano, which means that is has a cone shape because of the build up of the mouth of the volcano every time the volcano erupts.

When the lava comes out, it will pour out from the mouth and some of the lava will stay near the mouth.

This makes the cone shape.

You can also see the many layers that it is creating as the mouth of the volcano gets higher and higher.

The Mayon volcano has had activity pretty regularly since 1999, so people get to see lava coming from it every few years.

As this volcano continues to erupt, the beaches in the surrounding islands benefit from the black sand that is created.

This includes the islands of Bacacy, Santo Domingo, and Tiwi.


Probably one of the most well-known places for their black sand beaches is Hawaii.

Hawaii is a cluster of islands and each seem to have their own unique black sand beaches.

There are actually 7 volcanoes around Hawaii.

These include Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Kohala, Haleakala, and Diamond Head.

Of these, Kilauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai are currently active.

Within Hawaii, there are a few beaches that are pretty well known.

The first of these is Punalu'u beach.

Apparently the water around the island is pretty rocky, so somewhat dangerous to swim in.

So only do it if you are familiar with the beach.

There is also a spring of fresh water that people used to use when they weren't getting sufficient rain.

It is also a beach that is frequented by endangered species of turtle, so it is a wonderful site to behold.

You cannot take the black sand away from the beach.

Waianapanapa State Park is another place in Hawaii known for their black sand beaches.

It is located on the island of Maui.

It is also known for it's wonderful hiking and lava caves.

If you've never been in a lava cave, it is quite the experience.


Like Hawaii, there are multiple locations in Iceland that are known for their black beaches.

First is Diamond Beach, known for the chunks of ice coming off glaciers onto the beach that sparkle off of the black sand.

This sparkling gives off the impression that the ice chunks are actually diamonds, where the beach gets its name.

Reynisfjara is another beach is Iceland well known for its black sand.

It is so beautiful that is has been used for multiple tapings of tv shows and movies.

It also has some of the blackest sand on the earth.


Black Sand Beach in California is one of the locations within the United States (outside of Hawaii).

The sand here isn't stark black, but it is a good black color.

New Zealand

The Karekare beach in New Zealand is one that you will only find access to while going on a hike,

So make sure you are prepared to do some walking to get there.

But it is totally worth it to see the wonderful black sand beach.

Like other beaches we've listed here, it isn't safe to swim in this beach, but feel free to enjoy the view.

Any many more...


We could spend all day talking about black sand beaches.

But whatever beach it is that you've decided you are going to visit, you are going to get a great view.

We also appreciate what black sand can do for heating pads.

Because of the way the black sand is formed, it is perfect for both heating up and also as a cold pack.

Which is why we fill out LavaBag heating pads are filled with this sand, of which you can purchase here.