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A Guide to the Best Beaches in Brazil

With more than 4,500 miles of coastline, Brazil is home to more than its fair share of beaches. From legendary stretches of sand such as Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, to lesser-known gems such as Praia de Pipa in Rio Grande do Norte, beaches are a part of life in Brazil and are sure to factor into any holiday to the country. In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the best beaches in Brazil, helping you to plan the perfect trip.

Best Beaches in Brazil

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Rio needs no introduction, and nor does Copacabana. Arguably the most famous beach in the world, this 2.5 mile stretch of golden sand is found in the heart of Brazil’s liveliest city. Sure to be busy with both travelers and locals alike, it’s a great place to enjoy a spot of beach volleyball and football. Or you can just kick back on the soft sand and get your tan on. The location means you’re never far from a cocktail bar or luxury hotel. The surrounding views of Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer are stunning. Rio is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Brazil. It would be mad to travel to the country without spending a few days in the city.

Praia do Espelho, Bahia

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Around halfway between Rio and Recife lies the town of Trancoso, until recently a small fishing village. In recent years, Trancoso has grown in popularity with visitors to Brazil and it is now a booming beach town, with plenty of things to see and do for visitors. Around 15 miles from the town lies Praia do Espelho, and the contrast couldn’t be starker when compared to Copacabana. The beach is virtually undiscovered by foreign tourists, it is quiet and remote, with crystal clear sea and stunning golden sand. Divers can snorkel amongst coral reefs whilst sunbathers are sheltered from the hot sun by palm trees and towering cliffs. The nearby village of Vila do Outeiro caters to tourists, with a selection of bars, restaurants, and accommodation, and back on the beach, you can also rent deck chairs and tents.

Santos beach, Santos, São Paulo

Santos beach, Santos, São Paulo

Another sprawling city and one of the best places to visit in Brazil, São Paulo can be found around 400km south of Rio de Janeiro, and is easily reachable from the city. When you arrive in the city, you’ll find numerous attractions. However, for beaches, you are best to head about an hour out of town to Santos. Football (soccer) fans may recognize Santos FC as the place where Brazilian forward Neymar was first discovered by Barcelona. The coastal town is home to a 3.5-mile strip of beach, which backs onto a lovely garden and is close to Santos harbor, the biggest in South America. As a result, the beach caters well to families. Nearby attractions include the Santos Aquarium and the Brazilian Coffee Museum. A stroll around the harbor is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Praia de Pipa, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte

The coastal fishing town of Natal in Rio Grande do Norte state is another beach that the majority of international tourists are yet to discover. It’s popular with the locals of nearby Recife, who descend on the town during weekends and for national holidays. The scenery around the beach is spectacular, with a mixture of verdant green forests, azure sea, and pink cliffs interspersed with sand dunes. Hiring buggies to explore the dunes is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping. As is the range of water sports on offer at the beach. In addition, local operators offer boat trips in search of the local pods of dolphins. Natal is known for its lively nightlife, with a range of bars catering to domestic and international travelers, making it a great option for those visiting Brazil in search of a good time.

Praia do Campeche, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina

Down in the south of Brazil, not too far from Uruguay, Florianopolis is a wonderful place to visit. Praia do Campeche is its crowning jewel. The beach is stunning and the marine life on offer provides a great environment for snorkeling. Fishing is big business in the town. After you’ve had a go yourself, make sure to sample some of the local fresh catch. You won’t be disappointed. In the summer months, a number of whale species can be seen offshore as they migrate to warmer waters. Consequently, many operators offer whale watching trips to capitalize on this seasonal activity.

Best Beaches in Brazil Recap

Because of the size of Brazil, it can be logistically challenging to see all the different sights of the country. It does have a good internal flight network. Nevertheless, if you have to choose a smaller area to cover then my recommendation would be Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which has Santos close by. Home to one of the best beaches in Brazil. Whichever stretch of Brazilian coastline you choose, you’re sure to be rewarded with incredible beaches, wonderful scenery, and stunning weather.

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