Discover 13 of the Best Beaches in Brazil
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Discover 13 of the Best Beaches in Brazil

10 min read

Sep 1, 2020


By Simone Costa

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Last updated on December 18th, 2020 at 12:03 pm

The Best Beaches in Brazil

Ranked by Our Experts

Brazil is the largest country in South America with the largest coastline, spanning over 7,490 km from the Guianas to Uruguay. If you’re looking for a spectacular Brazil beach vacation consider visiting 13 of our expert-rated Brazil beaches or one of the best beach resorts in Brazil.

You’ll find that in addition to the notable Copacabana and Ipanema, there are plenty of other dreamy sunbathing options in other areas of Brazil. From Rio de Janeiro beaches to the northeast Brazil beaches, find out which paradise is ideal for you.

Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

ipanema beach with beach goers and palm trees

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is known for many things: the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain, the breathtaking panoramas from Sugar Loaf Mountain, the sights and sounds of Rio Carnival, the Samba, and exciting nightlife. However, quite possibly what Brazil is known for the most are the Rio Brazil Beaches. There are 40 kilometers of beaches on the Rio coastline where you can sink your toes in the sand and enjoy the warm Brazilian sunshine. Here you will learn about the 5 main beaches of Rio: Leblon, Ipanema, Arpoador, Copacabana, and Leme.

#1. Leblon Beach

First on our list is Leblon Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Leblon is an upscale beach frequented by the wealthy. This beautiful Rio Brazil beach is a great area for families because there tends to be fewer crowds and most importantly, the Baixo Baby area. This is an enclosed area with toys and games for young children, and also hosts a baby changing station. For adults, there are organized sports activities, wide sidewalks for walking, and interesting shops to peruse. You can also dive deeper into the Leblon neighborhood and find high-end bars, restaurants, and shopping.

I recommend walking to the belvedere, where you can enjoy the scenery, and sit at one of the kiosks to drink cold coconut water. It is a typical carioca outing. From there you will have a beautiful view of Leblon Beach and Ipanema Beach. It is possible to see, but far away, Arpoador Beach and Arpoador Rocks. In addition, you can still see Christ the Redeemer.

#2. Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach is right next to Leblon. The two Brazil beaches are separated by a small channel. Ipanema is one of the trendiest areas of Rio and is a center for many activities. This area, like Leblon, is very wealthy and the restaurants, shopping, and activities cater to the higher-end of society. If you want to spot celebrities enjoying the sunshine, this is the place to stay.

There is a mixture of young and old beachgoers here. The calm waters allow younger swimmers to enjoy the water and there are roped off sections for mothers and children. You will see quite a number of body surfers and sailboats in the distance. In the winter, this is where the surfers go, enjoying waves up to 9 feet high! Near the beach, the famous “Hippy Fair” takes place on Sundays and you can find locals selling their high-quality handicrafts, art, photography, clothing, leather goods, and more.

#3. Arpoador Beach

Third, on our list is Arpoador Beach. Arpoador beach is one of the best Brazil beaches for surfing in Rio, located at a charming small block between Copacabana and Ipanema. In the summer the “Pedra do Arpoador” is a classic to see the most photographed and applauded sunset in the city. Night swimming is a tradition as this beach is very well lit. At “Galeria River,” you can find everything for surfing, skateboarding, and extreme sports. Here you will find the perfect carioca style, locals enjoying trendy restaurants and bars in the surroundings.

#4. Copacabana Beach

By far the most famous and frequented of the beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana is the hotspot for nightlife, restaurants, and beach activities. Copacabana is a melting pot for all sorts of people: the wealthy and non-wealthy, young and old, locals and non-locals. There are so many things to do in Copacabana. For the more active, there are large sidewalks for walking and running, and organized sports activities: volleyball, soccer, and Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts).

The less active beachgoer can enjoy the sunshine and the views of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Small restaurants and bars line up near the beach to serve the famous Brazilian alcoholic drink, the Caipirinha, as well as traditional snacks. There are public lockers, showers, and bathrooms along the walkways for a small fee.

#5. Leme Beach

Leme is the farthest East of the popular Rio Brazil beaches, making it the closest to Sugar Loaf mountain. This beach is in more of a residential area and has far fewer crowds. On the weekends, you can visit Forte Duque de Caxias, a cultural center with a historical museum and a lookout at the top of the Fort with amazing views of Sugar Loaf, the Christ the Redeemer statue, and Guanabara Bay.

Don’t miss the Leme rock (Pedra do Leme), a large rock formation that serves as a sightseeing point (the locals say this is one of the best areas to watch the sunset!), a restaurant area where you can sample the best of Brazilian dishes, and also a fisherman’s area. At the end of the beach is Morro de Leme, a wilderness area that is home to the Sagui monkey, as well as 90+ animal species and 10,000 varieties of plants.

Beaches in Buzios, Ilha Grande, and Paraty

boats in the port of buzios brazil

Some of the best Brazil beaches are in Buzios, Ilha Grande, and Paraty. Buzios is a tropical town just 3-hours north of Rio de Janeiro.  It has a stunningly beautiful peninsula. The world’s wealthy and famous frequent here often. The town has an “island feel,” and boasts upscale seaside resorts that are popular amongst celebrities.

Ilha Grande is an island known for its stretch of Lopes Mendes Beach and its incredible surf. Lastly, Paraty is a small town surrounded by mountains on the Costa Verde. Paraty is quite unique as it features a Portuguese colonial-style town and a beautiful waterfront.

#6. Lopes Mendes Beach

Nex up we have Lopes Mendes Beach! Lopes Mendes is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ilha Grande with a peaceful atmosphere. The strip of sand with shaded areas of the trees is almost 2 miles long and great for a walk by the sea.

There are no restaurants, or lodges although there are some stalls that sell sandwiches, soft drinks, beer, and water. The most common way to get there is by boat and then 20-minute easy trekking.

Northeast Brazil Beaches

lencois maranhenses brazil

In addition to Rio and Ilha Grande, there are some amazing beaches in northeastern Brazil. If you’re looking for a spectacular Brazil beach vacation consider visiting all 7 of these northeast Brazil beaches. The Northeast region of Brazil is in an area where the warm Atlantic Ocean gives way to beautiful coastal deserts, national parks, vast beaches, and some fantastic Brazil beach resorts. Especially in the state of Bahia, travelers will find luxurious beach resorts sprinkled in hidden cities like Trancoso, Brazil.

Northeastern Brazil is also home to one of the most cultural and historical cities in Brazil. On this Brazilian Beaches & Lençóis Maranhenses Luxury Adventure Tour we combine the best destinations for a unique Brazil beach vacation. Experience adventure at the national parks, historical sightseeing and relax in luxurious hotels.

#7. Praia do Forte Beach

One of the most famous beaches in northeast Brazil is Praia do Forte. Praia do Forte is located 80 km away from Salvador. The natural pools are ideal for swimming and for water sports, such as snorkeling and diving. Praia do Forte houses the headquarters of the Tamar Project for the protection of turtles and whales. The charming Village has a good infrastructure of inns and restaurants. Don’t miss the famous “Moqueca”, a Brazilian seafood stew slowly cooked in a terracotta casserole.

#8. Praia do Espelho Beach

“Praia do Espelho” (Mirror Beach) is located 20 km from Trancoso and is one of the most popular destinations in southern Bahia. Comfortable accommodations, gazebos by the sea, and tranquil waters compose an unforgettable landscape. The beach is suitable for swimming and hiking, with panoramic viewpoints on the cliffs.

#9. Second Beach of Morro de São Paulo

The “Second Beach” of Morro de São Paulo has a festive atmosphere of restaurants and inns that are open day and night. Approximately 380 meters of calm water, the natural pools are ideal for bathing, and, due to the shallow depth, there is the option of sun loungers in the water.

I stayed at the second beach to be closer to the action but if you are looking for a quiet beach to relax, I suggest the third beach a few minutes away on foot. From Salvador, you can get to Morro de São Paulo by small plane or by ferry.

#10. Fortaleza Beach

Fortaleza is one of the best places to visit in Brazil and has incredible beaches. It is the perfect starting point to visit the northeast Brazil beaches. This is one of the most popular coastal towns in Brazil and is one of Brazil’s largest cities. Fun fact, in 2014, Fortaleza was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Relax on the white sandy beach of Iracema or wander through the town’s museums. From Fortaleza, travel north towards Guajiru, and enjoy two days in a luxury hotel. Explore this small, but famous fisherman village and feel the Brazilian culture.

#11. Jericoacoara Beach

Located 300 KM west of Fortaleza is a small fishing village, home to some of the best weather conditions for windsurfing and kite surfing. Jericoacoara, better known as “Jeri,” is one of Brazil’s last hidden treasures and has some of the best beaches in the country. Since 1984, the area around Jericoacoara was declared an Environmental Protection Area (APA) and then in 2002, it became a National Park. Because of this, new tourism and construction restrictions have been put in place in order to help preserve the area. These changes have made Jericoacoara even more spectacular and are definitely one of the northeast Brazil beaches you must see.

#12. Delta do Parnaíba

Additionally, north of Jericoacoara, you will find the Delta area and its capital city, Parnaíba. This is a pleasantly decaying colonial port and is the ideal starting point for visiting the Delta. The Delta is a natural paradise best known for its exotic animals and sand dunes. I recommend taking a short boat cruise through the delta for the ultimate Delta do Parnaíba experience. With all the trees and verdant landscape, you’ll feel like you are entering the jungle. This is not your typical beach, but that’s what makes it one of my favorite northeast Brazil beaches.

#13. Lençóis Maranhenses

Last, we have Lençois Maranhenses. Travel to Barreirinhas, the perfect starting point to the famous National Park of Lençóis Maranhenses. Lençóis Maranhenses is a land of never-ending sand dunes and freshwater lagoons. Enjoy the beautiful blue-green lagoons. Be sure to visit Lagoa Azul and Lagoa dos Peixes, my two favorite lagoons for swimming. If you are feeling adventurous, sign up for a 4×4 Jeep excursion through the sand dunes to the trailhead of Preguicas River. When travelers mention the northeast Brazil beaches, Barreirinhas always comes to mind.

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Last updated on December 18th, 2020 at 12:03 pm

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