What’s So Special About the Beaches in Brazil?
Beginning from the top. Brazil’s Northeast has a legendary reputation. Several states compose this vast region of diversified geography. But the coast keeps one single trait: the unmatchable beauty of the beaches.
Jericoacoara, in Ceará, is located in a national park with amazing dunes and lagoons. It’s no surprise it constantly appears in many top beach lists around the world. And it’s only 300 kilometres away from the city of Fortaleza, one of the country’s main tourist destinations and home to the famous Praia do Futuro (“Beach of the Future”).
On the state of Pernambuco, natural pools of transparent water in Porto de Galinhas get all the attentions. It offers great facilities and you can reach it after a one-hour drive from Recife, a place with its own natural charms.
Further south, the city of Tamandaré keeps a secret worth sharing. The almost desert Carneiros beach is just perfect for those who want to take a long break from crowded places. And has one singular treat: the little church built practically three feet away from the water.
Keep descending, into the state of Bahia, land of carnival. The only hard thing you’ll have to do is choose. So if you really must, choose Praia do Espelho (“Mirror Beach”), where beautiful cliffs coexist with natural pools during low tides.
Travelling through the Northeast won’t be complete without Fernando Noronha’s archipelago. It’s divided between the agitated waters of “Mar de Fora” (“Outside Sea”, beaches facing the Atlantic) and the more peaceful beaches of Mar Adentro (“Sea Within”) facing mainland. In Mar Adentro, the crystal clear colours of Baía do Sancho and Baía dos Porcos gain prominence.
When we reach the two most famous states, it’s possible combining beach vacation with the cultural side of Brazil. Rio and Sao Paulo form a megalopolis filled with stimulating opportunities.
But first things first: let’s hit the beaches. Many Rio de Janeiro’s inhabitants practically live on the water most part of the year. No wonder, with worldwide famous beaches like Copacabana, Ipanema or Barra da Tijuca standing across the street.
Just two hours away from Rio is the city of Búzios, famous since Brigitte Bardot made it her favourite secret spot in the 1960’s. With water all around, there are different options for everyone. Let’s say the long white sands of Geribá beach, where the cold, agitated sea is great for water sports. Or Ferradura beach, lying close to the city centre in a lovely bay, which is suited for more relaxing days with gardens and houses surrounding you.
In Angra dos Reis, there’s the always-gorgeous Ilha Grande (“big island”). More than 113 beaches spread over only 30 kilometres. The most famous one? Without a doubt Lopes Mendes, true prototype of a paradise shelter.
In the state of Sao Paulo, Feiticeira beach in Ilhabela justifies the name (meaning “sorceress”) with the exotic touch of the coconut trees and the waterfall you’ll pass by on your way there. It rivals the beauty of Barra do Una’s beach, to the south, a seductive peninsula where the river meets the sea.
We arrive at “gaucho” land — "gaucho" being the South-American version of a cowboy. This means the names of the beaches are not as sounding as those of the north, but are worth the visit nonetheless.
Lagoinha do Leste in Florianópolis (state of Santa Catarina) is a great example. Ecologically well preserved, it’s located near a charming lagoon surrounded by lush vegetation.
On the other hand, Torres beach is the jewel of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, very popular among families and surfers. Its singular landscape is shaped by large rock formations.
Last but not least, when driving the 200 kilometres from Torres to the city of Porto Alegre, make sure you stop at Capão da Canoa. Many Argentines and Uruguayans cross the border and come here in search of sun, sea and sand. And, of course, the best “gaucho” flavours. Before taking a dive, don’t forget to taste them in one of the many typical steakhouses!