The state of Alagoas, known as the “Coral Coast,” has always been on the radar for best beaches of Brazil, with several beautiful beach destinations, and these beaches of white sand, emerald waters, and charming villages will not disappoint.
Praia do Patacho
The choices of beautiful beaches are abundant here, for a tiny state, and have been very popular for years, but with Praia do Patacho more recently seeming to be the emerging hotspot. This area draws people in with its natural clear pools and year-round warm tropical climate (with a side note that May-August can be quite rainy), with consistently gentle, calm water, and of course the beautiful reef system to explore. And depending on how much time you have, it is worthwhile to check out the neighboring beaches for even more of these beautiful landscapes of crystal clear turquoise green water surrounded by white sand lined with coconut palms.
Among the earliest centers of Portuguese colonization in Brazil, it has developed rich cultural traditions melding European, African and indigenous influences, especially in music and dance.
North and south of the capital city of Recife, and outside the city itself, is a shorter but incredibly beautiful coast. Visualize crystal-clear calm turquoise pools among the reefs and swaying palm trees as far as the eye can see, and nice waves on some of the beaches for those who like surfing or bodyboarding.
Porto de Galinhas
Another beautiful beach with an interesting name- once a port for exports and imports (including slaves) and a fishing village, which over time has emerged as one of Brazil’s top beach destinations. White soft sand beaches surrounded by clear warm turquoise water and coral reef, famous for its spectacular natural tidal pools that form in the expansive reef at low tide, which trap tropical fish as the tide rises again, making for some great swimming and snorkeling. And with its beautiful reef system, Galinhas is a nice place for scuba diving. And for more beach activities you will find opportunities here for boogie boarding, surfing, kitesurfing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and buggy tours through the dunes. Also boats and local fishing rafts can be hired for exploring the area and seeing more marine life.
Fernando de Noronha island, Pernambuco
Fernando de Noronha, a famously spectacular island off the coast of Pernambuco, is part of an archipelago which is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and daily visitors to this island are limited which adds to the attraction, apart from what people go to see which is the incredible amounts of sea life, dramatic rock formations, and pristinely clean and vividly bright turquoise water, making it a top destination for scuba diving in Brazil as well as those just looking for pure unspoiled beauty. And below we list our favorite beaches:
Cacimba do Padre
The stunning beaches of Noronha consistently make the world’s most beautiful beaches list, including picturesque Cacimba do Padre beach with its iconic postcard scene of clear turquoise water with breathtaking tidal pools contrasting against the rugged black volcanic rock formations of the Dois Irmãos islands, creating a unique swimming and snorkeling experience, and making for one of the most photographed of the Noronha beaches. This is also one of the top surfing spots in all of South America.
Praia dos Porcos
This beach, just south of Cacimba do Padre beach, is a popular beach, also very beautiful, and with the other viewpoint of the Dois Irmãos islands looming just offshore. Accessing the beach requires a bit of a scramble over the rocks but the view will be worth the extra effort.
Praia do Sancho
And just south of Praia dos Porcos you will come upon Praia do Sancho, one of the more well-known of the Noronha beaches. This treasure of a beach also takes a bit of effort to access but will be worth it. Lying beneath rocky cliffs, quite secluded, and accessed by a stroll through a path among the tropical jungle, followed by a descent down a ladder through a rock crevice, making it an exciting reveal when you arrive.
Praia do Leão
Just as beautiful, and the least developed beach of Noronha’s top beaches is Praia de Leão. With its name taken from the semi-submerged rock across from the shore shaped like a crouching lion, this beach is a favorite nesting site for local birds, while sea turtles have chosen this spot for their own nesting and egg laying (hence the reason this beach is prohibited from late afternoon until early the following morning between Jan-June). In addition, dolphins can be spotted around this beach as well as whales, depending on the season.
Praia do Sueste
Don’t make the mistake of not heading to the other side of the island to visit Praia do Sueste, for more stunning beaches and the place to snorkel with turtles. Because the turtles flock to this little bay which is part of a marine park (so it is necessary to buy tickets) as it is loaded with marine life, your chances of spotting some will be higher here. And consider hiring a snorkeling guide at the beach to increase your chances of seeing more, like possibly sharks, rays or an octopus. This beach has a bit of basic amenities like a snack stand, restrooms, shower, and snorkeling equipment rentals. This beach is very accessible with parking so rest your legs on this one and drive right to it.
Rio Grande do Norte
The state of Rio Grande do Norte boasts its own spectacular coastline of countless beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, many with reefs and natural tidal pools to explore, and all surrounded by tall sand dunes and stunning cliffs. And interesting to note that this area is reported to be second only to Antarctica for having the cleanest air in the world.
Praia da Pipa
This former fishing village near the capital city of Natal, and off-the-beaten-path of most foreign tourists, offers a pleasing visual scene of long stretches of sandy beaches with clear blue water, hugged by beautiful high, vertical cliffs and sand dunes covered with green vegetation, making it perfect for dune buggy exploration. Pipa, with its gravel roads and lively beach bars and cafes, also gets some nice waves- great for fans of water sports like surfing and paddleboarding, and it is also popular for dolphin spotting or snorkeling with turtles.
Continuing up the northeast coast, this unique setting stands out with its endless white sand dunes hugging the coastline of clear turquoise water that is just breathtaking. This whole coast has very high and consistent winds and has become a haven for the kitesurfing community where many European investors have bought land and built charming kiting villages in some of the former fishing villages, all the way from the south of the coast to north of Jericoacoara, and all worth the trip to see, especially if you are into wind sports.
You will want to visit “Jeri” for its charming rustic village, soaring sand dunes, sunny weather, magical sunsets, turquoise lagoons with hammocks hanging over the water, laid-back bohemian vibe, roads of sand and dune buggy-only transportation, and its rustic beach shack restaurants. Make sure you are heading up Sunset Dune well before sunset, to claim a spot for watching a glorious sunset from the breezy top, of course with vendors hauling their carts up to serve you beverages like caipirinhas, and with the daily ritual of applauding the end of the day as the sun disappears on the horizon. After the sun sets, stroll around in search for watching some capoeira, a fascinating local blend of martial arts, dance and acrobatics that will have you in awe. And star gazing fans will be pleased to know that there are no street lights allowed to avoid light pollution, so after the famous sunset the bright stars fill the night sky. And if you are a kitesurfer or windsurfer, with Jeri’s consistent strong winds during the windy season you probably already know about this spot, and during the non-windy season paddle boarding is a popular activity.
And last but certainly not least, as we move farther north along the northeast coast to the state of Maranhão, which can boast that it also has beautiful beaches, but the main attraction, and what makes it one of the most famous and stunning destinations in Brazil, is Lençóis Maranhenses. Lençóis, and its otherworldly, endless white undulating sand dunes, dotted with gems of crystalline turquoise and emerald colored lagoons, is unlike any other scene in the world. This region has an unusual combination of desert-like dunes, formed over thousands of years, with valleys that actually get filled up with rainwater earlier in the year, creating a magnificent and very unique sight, and a photographer’s dream. Besides a camera, all you need is your swimsuit and a pool float or noodle to relax on the clear surfaces of these dreamy lagoons to create the full surreal experience. A 4x4 buggy or jeep will take you on the different routes to see as many lagoons as possible, all being very different, and changing each year, so the local guides will show you the best of the best for that year. Or opt for riding exciting quads or even horses which can be hired along with a guide, to tour you around the dune circuits, always ending your day with the most magical sunsets from atop the dunes- a scene you are unlikely to ever forget. And for those still up for more adventure, try your skills at sandboarding down the dunes, or for the most bold, and with some experience, experience wakeskating (a type of wakeboarding) among the most unusual scenery you will ever encounter.This region has also become a very popular spot for kitesurfing as the Atins area has something to offer all kitesurfers- a strong windy season, nearly-deserted beaches, plus the dunes and lagoons of nearby Lençóis, which is a bucket-list experience for a kitesurfer.
And the best time to go to experience lagoons that are full of water is generally from June-August or September, but consult Ada Tours to verify the conditions will be ideal during your travel dates.
As you see, Brazil offers a diverse array of incredibly beautiful scenery and opportunities for unique beach adventures that are unlike anywhere else in the world. Contact Ada Tours for more information or to plan your holiday to any destination in Brazil or South & Central America, Mexico, or the Caribbean.