Brazil has hundreds of exceptional and unique beaches. They include temperate beaches like Florianopolis, at the south, or the sub-tropical beaches of Sao Paulo (Guaruja, Santos) and Rio de Janeiro (Copacabana, Ipanema, Barra) and its surroundings (Angra dos Reis, Buzios).
But the best beaches for those who want all year round sun, amazing dunes and seas, coconut groves and small or big local surprises are located in the northeast, around reference cities as Salvador da Bahia, Recife and Fortaleza.
For detailed maps of the Brazilian Northeast coast and beaches, see:
Map of Salvador da Bahia and its beaches
Map of Fortaleza and its beaches
Ceara beaches: north and south Fortaleza
Map of Brazil: Recife and its beaches
Beaches at north and south of Recife
Music and beach
Salvador da Bahia is more than just a top tropical beach resort. Salvador is the heart of Brazilian music, even more than Rio de Janeiro. No other place in the world has the music charm and intensity of Salvador. Its Carnival is spectacular and much more spontaneous than the Rio's one. People are constantly in streets playing and listening to music, or commemorating something.
If you want to watch Carnival rehearsals or explore the night and bars animation of Salvador da Bahia, go to Pelourinho, the old downtown of Salvador da Bahia. Pelourinho is also the big historical and cultural centre.
Barra beach: listen to live music
By day, Barra beach, at the very center of the city, is the best place for people watching and to listen to live music.
50 Km of beaches
Salvador da Bahia has many beaches besides Barra: Ondina, Rio Vermelho, Amaralina, Pituba, Armao, Corsrio, Jaguaribe, Piat, Itapo, Stella Maris, Flamengo, Aleluia... It's a shoreline with 50 km of beaches, many natural swimming pool formations and many coconut groves. Alot of good hotels are also very near those beaches.
- Praia do Forte, 40 miles/65 Km north of Salvador city
- Costa do Sauipe, 60 miles/100 Km north of Salvador
- Morro de Sao Paulo, 100 miles/170 Km south of Salvador
- Ilheus, 287 miles/462 Km south of Salvador
- Itacare, 248 miles/400 Km south from Salvador.
- Porto Seguro (and Arraial da Ajuda and Trancoso), 406 miles/653 Km south from Salvador.
For information about Bahia and its beaches, see:
Eating, Shopping, Nightlife and Entertainment in Bahia
Carnival in Bahia
Fortaleza is known all over the world for its beaches. Around Fortaleza, at the Ceara coast (Fortaleza is the capital of the Ceara State), stands some of the best beaches of the world.
Meireles and Iparema are the most central beaches of Fortaleza city. But the best and less crowded beach is the unspoiled Futuro beach, at the extreme and outside south of Fortaleza. Meireles, Iparema and Futuro (at Thursdays) are also the city's nightlife centers.
Porto das Dunas, at Futuro beach, is a sophisticated resort, just outside the urban perimeter. Aquiraz, some miles south Porto das Dunas, also has good beaches and excellent hotel resorts. But there are some other famous beaches, many of them much more distant, which you can visit through one of the many organized tours offered locally.
Some important Cear beaches (south of Fortaleza)
- Porto das Dunas (at the extreme south of Praia do Futuro)
- Aquiraz (17 miles/27 Km from Fortaleza)
- Prainha (near Aquiraz)
- Morro Branco (60 miles/96 Km)
- Canoa Quebrada (105/170 Km)
- Majorlandia (near Aracati)
- Aracati (120 miles/190Km)
Some important beaches northward of Fortaleza
- Cumbuco (15 miles/24 Km)
- Iparana (18 miles/30 Km
- Lagoinha (56 miles/92 Km)
- Jericoacoara (150 miles/240 Km)
Above: Map of Recife and its beaches
Recife is the capital of Pernambuco state, a state with some of the best world beaches, where you can enjoy around 300 sunny days a year. Boa Viagem, at the extreme south of the city, is the great beach district of the tow, and a major nightlife and amusement place. Most of the city good hotels are in Boa Viagem and in its twin beach, Praia da Piedade.
Besides Boa Viagem you might also want to consider the old downtown (including Recife Island, the major amusement place of the city) as a major touristic spot in Recife. The squares of central downtown are a big reference for diversion and shopping.
Just outside Recife, 3 miles/6 Kms north, stands Olinda, an ancient colonial town, and an obligatory place to visit.
Image: Map of the beaches between Maceio and Natal
Besides Olinda and Recife beaches, there are other exceptional resorts nearby, or not very far, at Pernambuco and adjacent states:
- Porto Galinhas, a major resort reference.
- Natal beaches (Natal, Pipa)
- Maceio: Maceio stays midway between Recife and Salvador da Bahia, at Alagoas State.
- Joao Pessoa beaches (Tamba, Cabo Branco, Jacuma, Tambaba): these beaches stay midway between Recife and Natal.
Fernando de Noronha Islands
Fernando de Noronha is another major reference in the region. Fernando de Noronha is an amazing place for diving, sailing or sea life observation. It stays north Recife, about an hour and a half by plane, at the off coast of Natal.