Brazil is one awesome place and this article won’t do the country itself enough justice for why it should be on your places to travel.
But it will hopefully make you think twice about going and if you do go, you’ll want to check out these seaside towns which between them have some awesome hiking spots, lots of nice cocktails to sip in the sun, and hot sunny beaches.
I spent roughly a week in Brazil and it definitely was enough time for me to do everything or go everywhere I wanted to.
Silver lining to that is I’ll be going back again haha.
I can’t remember meeting any unfriendly people during my time in Brazil with some great beaches, awesome weather (apart from one day of rain), and some damn good food.
I’d been to a fair few different Brazilian BBQ chains while living in London and thought they were great, although I always left saying “I’ve eaten too much”.
In Brazil though, as you might imagine, it was a different ball game and was where, to this day, I had the best beef brisket.
So you’re probably aware by now I’m a big fan of Brazil and that’s why I wanted to share with you four seaside towns that I seriously recommend you put on your list for Brazil.
ABRAÃO (ILHA GRANDE)
Abraão isn’t actually a town, it’s more of a village (and the only one) on the island of Ilha Grande – an amazing island that I really recommend you venture out to.
Such an awesome vibe once you get there as life doesn’t move very fast there so you can just sit back, relax, and soak up the sun.
Ilha Grande is an island in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro which is ringed by beaches, covered by Atlantic forest, and crossed by winding trails.
On its southeastern shore, the long, palm-lined stretch of Lopes Mendes Beach is known for its strong surf where you can watch people who come in from around the world to test their surfing skills on the water.
To get to the island you need to go via boat. There are plenty that leave on a daily basis that you can book and be leaving shortly after. If you’re going as a bigger group, you could look at hiring a boat for yourself or if your on a pre-paid trip with a company such as G Adventures, it’s likely you’ll have it all pre-booked for you.
It’s not far at all from the city of Rio de Janeiro making it a go to spot for people looking for a weekend retreat to enjoy some sun, nice views, and no cars. There are no cars on the island of Illha Grande so you won’t have to worry about hearing them in the evening.
You’ll NEED TO TAKE CASH with you as there is only one ATM and were none when I went so make sure you’re not in an awkward position when paying your dinner bill by card as the majority of places don’t accept card either.
If you’re going solo or as a small group and want to stay the night, I really recommend you book accommodation before going over to the island. There’s only a few places to stay and I’d hate to hear that you ended up having to spend the night on the beach or leaving the same day because you didn’t book ahead.
However, you might only want to go for the day as it’s easily do-able as most people go to relax on the infamous Lopes Mendes Beach and there not being that many places to eat or drink if you don’t want to stick around and let your hair down.
No matter what you’re into whether it’s history, sitting on a beach and doing nothing, having some beers at the local bars with friends, or doing some shopping at the towns shops, i’m sure there will be something that suits your style in this colonial town.
A lovely Portuguese colonial town located on Brazil’s Costa Verde making for a great place to go get some history of the country while also checking out the great beaches.
The town is lined with cobbled streets with 17th and 18th century buildings dating to the time when it was a major port during the Brazilian Gold Rush.
I had a great time when I was there and i’m not going to lie the second night I was there I barely remember a thing past 22:00 after lots of nice cocktails.
There’s some cool spots you can go hiking to including the castle where you can get awesome views over the town and it’s port.
If you’re into your sailing there are trips going from the port that do booze cruises where you stop of at points to go for a swim, do a bit of cliff diving, and of course drink lots of Caprinhas (look at first picture for this section) – arguably my favourite day of my trip to South America.
Paraty was recently listed in 2019 as a world heritage site to give you an idea of how beautiful the seaside town is.
There’s loads to do in and around the town from kayaking and hiking to joining the locals in the town hall for their parties. I recommend you use someone like STA Travel to make sure you’ve got it all booked ahead so you’re not disappointed when you arrive.
3. BARRA GRANDE
You need to head a bit more up the coast to get to Barra Grande but it’s definitely worth the drive or short plane ride as the views are incredible.
If you are that way I recommend you stop by the city of Salvador as it’s not that far and it’s always good to tick another place of your list, at least for me anyway.
Barra Grande is a small little town on the tip of the mainland where you can see the coast of Brazil due to the way the tip wraps round and points out like the map on the left shows.
The main thing to do here is go to the wonderful beaches with there being three different ones you can go to which all provide their own unique touch and experience.
Now for some reason it is quite a popular area for boats to dock up and for that reason, if you do decide to go, you can expect to not have the greatest or quietest view. For me personally, I didn’t mind it, but for you it might be a complete turn off.
There’s not much to do in the town, or arguably village itself, with their only being a few restaurants to dine in. There aren’t that many places to get a drink but there’s definitely enough to keep your whistle wet and fuel you up to keep exploring.
If you’re going, you’ll want to make sure you have your accommodation booked before hand so you’re not left empty handed and having to camp on one of the beaches.
There’s a cool way that the beach splits when the tide is low like you can see in the image below giving you a walkway and essentially one beach with two different seas – pretty cool, right?
If you’re already heading to Paraty, you might as well go to Ubatuba either before or after as it’s only about an hour away in the car or slightly longer by getting a bus – or better yet, sail from one town to the other.
It’s also not that far from Sao Paolo making it the ideal place to go for a weekend getaway for locals and a hot spot for tourists due to being on the road up to or from Rio De Janeiro – remember both cities have large international airports and it’s quite a common drive between the two while ticking off three of the four places mentioned in this article.
Now this place just like Lopes Mendes Beach on Ilha Grande mentioned above has a strong surf making it a go to spot for surfers and other adventure water sports.
BUT, this is not the only thing it’s good for.
It’s also really well known for being a hot spot for turtles and other awesome jaw dropping sea-life, so make sure you’ve got your camera and waterproof camera with you to get the best snaps.
It’s got a visitor centre with tanks so if you’re not a big fan of diving, snorkelling, or even good with the sea, it doesn’t mean you can’t see them or hold one.
There’s also a marine centre you can go to which has much more sea creatures than a few turtles which you might want to go to if you find yourself with some spare time to burn.
Personally, I like to spend every minute out in the open taking in the fresh air and awesome views. Praia Grande is the most popular beach and will likely be the one you end up going to.
Just be warned it can get quite busy during the in-season months as your not the only person who wants to see the white sand, blue beaches while being served your fifth cocktail of the day.
There’s plenty of places to get a bite and grab a few cold cervezas (beers). If we happen to be at the same place (anywhere in the world, not just Brazil) at the same time, be sure to let me know because the first round is on me or should I say Exploring Together 😉
Again, like most of the places mentioned in this article, please book your accommodation before hand so you’re not left empty handed and wondering round trying to find a place to stay or worse you have to sleep on the beach.
I recommend you use Booking.com to find the accommodation that is best suited to you and your comfort levels while you can easily book activities and adventures at local tour guide offices or watersport shacks. I don’t actually know of any tour guides that include Ubatuba as part of their trips (please let us know if you do) but you can still find more in detail things to do at places such as Trip Advisor.
If you do go to Ubatuba and one of it’s beaches such as Praia Grande, make sure you send me some cool snaps on Instagram, please. Cheers mate!
HAVE YOU BEEN TO ANY OF THESE PLACES?
So there’s my four seaside towns I really recommend you check out if you are in Brazil.
What did you think? Have you been to one of the places mentioned above and did something that definitely deserves to be mentioned? Is this now somewhere that’s on your list of places to visit?
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I’ll catch you on the next one minha amiga.