Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
South America

5 Top Beaches in Brazil

Alter do Chao; credit: Wikimedia

Brazil offers thousands of beaches to choose from among more than 8,000 kilometres of coastline, from small river beaches in the Amazon rainforest to one of the country’s hippest beach cities, Florianópolis.

The best part is, most of these beaches lie in the tropical zone, allowing visitors to relax under the ubiquitous palm trees on the golden sands. Indeed, some of Brazil’s best beaches duly match up to many of those in the Caribbean.

Many South Americans will attest to the fact that the Brazilian beach lifestyle is quite exotic. In short, Brazilians simply love their beaches. It is not uncommon for locals to talk for hours on end about their favourite strip for different activities as well as a wide array of other interesting stories. Here, we present five of the most incredible beaches to be found on this South American mainland.

1. Alter do Chao, Pará

Unlike most people would think, Brazil’s best beach is not in Rio de Janerio; neither is it on the sun-bathed north-east or even along the coast. Located about 30 kilometres from the rainforest city of Santarem, Alter do Chao is Brazil’s hidden jewel.

Apart from a delightful scenery offering the joy of relaxation, Alter do Chao offers visitors amazing local grilled fish in the afternoon and a retreat to one of the area’s many charming pousadas by night. Anyone travelling to Alter do Chao can overnight at the coast by Pousada Tupaiulandia. According to locals, Alter do Chao is the golden oasis amidst the green inferno of the Amazon.

2. Praia da Pipa

The small surfing town of Pipa is home to four of the most well-preserved beaches in Brazil. Apart from the allure of seclusion, the Praias offer wonderful sceneries amidst untouched landscapes.

Beyond the upfront look and feel of the environs, the Praias feature something not many beaches can boast—dolphins.  The sheer volume and proximity of the dolphins makes the experiences beyond surreal.

Apart from dolphin lovers, the beach also attracts surfers, snorkelers, kayakers, paddle boarders, etc. Moreover, despite its relatively small size, the town of Praia experiences a very active night life. Imagine salsa, reggae and everything else associated with tropical nightlife.

3. Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha, a volcanic archipelago 350 kilomteres off the northeast coast of Brazil, is a true island paradise. Three beaches are particularly stunning:

Praia do Sancho: A small beach inlet which may be reached via a cavern.

Baía dos Porcos (Pig’s Bay): Pig’s Bay is incredibly beautiful and simply perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Atalaia: This is more of a saltwater pool teeming with sea life. Visitors often spot turtles, octopuses, and a plethora of fish

The beaches of Fernando de Noronha are quite possibly the well-kept and preserved beaches in Brazil as tourist numbers to the islands are strictly monitored. Tourists visiting Fernando de Noronha can find accommodation at Pousada Topázio.

4. Taipus de Fora, Maraú peninsula, Bahia

Taipus de Fora and The Maraú Peninsula can be found along the 1,100-kilometre coastline off the state of Bahia.

The coast is speckled with numerous spectacular beaches and is therefore suited for those who like long walks on the beach. This is especially fitting for couples who can lounge amidst the amazing scenery of the rising of the full moon as night falls, depending on the time of year.

Taipus de Fora and The Maraú Peninsula are specific hotspot locations where beachgoers can find shops and restaurants such as the Bar das Meninas, a restaurant bar well known for its seafood menu and chilled cocktails. Visitors often stay at Encanto da Lua, a small hotel just off the coast or at Kiaroa Resort, one of Brazil’s leading luxury beach resorts.

5. Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande, Rio state

The Lopes Mendes beaches are located along Ilha Grande – “big island”. Commonly known as “The Beach of your Dreams”, Lopes Mendes is a sweeping 3-kilometre stretch of white sand along the calm, crystal blue ocean. Indeed, Lopes Mendes provides an authentic tropical experience – lined with the typical palm and almond trees.

It is worth noting that getting to the island of Ilha Grande involves a three-hour bus journey from Rio to Angra dos Reis followed by a ferry to Ilha ride. Further, while there are no establishments such as bars or restaurants close by the beachfront, a 40-minute boat trip takes travellers to Abraão, the island’s only town. Visitors can stay at Pousada So Natureza, a small hotel located in Abraão.

There is something immensely authentic and cultural about Brazil’s beaches. From the most secluded and largely unvisited locations to the more populous and celebrated, Brazil’s beaches are the true embodiments of beauty and a certain pride that only Brazilians know.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

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