We don’t think we’re putting our neck on the line here when we say that no country on the planet is more associated with joy and abandon.
Think about it. The bright yellow shirts playing the beautiful game with such a sense of fun. The samba music played even brighter. The vibrant, raucous Carnival, the Caipirinhas which just taste of sunshine, and the even greater warmth of the people….yep, Brazil is a country synonymous with the good times.
And the best place to track down so much of this joie de vivre? It has to be Brazil’s most famous focal point for frivolity; the beach. The sand, the sun, the beautiful people, the bikinis….oh the bikinis. Known in South America as fio dental, or “dental floss”, the Brazilian bikini is one of the country’s greatest exports. Though it was outlawed in 1961 by the then president, Janio Quadros, it’s now the ubiquitous attire of the country’s hallowed sand.
That’s enough waxing lyrical. Grab your bikini brasileño and pair of Havaiana flip flops, and let’s discover 5 of the best beaches in Brazil together.
COPACABANA, RIO DE JANEIRO
We had to start here, the most famous beach in the world, complete with it’s very own song and enough iconic imagery to fill a gallery. The confluence of sea and sand against the backdrop of Rio – where nature meets man-made – is one of life’s most spectacular sites, and simply has to be experienced up close and in person to be truly believed.
Spanning some 4km, the beach has a vibrant atmosphere; there’s always a game of keepy-up being played and a party in full swing somewhere along the strip.
IPANEMA, RIO DE JANEIRO
Another blissful beach, another questionable song. If you’re like the girl from Ipanema and like to walk to the sea in Brazil, make sure it’s on this beach. And remember not to go walking in your Havaianas here; Ipanema is also one of Brazil’s hottest beachwear brands, offering stylish sandals of their own.
The beach itself begins where Copacapbana ends, separated by the Arpoador stone and its peninsula. Locals generally view Ipanema as the slicker, more fashionable sibling to Copacabana’s brash, bolshy tendencies. As such, there are hip restaurants and groovy boutique shops aplenty along the stip directly behind the beach.
PRAIA DE ITACAREZINHO, BAHIA
Head to the sleepy, laid back town of Itacare, in the northeastern state of Bahia, and you’ll be blessed with one of Brazils most beautiful beaches; Praia de Itacarezinho. 15km south of the town and lined with palm trees and white soft sand, this 3.5km sandy stretch has a more low down and languid feel than the high octane beaches of Rio, largely untroubled by the restless energy of the country’s famous party destinations.
So, that’s not beer bottles dug deep into the sand, no footballs disrupting your afternoon snooze, and samba only played at just the right level. Bliss…
PRAIA DO FUTURO, FORTALEZA
On a warm day, there’s nothing better than strolling down Fortaleza’s Avenida Beira Mar (that’s ‘avenue bordering the sea’ in Portuguese). With high-rise hotels and buildings lining one side, and on the other a promenade running along the beach with barracas, ice cream stalls and street food vendors everywhere, it’s a glorious scene.
Fortaleza is famous for it’s urban beaches and the beautiful Praia do Futuro beach is a must visit. The beach is located just ten minutes from the popular Beira Mar Avenue, though we’d we recommend catching a taxi here as it’s a little out of the way. The beach is fantastic for swimming and has lots of lovely beach barracas for snacks, drinks or something off the grill.
Speaking of which, the area has several delicious regional delicacies available from vendors on the beach. Our favourite is the local crab, and insiders tell us that the barracas come alive on Thursday nights when all the locals come out to enjoy a spot of crab eating and some Brazilian country music. If that’s provoked an appetite, check out our tips on what to eat in Fortaleza for more.
PRAIA DE PIPA, RIO GRANDE DO NORTE
Pipa Beach sits right on the tip of Brazil’s nose, and is Brazil’s most eastern point, actually much closer to Africa than the south of the country. It’s a vast expanse of perfect golden sand, calm waters and unique surrounding landscapes. There are several gorgeous stretches found around the town of Natal and village of Pipa, but arguable the finest beach in all of Brazil, Baia dos Golfinhos, should be your first port of call. Simply stunning.
Be aware that, for better or for worse, the village isn’t so sleepy, and is a premier party destination for Brazilians and tourists alike, particularly between the months of December and February. That said, the picture perfect beaches more than make up for Pipa’s bars and boisterousness, whether you’re reclining on the sand or spotting the local dolphins who love to frolic close to the shore.
Now you’re all set and ready to explore Brazil’s beautiful beaches, would you care to send us a postcard telling us your favourite? Boa Viagem!