5 beach experiences in the Brazilian summer


Bathing destinations appeared in mid-18th Century Europe. First, because of the therapeutic properties of sea bathing, prescribed by doctors for those suffering from some illness or living in the unhealthy urban environment. The sea, the salinity of the water, the sun, the breeze, and the marine landscape, though shyly at first, appeared in that period as a refuge for physical and mental restoration, but it was not until the 19th century that beaches became a leisure destination, especially in the 60s. Today, beach is synonymous with vacation worldwide.

To escape the paparazzi, in 1964 French actress Brigitte Bardot crossed the Atlantic to vacation in Búzios. Unintentionally, the diva placed Brazil on the world map of sun and sea tourism. Today, there is no shortage of famous beaches and many more to discover.

Brazil has a very strong beach culture and its extensive coastline is ideal for you to enjoy a wide range of activities. There are over 7,000 linear kilometers of coastline and, if every little hidden inlet and curve of the shoreline is added, it reaches over 9,200 km. Those hidden ‘corners’ of the Brazilian coast hold real tropical treasures, and here are my suggestions of summer activities for mind, body and soul!

Surfing and diving

There are a lot of waves in Brazil. Less than three hours from the city of São Paulo, São Sebastião lies on a coast full of beaches framed by hills covered with Atlantic Forest. Some beaches are famous, like Maresias, home to world surfing champion Gabriel Medina, and some, like Juquehy and Camburi, in addition to surfing, boast a lush scenery, perfect for jogging, biking, hiking, and playing matkot on the sand. The important thing is to move your body. The tip on where to stay is Hotel Nau Royal, which overlooks the Alcatrazes Archipelago, a conservation area that has been recently opened for nautical and diving tourism.

More to the south, in Balneário Camboriú, a famous sun and sea destination since the 60s, one of the most pristine beaches is Praia Brava, great for surfing, biking, and long walks on its white sand. You can stay at Felissimo Hotel and discover its innovative green home project.

The tip for those who prefer diving is the town of Governador Celso Ramos, in southern Brazil, where the inlets on the coast are perfect for snorkeling.  At Ponta dos Ganchos, the hotel provides guests with all the necessary equipment for the activity, such as mask, flippers, and snorkel. The name of the place says it all: Emerald Coast.

Horseback riding on the beach

In addition to water sports, Préa Beach offers a scenic horse ride. The round trip from Preá to Barrinha, Pedra Furada, the National Park, and many other unique places in the area takes about an hour, during which you can take advantage of the low tide to ride by the sea while admiring a unique landscape. For those who prefer a faster pace, the ride can be done by buggy, exploring the dunes around the famous village of Jericoacoara. An option to stay in this area is Pousada Rancho do Peixe, famous for operating its own kitesurf school.

Waterfall bathing

In Itacaré, Bahia, how about staying in an environmental protection area (92 hectares) while enjoying idyllic beaches with emerald green waters? Freshwater fans can enjoy a refreshing and relaxing bath in the waterfalls of Tijuípe. For those seeking adventure, a beach-side trail between Itacaré and Serra Grande leads to another waterfall, 4 meters high and 15 meters wide, forming a natural pool where you can bathe for as long as you want to recharge your energy.

Canoe ride and fresh oysters

Also in the Northeast, the town of Barra de São Miguel, just 30 km from Maceió, Alagoas, invites you to immerse yourself in an authentic tropical paradise. The rule here is to take off your shoes and feel the soft sand as you walk with your feet caressed by the sea foam. The canoe ride through the local mangroves guarantees an unforgettable experience, as does Lagoa do Roteiro, an oyster farming lagoon. The delicacy can be tasted on site and in the water. This fresh food experience is offered by Kenoa – a haven where sophistication and natural beauty coexist in harmony, while tourism helps the community of Palateia, which thrives on oyster farming in the lagoon.

Just relax

With such an extensive coastline, it is impossible not to relax, whether under the shade of a coconut tree in the Northeast or under the shade of a tropical almond tree in the Southeast. All this with plenty of coconut water or, for those who want to spice it up a little, with a traditional lime caipirinha. Just say if you want movement or relaxation. Movement comes from sports like kitesurfing, surfing, matkot, volleyball, and even traditional soccer, and why not, a good samba circle to liven up the summer vibes. If you are into relaxing, there is no shortage of good opportunities for massage or yoga by the sea or just enjoying the nature that surrounds Brazilian beaches. With the diversity of landscapes and activities available, you just have to choose how you want to enjoy the Brazilian beaches, after all summer is coming up in Brazil!

Simone Scorsato is Executive Director of Brazilian Luxury Travel Association. BLTA’s main objective is to promote and strengthen Brazil as a travel destination to the global luxury market.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.


Comments (17)

  1. Steve says:

    I doubt that the paparazzi were either as numerous or as persistent back in 1964 as they are today. But if that was Miss Bardot’s excuse for heading for an isolated perfect Brazilian beach then good luck to her.

    Then again if I had been a paparazzo around in 1964 the combination of Brazilian beach and Bardot would have inspired me to buy a flight and put it on expenses.

    • Simone Scorsato says:

      Yes, I agree with you. Yesterday or today, it doesn’t matter, but I’d look for a beach to isolate myself.

  2. Monique C. says:

    Out of all the coastlines and hidden inlets in Brazil, where would you recommend a first timer to go? And if I will be visiting Rio de Janeiro which beach would be best and closest to visit?

    • SIMONE SCORSATO says:

      Although there are many quiet places in Brazil, it is essential to know Rio and its most famous beaches, Ipanema, Copacabana … and the right corner of Leblon – used more by the “cooler” Brazilian tourists.

      Two hours from Rio you can go to Paraty to the south and to Buzios to the north. Both destinations are smaller and charming.

      To break into more “isolated” places Northeast Brazil is the best destination, obviously fleeing the capitals.

      It all depends on the style of travel and what kind of accommodation you are looking for … sports, only sun and sea, places with traditional communities, boutique hotels, tell me what you want to find. It has something for everyone.

    • SIMONE SCORSATO says:

      Out of all the coastlines and hidden inlets in Brazil, where would you recommend a first timer to go? And if I will be visiting Rio de Janeiro which beach would be best and closest to visit?

      Although there are many quiet places in Brazil, it is essential to know Rio and its most famous beaches, Ipanema, Copacabana … and the right corner of Leblon – used more by the “cooler” Brazilian tourists.

      Two hours from Rio you can go to Paraty to the south and to Buzios to the north. Both destinations are smaller and charming.

      To break into more “isolated” places Northeast Brazil is the best destination, obviously fleeing the capitals.

      It all depends on the style of travel and what kind of accommodation you are looking for … sports, only sun and sea, places with traditional communities, boutique hotels, tell me what you want to find. It has something for everyone.

    • JACOB BENJAMIN says:

      True that!! Any trip to Brazil is incomplete (to say the least) without visiting this paradise on earth, getting a taste of its nightlife, exploring it’s vibrant colors and sun-bathing on its gorgeous beaches.

  3. Amanda Madders says:

    Brigitte Bardot had the right idea! I’ve never been but it’s on my list. I’ve had a few friends visit so I’d like to check it out for myself. Horse riding on the beach, that seems like something you’d see in the movies. I’d like to do that, or a buggy! The waterfalls would be lovely to check out, and it’s nice you can bathe in them as some places either aren’t safe enough or you’re just not allowed to do it. I imagine a lot of social media lovers will be attempting selfies near or even under the water so I hope the place doesn’t get too overcrowded with tourists like some areas seem to be getting now with this online craze. I actually really like the idea of these kinds of super chilled, relaxed holidays. Sometimes I don’t want to learn and travel constantly and do lots of activities and such, I just want to casually explore and rest and enjoy the peace and quiet.

    • Simone Scorsato says:

      I can assure you that in Brazil, with its territorial dimension there are many places where it will be possible to seclude (safely – especially in small cities), many waterfalls, lots of water in a place like Chapada dos Veadeiros – Midwest Brazil, or in the region of Mata Atlantica – litral north of São Paulo. Minas Gerais also, several places to contemplate the nature.

  4. Fiona says:

    A beach where you and your horse can gallop along is my sort of beach. There aren’t many beaches left in the world where you can enjoy such a sense of freedom and exhilaration whilst horse-riding.

    • Simone Scorsato says:

      Undoubtedly, in the northeast of Brazil the beaches are extensive and when the tide is low you can ride them on horseback or by bicycle or buggy … wind in the hair is assured!

  5. Ed says:

    Not too sure about joining in with the ultra skilful Brazilians for a game of beach football. I think it could be highly embarrassing for me and potential heart-attack territory given my lack of fitness at the moment.

    Personally, I would be quite happy watching with a beer and cocktail in hand and enjoying their silky skills.

    • Simone Scorsato says:

      I have the ideal place for this, in Trancoso in Bahia you can enjoy every day in the late afternoon the community playing football in a charming square. If you want to move just get to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro and enjoy not only football, but freshness, volleyball … but if you want to play together, it will be a pleasure! Brazilians love to win in foreign soccer, especially if it’s the 7 X 1 lol

  6. Karen V says:

    The footballer Ronaldinho instantly pops up, the moment someone mentions Brazil (just another die-hard fan :D). Would love to visit and explore this largest country of South America. And of course, its always a good idea to soak up some early summer sun on a stunning beach while on vacations!

    • Simone Scorsato says:

      It will be a pleasure to welcome you, if your interest is football … see a classic game of Flamengo in Maracanã is a must see

  7. Bob Brown says:

    Mainly when those of us head from the northern hemisphere to Latin America it’s usually for some major travel adventures. For us the flights are long and relatively expensive so we want to make the most of it.

    I always claim that it ain’t a holiday for me unless there’s some chill out time on a beach. My pals argue that I don’t need to travel all those miles to find a beach but I would make two points. Travel in Latin America can be tiring and you need to relax. Also you don’t find beaches like these Brazilian beauties every day of the week.

    • Simone Scorsato says:

      Today we have direct flights from Europe to the north of the country in just 6 hours. You can arrive in Fortaleza and Natal, these capital for isolated beaches is a leap!

  8. Isaac S says:

    I toured Brazil earlier this year for the first time ever. And my travel guide persisted for Rio de Janeiro to be my first stop as the city is specifically established for first-time tourists (the locals consented to the fact). And trust me, I couldn’t be more happier. This sea facing city is the fourth most populace in South America (second most in Brazil) and boasts a plethora of incredible beaches, stunning mountains and plenty of other things to do.
    I wish, I would have spent some more time here.

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