Pale sand rippled with footprints stretches out to gentle waves with a verdant hillside in the distance.

Maresias in São Paulo. Photo © Eugeni Dodonov, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Brazil boasts close to 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) of beautiful Atlantic beaches. Whatever your mood or budget, there is a beach to suit everyone.

Best Urban Beaches in Brazil

Known as a “crab culture” because 70 percent of the population lives on the coast, city life is often synonymous with beach life. These beaches are not tranquil, but they are both visually stunning and overflowing with life.

  • Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro
  • Porto da Barra in Salvador in Bahia
  • Ponta Verde in Maceió
  • Ponta Negra in Natal
  • Praia do Futuro in Fortaleza

Brazil’s Best Island Paradises

There is always something deliciously castaway-like about fleeing to an idyllic tropical island. The following beaches fit the bill.

  • Ilha Grande in Rio de Janeiro
  • Ilhabela in São Paulo
  • Ilha de Boipeba in Bahia
  • Fernando de Noronha in Pernambuco
  • Ilha de Marajó in Pará

Best Party Beaches in Brazil

Take ample amounts of sun, sand, and surf, shake them up with Brazilians’ chronic alegria (joyfulness), fueled by music and caipifrutas, and you get the following permanently festive beach scenes.

  • Búzios in Rio de Janeiro
  • Maresias in São Paulo
  • Praia da Joaquina in Santa Catarina
  • Morro de São Paulo in Bahia
  • Praia da Pipa in Rio Grande do Norte

Hippest Beaches in Brazil

Many of Brazil’s hippest beaches were once tiny fishing towns until they were discovered in the 1970s by hippies in search of paradise. Over time, they’ve succeeded in becoming quite cosmopolitan, without having lost their laid-back groove or eco-friendly vibe. To mellow out in style, head to the following beaches.

  • Praia do Rosa in Santa Catarina
  • Trancoso in Bahia
  • Jericoacoara in Ceará

Best Total Getaways

For those fed up with civilization and who long to return to a more primitive, natural state, the following beaches and their surroundings are not only secluded and unspoiled but hypnotically beautiful.

  • Lagoinha do Leste in Santa Catarina
  • Caraíva in Bahia
  • São Miguel dos Milagres in Alagoas
  • Praia dos Carneiros in Pernambuco
  • Lençóis Maranhenses in Maranhão
  • Alter do Chão in Pará

Excerpted from the Third Edition of Moon Brazil.