Brazil has some of the best beaches in the world. No doubt!
No beach in Brazil will disappoint you! Calm waters for swimmers or brave waters for surfers, hidden and only reached by foot beaches or accesible by car and public transport, surrounded by forest and mountains or by sand dunes and desert, ….
The impressive nature offered by the Atlantic Tropical Forest is the touch that make Brazilian beaches so unique.
The other magical element is the way in which Brazilians enjoy their beaches! The beach is not just a place to sunbathe and swim. It is a place to gather, play, practice sports, connect with nature and celebrate life.
Forest Beach or Sand Dune Beach?
The Atlantic Forest offers beaches surrounded by a tropical evergreen forest with mangroves and crown shaped hills, called “morros”. Natural trails take you to the top of the morro for an espectacular bird view of the coast. Itacoatiara Beach, in Niteroi, and its “Trilha do Costao” or Praia de Amor, in Pipa, are beautiful examples of this landscape.
In some areas, instead of a green tropical forest, we find an amazing low forest growing on sand dunes!
The stunning scene of a golden desert turning into a sand beach and ending in a blue ocean is well represented by Joaquina Beach in Florianopolis or Genipabu Beach in Natal.
There are beaches for all tastes. Here, my Top 5 selection!
1. Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande
An island only accesible by boat, no cars or motorbikes allowed inside. Lopes Mendes, its most desired beach, only accesible by land through a 5 hour walk in a tropical green forest. Yes, you can imagine how special it feels when reaching Lopes Mendes.
Gentle waves, crystalline and warm water and progressive depth that allows you to play and enjoy inside the water looking at the green forest just behind you. Absolute paradise.
Unfortunately, I lost the pictures of my visit to Ilha Grande – a good excuse to come back! – but you can google it to see how stunning it is.
2. Praia Mole, Florianopolis
Praia Mole, located in the “Ilha da Magia” of Florianopolis, is a really fascinating place with a very unique and especial energy that can be felt immediately.
Famous for the “dragon-shape” of its surrounded mountains, it has been a place of rituals and celebrations of ancient tribes for more than 5.000 years. Different archaeological objects with astronomical connotations have been discovered in the area, including a solar megalithic monument, that is thought to be, a pre-Colombian calendar for fertility. Follow the Prehistorical Route of the island or visit the IMMA (Archaeoastronomy Environmental Institute) to know more.
3. Tambaba, Paraíba
Tambaba beach forms multiple small beaches when there is low tide with natural pools. It is a nudist beach with complete privacy and where you can feel nature and yourself as part of it!
You will have to climb down some hills and jump through some bushes to arrive to the most secluded area but it is all fun and part of the adventure! Also a more accesible area is located close to the parking site but it is worthy to hike a little bit and enjoy your own paradise.
4. Itacoatiara, Niteroi
Just 40 minutes drive North from Rio de Janeiro city, you can find this surfer’s gem. Protected by huge mountains and surrounded by the tropical Atlantic forest, Itacoatiara beach overwhelms with its beauty and grandiosity.
Don’t miss the trail to the top of the mountain that offers a panoramic view of the Serra da Tiririca Starte Park, recognised by UNESCO as a World Biosfere Reserve or the Darwin Route that guides you trough the steps of the famous British naturalist in his travel to study the Tropical Atlantic forest.
5. Praia do Resende, Itacaré
Itacaré represents very well the soul of Bahia’s beaches.
Praia do Resende is the first beach in a coast trail that takes you along different natural and quiet beaches, each of them offering unique landscapes and viewpoints. All of them have in common the pretty palm trees in their shores and the fun-to-climb rocks that will keep you jumping and playing like a child.
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