11 Brazil’s best beaches

Brazil has so many beautiful beaches that it may be worth planning a vacation around one or more of them. This South American country has over 4,500 miles of coastline along the South Atlantic and a tropical climate that practically guarantees days spent under bright blue skies while relaxing on the beach. You can’t go wrong with any of these fantastic stretches for the best of the best.

Praia do Forte, Mata de Sao João

praia do forte mata de sao joão

Praia do Forte is located in the country’s northeast, about 50 miles north of Salvador. At low tide, you can admire tide pools filled with all kinds of marine life and enjoy swimming and snorkeling through waters so clear that you won’t even need a mask to see the myriad of colorful fish. You might even see a majestic humpback whale surface past the breaking waves if you visit between July and October.

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro

ipanema beach rio de janeiro

Ipanema Beach is arguably the most famous beach in South America, as well as the most popular tourist destination in Brazil. The one-and-a-quarter mile stretch of pristine white sands dotted with beautiful bodies was immortalized in the song “The Girl from Ipanema,” which is located in Rio de Janeiro’s southern region. On any given day, visitors can be found playing footvolley, a sport that combines soccer and volleyball, surfing the azure waves, and soaking up the sun while surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery that includes Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Lopes Mendes, Angra dos Reis

lopes mendes angra dos reis

Lopes Mendes Beach, voted one of the top “10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World” by Vogue magazine, is a remote, hidden beach that’s not easy to get to, but if you’re looking for seclusion and spectacular beauty, the steep and muddy 20-minute trek from the village of Palmas on Ilha Grande is worth it. Your reward will be a two-mile crescent beach with some of the whitest, finest sand stretching out to iridescent blue waters. There are no facilities or trees to provide shade, so bring plenty of sunscreen as well as food and drink.

Praia do Espelho, Trancoso, Bahia

praia do espelho trancoso bahia

Praia do Espelho, located just 15 miles from Trancoso in Bahia, is a stark contrast to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. With its golden sands set against a backdrop of coconut palms and cliffs, a crystal-clear cerulean sea, and picturesque pools ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving, this remote stretch is what many imagine heaven to be like. While it’s likely to be completely peaceful, there are some facilities that provide deck chairs and other beach equipment, and shops, restaurants, and bars are nearby in the small village of Vila do Outeiro.

Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha

baia do sancho fernando de noronha

You’ll have to follow a dirt trail, descend a rickety ladder, and cross a few slippery steps to get to Baia do Sancho, but it’s worth the effort to see what’s been called one of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches. Baia do Sancho is part of Fernando de Noronha, an Atlantic archipelago of 21 islands and islets located 220 miles off the coast of Brazil. It’s the ideal stretch for relaxing and soaking in the sun without bumping into other tourists because it’s protected and surrounded by native vegetation and soaring cliffs. The crystal-clear, emerald-colored waters that surround it are bathwater warm, ideal for diving or a quick swim, and the cliffs that frame it are ideal for spotting dolphins.



Jericoacoara is a popular destination for kiteboarding, windsurfing, and sandboarding across the massive dunes near the beach. It’s a beach lover’s paradise that’s part of a national park that protects and preserves it as a natural beauty.

Praia do Farol, Arraial do Cabo

praia do farol arraial do cabo

Arraial do Cabo has over 20 miles of beautiful beach with crystal clear aquamarine-colored waters and abundant marine life, making it a paradise for beachgoers, snorkelers, and divers. Praia do Farol is arguably its most beautiful, accessible via a 40-minute ferry ride from an island in a natural reserve. Once there, you’ll be able to walk across some of the world’s softest, whitest sands and dive into waters that look like they’re from a dream.

Lençóis Maranhenses, Maranhão

lençóis maranhenses maranhão

Lençóis Maranhenses, one of the most incredible places on Earth, is made up of desert sand dunes that collect water during the rainy season, which runs from June to September. The sand is so vast and strikingly white that it’s easy to see how the park got its name, which translates as “Maranhao bedsheets.” Thousands of crystal-clear turquoise lagoons can be found at this time of year. During the peak season in July, some are more than 300 feet long and 10 feet deep, making them ideal for swimming.

Quarta Praia, Morro de Sao Paulo

quarta praia morro de sao paulo

The laid-back island town of Morro de Sao Paulo is home to Quarta Praia, which translates to “fourth beach.” This unspoiled stretch along the eastern coast is arguably the best for escaping Brazil’s busier beaches, with its soaring palms and long sandbars. This is unquestionably “it” for those seeking paradise.

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

copacabana rio de janeiro

Rio’s other well-known beach is Copacabana. The two-and-a-half-mile stretch of sand is always crowded, making it an ideal location for those who want to mix with locals as well as visitors from all over the world. Thousands of beautiful people come to worship the sun, play beach volleyball, and attend one of the world’s largest New Year’s Eve parties.

Praia do Forno

praia do forno

Praia do Forno is located on an ocean peninsula east of Rio de Janeiro in the Brazilian resort of Buzios. While it has become more popular in recent years, there are still plenty of stretches for finding your own perfect spot away from the city’s busy beaches. With its calm, shallow azure waters, Praia do Forno is arguably one of the best.

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