Where to head to for Brazil's best beaches...
If there’s one thing that Brazil is famous for, it’s its fantastic beaches. With a coastline stretching from the border with Venezuela, right down to its southern border with Argentina, Brazil’s beaches range from open stretches of white sand to windswept coves and are some of the best in South America. With most beach destinations being just a short hop from a major city and international airport, they are some of the easiest to access in South America and can easily be combined with a short city break or a trip into the interior. Whether you’re looking for a cool beach resort with buzzy nightlife for the evenings or a secluded retreat with no-one else around, Brazil’s beaches have something to suit every taste.
Brazil’s beach destination of the moment is definitely the old traditional flshing village of Trancoso, which is a short one-hour flight from Salvador. Celebrities and travellers alike have fallen in love with the laid-back charms of this sleepy village on the Bahian coast with its colourful fisherman’s houses and pretty Quadrado. The beaches around Trancoso are spectacular in themselves, Praia do Trancoso being a short walk down from the village’s grassy square and Praia da Barra, which is accessed through the grounds of Txai Resorts and Terravista Residences, is a beautiful spot for lunch. An hour’s drive or boat ride down the coast is the remote Praia do Espelho at Caraíva, known for the mirror-like effect created in the water at low-tide and considered to be one of the best beaches in the whole of Brazil. For those looking to combine beach and activities, here you can do horse riding, kayaking, walking and even practise the martial art of capoeira! As if this wasn’t enough, visiting between July and November, will give you a chance to spot humpback whales off the coast, making their way south to Antarctica.
Moving down the coast, are the beaches around Rio, which are only a short hop from the city. The town of Búzios has a long-standing reputation for being one of Brazil’s most sophisticated beach resorts. Set on a Peninsula which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, a three hour drive north of Rio, Búzios is made up of chic pousadas, fine restaurants and beautiful beaches. Once a small fishing port, the town was made famous in the 1960s by Brigitte Bardot and is considered to be South America’s very own St Tropez.
A couple of the closest beach destinations to Rio are the town of Angra dos Reis and the forest-covered island of Ilha Grande. Ilha Grande is home to Lopes Mendes beach, which has been voted one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world for its calm turquoise waters and its pristine white sands, fringed by half-a kilometre of coastal forest. The best way to get around here is by ferry or by private boat, while you can try your hand at a range of water activities including surfing, snorkelling, diving and paddle-boarding.
Another of Brazil’s most popular stretches of coastline is the Costa Verde between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Characterised by small sandy islands, dense Atlantic forest and vivid turquoise waters, the Costa Verde is one of the prettiest beach destinations in Brazil and works perfectly as a side-trip from Rio. The charming UNESCO listed town of Paraty with it’s cobbled streets, terracotta-tiled roofs and cachaça distilleries provides a perfect base for exploring this coastline, either by boat or by foot.
Brazil’s southern beaches are some of the most beautiful and rugged in the country. Mainly centred around the University town of Florianópolis in the state of Santa Catarina, these beaches are a great stop off between visiting Iguaçu and heading home and can also be reached with weekly flights from Argentina. Some of the most spectacular include Praia Mole and the crescent-shaped Praia do Rosa, with their untouched sands, sheltered by grassy cliffs and sand dunes. Popular for surfing, sunbathing and whale spotting - between the months of July and November - these beaches should not be missed.
Finally, for those looking for the ultimate in beach paradise, the answer has to be Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago 250km off Brazil’s north-east coast. With a tiny population and a strict policy on the numbers of visitors to the island, these volcanic islands are a haven for beach-lovers and diving enthusiasts. No less than three of Brazil’s best beaches are located in Fernando de Noronha, including Baia dos Porcos and Praia da Conceição, and the islands’ protected waters are home to turtles, octopuses, dolphins, sharks and a huge variety of fish making it one of the best places to dive in the world. There are luxury hotels on the island but nightlife here is low-key in keeping with its reputation as an eco-destination.
For more information specific to each area and a few hotels to look at, have a look at our where to go pages below. If you'd like to speak to us directly, then give us a call any time or send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to help!
At a glance…Brazil
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