Brazil’s Best Beaches

So where are the best beaches in Brazil?  The Brazilians love to argue about it. Having spent over a month exploring Brazil’s coast last year, here’s my opinion.

On the whole, following my extended trip last year, I was a little disappointed by the beaches in Brazil.  Panama, Colombia and Venezuela all have much smaller coastlines yet much more beautiful beaches.  None the less, Brazil does have some great beaches - you just have to pick the right places to visit.

I think the most beautiful beaches I found were at Fernando de Noronha, a small island a short flight from Natal.  It’s quite an exclusive island, rather expensive, but it does have some lovely, uncrowded beaches.

Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha

Other beautiful beaches can be found near Florianopolis, on the island of Santa Catalina in the South of Brazil.  From May to August it’s the winter down there though, and too cold for a typical beach vacation.  Santa Catalina Island very popular with surfers, and it’s quite a trendy place to hang out, with great nightlife.

Florianopolis (Santa Catalina), Brazil
Florianopolis, Santa Catalina Island.

Ilha Grande also has some great beaches, as does much of the Costa Verde near Rio.  Rio de Janeiro’s itself has some of Brazil’s best city beaches.

Brazil Beaches - Rio de Janeiro
Brazil’s beaches - Rio de Janeiro

So above I’ve mentioned some of the best of Brazil’s beaches. There are plenty of other destinations you could consider in addition.  Itacare and Trancoso are town up and coming trendy resorts on the coast between Rio and Salvador.  Around Salvador, there’s plenty of resorts, including the island of Morro de Sao Paulo, which I found to be a little over-rated. Further North, there’s plenty more opportunities near Fortaleza and Jericoacoara, but my one enduring thought about the beaches in Brazil (at least on the mainland), is that’s it’s a shame the water is a little murky. The beaches are lovely, but the sea isn’t as crystalline as many other places in Latin America.

3 Responses to “Brazil’s Best Beaches”

  1. Your description about brazilians beaches are infame. It’s not possible to have a good view of brazilian’s coast - about 7.000 km - in just one month… The beaches depends on the moon, the tyde, winds, and other factors that you’ve simple disconsidered (at least its what it seems). If you were more informed you would know that the north and south coast of Fernando de Noronha changes a lot depending on the period of the year. And the same ocurrs with other beaches. Then, its not possible to afirm that one beach is better than other, because it will depends on the month of the year you go there (and on your taste and sensibility).
    And the comparisons are ridiculous. Los Roques, San Andreas or Providence can not be compared with Florianópolis, Ilha Grande or Jericoacoara simply because they all are completelly diferent. Each one has its own beauty…
    Your last information, that “it’s a shame the water is a little murky [here]” only shows your stereotyped and limited vision of the beauty of a beach, as if a dark sea could not be beauty. If it was crystallinity that you wanted, you should have gone to Cabo Frio, Buzios, Porto de Galinhas, Carneiros, etc.

  2. Thanks for the advice Luiz - will try not to take it personally! I hope to explore more of Brazils coast in the not too distant future, so will take your suggestions into account….All beaches are of course completely different, but what’s “ridiculous” about comparing them? This blog is about South America - and often draws comparisons between different countries… and my personal idea of a great beach is one whereby I arrive, look at the water, and instantly want to throw myself in it - unfortunately such beaches are few and far between!

  3. Ok! No reason for taking things that way. It all about helping eachother. By the way, only who”s been to a south american country can possibly fully understand a lot of what’s posted here..
    About the beaches in Brazil: Yes it is right,one month is to sort of a time to have a good picture but you did really well.
    There are endless stunning beaches and some good waters but not much if you take in consideration the extend of the Brazilian coastline.
    I think it’s a surfers paradise and a nightmare for people that like to swimm (and that is swimming a km or two).
    A lot of the times what comes further inland is of a better choice and that is sure if you are brought up in Greece and get impressed more of a waterfall than of the dark colored waters and ruff brazilian coastline. For example in Ipanema you can not really swimm freely for a good part of the year as the waves get to dangerous.Well in that case there is plenty to keep you going on the sands….
    The coastline I know well is the Costa Verde wich is green coast and is surely beautyful. From Ubatuba to Jacarei. You will find everything there.But from november to late january it should be raining a lot!! That is raining for days…even week without almost any breaks. Ilha Grande is a place for adventure and also try tha area near Paraty and Trindade. Won’t say more now. Really the magic is in finding out on the go as we are talking about pure nature. Just get a real waterprof tent with you! Also be aware there are already two new clear P.stations near Angra dos reis…and a third under construction = mad!!
    Safe good travels to everybody!

    By the way, its Florianopolis.

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