The 5 Best Beaches in Brazil
A quick-and-dirty guide to the shores in one of the sexiest countries on the planet. (Bring a thong!)
Looking for an escape? One of my favorite places to relax is on a beach in Brazil. Brazilian culture revolves around the beach, and with 4,578 miles of coastline it comes as no surprise. I’ve been going every winter for years, and I love turning my friends onto the spectacular beaches that line Brazil’s shores.
My friends often ask me to list my favorite beaches in Brazil, since I’ve traveled all over the country to find the most pristine, beautiful beaches. Actually, my girlfriends ask which beaches and towns are the prettiest, while my guy friends almost always ask where the prettiest women are.
That’s a tricky question, and one that nearly everyone has a different answer to. Women in Brazil (especially in Rio) are a very broad mixture of races and cultures — there really isn’t one cookie cutter sort of woman. What I can tell you is that, regardless of their background, in Brazil all women are universally interested in fashion, fitness, and bragging about their man. It’s the plastic surgery capital of the world (if you don’t count Asian women getting eyelid surgeries), despite having so much poverty.
Many men visit Brazil because the women have a reputation for being very sexual and easily seduced by the promise of an American boyfriend. This is only partially true. It’s the same as anywhere in the world, basically. Men who have comparatively large wealth will be able to seduce women who look for that. Just like anywhere else.
That said, if my guy friends are going to Rio, I tell them to go to Ipanema beach. It’s the most high-end beach in Rio, surrounded by a cleaner and safer area of the city. The women who hang out at Ipanema beach are healthy (they are the wealthy crowd, so they eat less junk food) and –of course– gorgeous, but since they’re not living in poverty, they’re also less easily seduced.
As for the beaches natural beauty, they all have their own charm, but I prefer beaches that are clean and less crowded. So, without further adieu, from the Amazon to a small peninsula off the coast, these are the best of the bountiful:
1. Praia Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande
Located off the coast between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (and a short walk through the jungle!), the wild and sexy shores of Lopes Mendes stretch out two miles in front of you. The beach is adorned with exotic vegetation, like almond and apricot trees, and crystal clear water that creates beautiful waves. There is absolutely no development, making this isolated beach a great spot for uninterrupted R&R. Praia Lopes Mendes is everything you would imagine a secluded tropical paradise to be.
2. Alter do Chao, Pará
One of the best beaches in Brazil is actually separate from the coast. Located in the heart of the Amazon, beautiful white sandy beaches surround the clear waters of the Tapajós River. Positioned between the Amazon and the Tapajós is the Green Lake, or Lake Muraquitas. However, there’s more to this beach than just the sandy shores, there is also an abundance of beautiful wildlife and vegetation. Start off your trip by enjoying the scenery of the Amazon and end your day relaxing by this gorgeous gem.
3. Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha
Located near World Cup host cities Recife and Natal, Praia do Sancho is a beach that seems to be created for the adventurous travelers. This beach is not only perfect for diving and snorkeling, but with its clear waters, miles of coral reefs, and a busy sea turtle mating season, there’s a lot to see. There’s no getting bored at this place! Unfortunately, this isolated beach can be hard to get to because of the steep cliffs that border the shores. There are only three ways to arrive – by boat, ladders (located in a rock split), or scaling the rocks of neighboring Porcos Beach. If you’ve got the guts to take one of these avenues, this definitely is the place for you! Don’t worry, regardless of which avenue you choose, the trip to this beach is definitely worth it.
4. Taipus de Fora, Bahia
Located at one end of the Maraú Peninsula, the Taipus de Fora is the third largest beach in the country with about 25 miles of beautiful beaches. This tropical paradise is the main attraction of the Maraú Peninsula. There are pool reefs, coconut trees, waterfalls and mangroves. Equipped with hotels and authentic Brazilian lodges, it’s actually possible to wake up to this view every morning. Honestly, is anything wrong with this place? Paradise is the only term that can be used to describe this gorgeous destination.
5. Ipanema, Zona Sul, Rio de Janeiro
No Brazilian beach list is complete without Ipanema. (This classic beach is the place that made bikini watching an acceptable pastime!) Much more of a tourist’s beach, the shores of Ipanema are strewn with bodies and energy. Although it’s a little more crowded and well-known than the other beaches on this list, Ipanema is still a favorite of many. Aside from spending your day in the sun, there are tons off high-end shops, not to mention a vibrant nightlife in the neighborhood nearby! On Rua Vincius de Morais, a street lined with restaurants and bars, is the famous Garota de Ipanema Bar where the lyrics to “The Girl from Ipanema” were penned. You can literally lay in the sun all day and have a girls night out all in the same place. Does that sound like the perfect vacation, or what?