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Archive for the ‘Beaches of South America’ Category

Beaches in Brazil: Praia do Amor and Praia Bela

Posted by E.G.D. on July 31, 2013

Today’s Featured Writer is Thaynara Alves Goulart.

Praia do Amor – Love Beach

I had the amazing experience of traveling through the Brazilian northeast region with my family, and one of the places we visited was the city of João Pessoa, the capital of the state Paraíba. The beach I chose to talk about here isn’t exactly in João Pessoa, but in Jacumã – 15 km/9 miles away from João Pessoa, and because it is so close, I’d say it’s better to stay there than Jacumã.

The city of Jacumã is really small, 16.008 residents, and doesn’t offer that much for tourists (or residents in general) aside from it’s gorgeous beaches. I figured this beach deserved recognition because as well as being beautiful, it has a fun myth with one of it’s peculiar attractions: the Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone). And what is it? It’s a volcanic stone that, in ancient times when Brazilian indians lived nearby and made their wedding ceremonies, they went inside the rock. According to them, couples passing through the stone brings joy and add a lot of years to the relationship.

Ready for a Wedding (photo by the author)

Ready for a Wedding (photo by the author)

Praia do Amor (photo by the author)

Praia do Amor (photo by the author)


photo by the author

When you get there, there’s a free parking lot, and you walk a while until you reach the ocean. There are some bars and restaurants too, and they serve delicious food and snacks. The ocean is easy and warm; the perfect place for those of you who have babies and children.

Beautiful Beach (photo by the author)

Beautiful Beach (photo by the author)

Praia Bela – Beautiful Beach

I have to mention this beach, and the reason why I am going to is because it is on the same coast as Love Beach – what separates them is nothing but stones, volcanic rocks and some seaweed. This one is more low-key when compared to Love Beach, but it has bars and restaurants of it’s own.

Praia Bela (photo by the author)

Praia Bela (photo by the author)

It is dangerous to visit these places at night, the tide is high and it takes over this entire sand area.

Brazil’s northeast region is beautiful, truly enchanting. The variety of beaches is huge and what is around them, 90% of the time, is extremely pleasant. Receptive, kind people + great food + fun is what I found visiting João Pessoa, especially these two places mentioned in this post. Whoever is interest and wants to see more of it, I found a video on youtube that shows how amazing it looks:  Enjoy!

About the Author: I’m a 19 years old Brazilian law student, and due to my dad’s profession I lived in 8 different cities so far. I travel around Brazil and I know 90% of it’s states now. Traveling is a passion of mine, and learning about different cultures and languages came along with it, I think. People say I’m very spontaneous and fun, because I try to make new friends wherever I go.  My blog is at

Thanks, Thaynara, for sharing these amazing beaches with us!  What fun! I’ll make it a point to give these a visit if I ever find myself in Brazil – E.G.D.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of South America, Featured Guest Writer | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

A Dozen Places to Surf in Lima, Peru

Posted by alainaflute on August 7, 2012

Lima is the capitol city of Peru. Located on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Lima is a popular beach destination for visitors and locals alike. An exciting surprise is that surfing is great year-round in Lima! With a variety beaches and waves that appeal to beginning and advanced surfers, everyone can hit the surf and soak up the beautiful sea breezes. With so many beaches to choose from, it may be a challenge to know where to begin. Thanks to Peru’s official tourism website, we’re only a few clicks away from learning about the fabulous surfing beaches of Lima.

La Costa Verde, Lima, Peru (Jorge Mori/Wikimedia Commons)

Costa Verde – is described as a “Lima beach circuit visited by swimmers and surfers.” These rocky beaches are perhaps less popular with bathers on the whole than the sandier beaches in the south of Lima, but the Miraflores District is a popular tourist destination known for its shopping, dining, and the like.

A beachy locale for the experienced surfer, La Herradura is famous for its massive, 13 ft waves. Located in the district of Chorrillos,  the waves come from a “strong, large left hand point break in three sections. El Point, La Segunda, and La Tercera.”

Map of Lima highlighting the Punta Hermosa district in southern Lima. (AgainErick/Wikimedia Commons)

Punta Hermosa is a district best known for its beaches. These sandy beaches are poplar with both swimmers and surfers. These are the ones the tourism site recommends:

Señoritas – Great for beginning and advanced surfers, the “strong, long left hand reef break” offers tubes and wave heights up to 10 feet.

Caballeros –  Also enjoys a “well formed right hand reef break with tube sections and heights up to 3 meters (10 feet).” Beginning and advanced surfers will have a great time.

Pico Alto – Best reserved for advanced surfers, waves reach great heights (26-32ft) at this fabulous surfing destination.

Other great Punta Hermosa beaches are Playa Norte, El Paso, La Isla, and Kontiki.

Punta Rocas – In the Punta Negra District, this is the location of an international surfing championship. This beach sports a “long, big, and strong left hand and right hand reef break with tube section and heights up to 4 or 5 meters (13 – 16 feet).” Don’t be turned off to the competition quality of these waves – they’re great for beginning and advanced surfers.

Peñascal – Located in the San Bartola District, this beach is a hit with advanced surfers. Waves between 6.5 and 13 feet high break over a rocky bottom.

Cerro Azul – If the strong ocean currents take you to the Province of Cañete, hopefully you’ll wash up at this beach resort. According to the tourism website, the waves are described as, “Left hand wave with tube section. Breaks in front of the beach resort. Also, right hand waves that break on the other side of the pier (fast, strong, and with tube).” Hopefully, if you surf, you have a better idea of what this means than I do.

So, even though Hawaii is best associated with the birth of modern surfing, it isn’t the only place to catch a wave. With a surf season that lasts the whole year long, your next vacation destination might just be Lima, Peru!

Posted in Beaches of South America, Surfing Beach, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Brazil’s Best Beaches

Posted by alainaflute on May 29, 2012

Brazil’s Best Beaches. Has there ever been a better alliteration? Not if you love fun, sun, and sandy beaches! One thing to remember: Brazil is a large country with thousands of beaches (there’s much more to Brazil than Rio)!

Map of States and Great Regions in Brazil (Marco Aurelio P. Marsitch/Wikimedia Commons)

UK news source, The Guardian, recruited experts to compile their list of Brazil’s top 10 beaches. Here we go:

10. Lagoinha do Leste, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina (Caio Capela, Tucano House owner)

Florianópolis Island has beaches a plenty! With over 42 to choose from, Lagoinha do Leste takes the bikini… the cake, rather. On the south side of this island, an hour’s hike will bring you to this beautiful, deserted beach.

“It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, and backed by Atlantic rainforest, with dunes, sandbanks, a lake and rocky coastline. Perfect for camping (no campsite, pitch anywhere) or for a day trip.”

Florianopolis, Avenida Beira Mar, Santa Catarina, Brazil (Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz/Wikimedia Commons)

9. Bonete, São Paulo State (Ariel Kostman, Metro Newspaper, São Paulo)

This is a beach that you’ll walk to, but sometimes it’s the 15km journey and not the destination. Nah, it’s the destination. However, there is plenty to enjoy along the way – waterfalls and Brazilian forest.

“Half an hour before the end of the 15km walk you’ll see the beach at Bonete: this is what Brazil must have looked like to the Portuguese when they first arrived over 500 years ago: just blue sea, golden sand and dense green forest. Finally, the beach: a half-mile strip of sand next to a river estuary, with good waves for surfing.”

8. Praia da Fazenda, São Paulo State (Simon Heyes, Latin American Travel Association)

Simon’s words are so pretty – I won’t even try to compete:  “Halfway between two of Latin America’s biggest cities, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, but truly a world apart, lies one of Brazil’s great natural jewels, where protected, heavily forested coastal mountains drop vertiginously into beaches and azure sea. Praia da Fazenda arcs effortlessly across the wide bay from the small, traditional fishing village of Picinguaba. Wade across the river – catch a flash of kingfisher green among the mangroves – and two miles of deserted beach lie ahead. To your right uninterrupted forest and mountains; on your left the bay, scattered palm topped islands and fish jumping. Things I love about this place: running at dawn you feel like the only person for a hundred miles; the cool, delicious natural spring at the far end; the gentle rise and shelter that provides a perfect spot for longboard surfing; and watching a school of dolphins from a kayak, and once even a whale!”

Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilien (Claus Bunks/Wikimedia Commons)

7. Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande, Rio State (Nadia Nightingale, Rio resident)

White sand and a crystal blue ocean – that’s what you’ll find on Big Island (Ilha Grande), home to Lopes Mendes. Far from any building, you’ll have to find shade under a palm tree instead. It’s also a rather complicated trip, and I’m not sure a GPS can help you find the way. Here is how it goes: “Getting there involves a three-hour bus journey from Rio to Angra dos Reis then a hop on the ferry to Ilha Grande. A scenic 40-minute boat trip takes you to Abraão, the island’s only town. Once in Abraão take a small taxi-boat to Manges beach, the last boat stop before Lopes Mendes. Landing on the beach, walk up over a hill and then down through a small forest to the beach. As you walk out of the forest, the beach is right in front of you in all its glory.”

6. Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro (Gavin McOwan, Guardian Travel)

The best beach might not be in “Rio,” but no Brazilian Beach list would be complete without one of its busy beaches. Arpoador is a continuation of Ipanema Beach, ending with a “tall rocky headline, an easy 60m climb, offering stunning views of the whole length of Ipanema, Leblon and the famous Dois Irmãos mountain.” A favorite for locals, you can surf or just splash around off of the sandy beach. It also has lighting at night, so you can even take a dip after the sun has gone down.

Arpoador Beach, Rio de Janeiro (Anna Carol/Wikimedia Commons)

5. Caraiva, Bahia (Steven Chew, contributing editor Conde Nast Traveller)

This vastly expansive beach (spanning more than a day’s walk in either direction) has no access for motorized transportation.

“There’s an adage with remote Brazilian beaches: first go the hippies, then the yachties, then the French … Caraiva is still at the happy-hippy stage of discovery and even then only for a brief period in the summer.”

“Golden sands lead down to the water where a firm surf pushes relentlessly against the shore and provides the soundtrack to the handful of idyllic beach bars. And then, of course, there are the goalposts that remind you that you are in Brazil.”

4. Taipus de Fora, Maraú Peninsula, Bahia (Conor O’Sullivan, founder of Tatur travel agency)

The state of Bahia has 1,100km of coastline. Taipus de Flora is home to a lovely long beach walk: “The long sweep of beach ends at a headland where beautiful reef pools are exposed by the receding tide, revealing a huge naturally sheltered pool, offering wonderful snorkelling and tropical fish. South, past the headland, the sandy beach goes on and on, and I walk on and on, stopping off for a refreshing dip.”

Taipus de Fora, Maraú, Bahia (FlaviaC/Wikimedia Commons)

3. Praia do Toque, Alagoas  (Ricardo Freire, author of 100 Praias Que Valem a Viagem100 Beaches You Must Visit)

Some of the best beaches are off the beaten path. If you take the main coastal road inland, you might miss the delights of the villages and warm sea in the other direction. “Set up base at Praia do Toque and walk the sands nearby. Twenty minutes north is Tatuamunha river, a sanctuary for manatees. Forty minutes south are two picture-perfect crescents: São Miguel and Praia do Riacho. At low tide hire a jangadeiro (a small traditional fishing boat) and head to the tidal pools.”

2. Fernando de Noronha (Douglas Vieira, São Paulo journalist)

Nothing says paradise like an archipelago. 350km off of the north-east coast of Brazil, Fernando de Noronha makes finding a nice beach easy. The three must-visit beaches are: Praia do Sancho, Baía dos Porcos (Pig’s Bay), and Atalaia. “All have translucent waters, and because tourist numbers to the islands are strictly monitored, it is easy to spot turtles, octopuses, a plethora of fish and even sharks. The food chain in Noronha is well preserved, so sharks are less dangerous here there than elsewhere.”

1. Alter do Chao, Pará (Tom Phillips, The Guardian’s Brazil correspondent)

Number one is a real surprise, mostly because this beach isn’t a dot on the expansive Brazilian coast. Actually, it’s on a river in the heart of the Amazon. “After a week holed up in the jungle, Alter do Chao is the perfect place to relax: you can lounge on the river beaches in the morning, gorge yourself on a local grilled fish in the afternoon and retreat to one of the area’s many charming pousadas by night.” This place is your perfect escape from the “green inferno” of the famous Brazilian rainforest.

Alter do Chao, Santarem, Para (Mélété/Wikimedia Commons)

To read more about Brazilian beaches and find suggested accommodations, check out ‘s original article, “Top 10 beaches in Brazil.”

One last insight for the road: according to this lovely article, the Brazilian equivalent of the British expression “Just my cup of tea” is ‘That’s my beach” (é minha praia).

A trip to beautiful Brazil? That’s my beach!

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of South America, Tallies & Tips, Top Ten Beaches | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

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