10 of Brazil's Best Beaches

You can’t imagine a trip to Brazil without visions of sparkling sand, crystalline water and beautifully bronze-tanned bodies. Brazil has 2,095 distinct beaches along a 4,650-mile coastline. And while Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema and Copacabana beaches top the list of the world’s best beaches; there are plenty under-the-radar seaside spots that have the perfect mix of water sports, relaxation eye candy. Here’s our recommendations for the best beaches in Brazil.
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Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Secretaria de Turismo de Santa Catarina

Photo By: Embratur

Photo By: Embratur

Praia de Pernambuco

Praia de Pernambuco is located in São Paulo state – not in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. One of the many beaches situated in the municipality of Guarujá, this lovely coastline has the laid-back vibe of the northeast, even though it’s located approximately an hour away from Brazil’s largest city. A bit farther afield than the other beaches of the Litoral Paulista, Pernambuco also attracts more than its share of sun-tanned hotties. Distance from São Paulo: 60 miles.

Canoa Quebrada

Just a few hours away from Fortaleza and minutes from the equator, Canoa Quebrada enchants visitors with its incredible sunrises and sunsets. It not uncommon for beachgoers to climb the beach’s highest sand dunes to witness this spectacular view. Windsurfing, swimming, sun tanning, and people-watching are the daylight past-times; while the bars and nightspots along Rua da Broadway keep the scene hot after the sunset. One of the more dramatic ways to get to Canoa Quebrada from town is by dune buggy. Distance from Fortaleza: 103 miles.


Nicknamed “The Brazilian Caribbean” because of its powdery white sand and spectacular coral reefs, Maracajaú offers the perfect mix of sea, sun, and sand. The 3.5-acre Maracajaú Reef, located just 4 miles offshore, hugs the Brazilian coastline near its easternmost point and mesmerizes divers and snorkelers with its colorful array of coral and marine life. Visitors from Natal can come down for the day by dune buggy or stay at one of the town’s 3 intimate inns. Distance from Natal: 31 miles.

Arraial do Cabo

The tip of land pointing into the Atlantic Ocean a couple of hours east of Rio de Janeiro is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the country. Arraial do Cabo, just south of the resort town of Cabo Frio, features brilliant white sands and cerulean seas, with a string of beaches ranging from intimate to party-size. Beautiful Praia do Farol is only accessible via a launch and sits in the shadow of the impressive Fenda de Nossa Senhora rock formations. Distance from Rio de Janeiro: 105 miles.

Baía do Sancho

Secluded and far, far away from the Brazilian mainland and the world, the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is home to the World’s Best Beach in 2015, according to the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice poll. Baía do Sancho is the perfect crescent-shaped stretch of sand with a protective layer of thick tropical vegetation that make this a secluded spot. The striking, rocky outcroppings and calm turquoise seas lull lucky visitors into a dreamy paradise come true. Distance from Natal: 217 miles.


Affectionately known as Jeri, the backpacking haven of Jericoacoara still packs a punch as one of the world’s best beaches. Guarded by a verdant, 20-acre national park, Jeri features exotic landmarks such as the Pedra Furada stone arch and the abandoned town of Tatajuba. It’s also a great destination for fun activities like kitesurfing, windsurfing, swimming, sandboarding, horseback riding, and yes, even capoeira lessons. The beach at Jeri faces west, setting the stage for phenomenal sunsets over tranquil waters. Distance from Fortaleza: 185 miles.

Praia do Forte

An eco-friendly beach and a popular resort area, Praia do Forte offers a cleaner, quieter alternative to Salvador da Bahia’s socially sizzling, but not-altogether-pristine beaches. The peaceful atmosphere of this fishing village – rich in history and culture – is undergirded by the impactful history and culture of the place, while the extensive coral reef, whale and sea turtle sightings, and ecologically focused non-profit organizations operating in the area mean a rich experience that goes beyond the typical hang-out and tanning session on the beach. Distance from Salvador: 50 miles.

Praia Mole

Long, wide, and often populated by some of the most beautiful young hipsters ever to frolic on a Brazilian beach, Praia Mole is Florianópolis’ answer to Ipanema. Due east of the city – in the middle of Santa Catarina Island’s Atlantic shore – Praia Mole is the center of the region’s youth culture and it’s also an LGBT-friendly hotspot as well. Surfing – and “sightseeing” – make this stretch of sand popular, but it remains arguably the most pleasant of the country’s urban beaches. Distance from Florianópolis: 11 miles.

Praia da Pipa

Cliffs of sand and seaside shrubbery tower over Praia da Pipa. It is still one of the more laid-back jewels on the Brazilian coastline – despite the surfers and beach bums from around the world who make this a popular beach. Situated amidst a lush ecological sanctuary, Pipa also features a small but diverse dining scene as well as a handful of fun spots for drinking and dancing the night away. Distance from Natal: 50 miles.


Known as the “Capital do Surf” in Portuguese, the town of Ubatuba – with more than 100 beaches in the vicinity – hosts at least 10 international surf competitions every year. Among them are Ilha das Couves, with its deserted sands and excellent diving; and Itamambuca, known for pretty tubular surf action. Distance from São Paulo: 139 miles.

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