With its 8,000 km of coastline, Brazil offers hundreds of different beaches as summer holiday destinations. On the island of Fernando de Noronha in the northeast of Brazil, Baia do Sancho (Sancho Bay) was nominated as Best Beach in the World for the second year running in the 2015 edition of Traveler's Choice. With its stretch of sand that divides sparkling, multi-coloured crystalline waters from imposing cliffs covered with vegetation, it's the perfect place to practice diving, while relaxing and enjoying the sun and sea.
The Brazilian summer officially begins towards the end of December when the countries of the northern hemisphere are going through harsh winters, but the sun shines all year round on our coast. Besides the beautiful scenery and delicious dishes from the local cuisine, Brazilian cities also offer diverse culture, including samba music, traditional Amazonian recipes and unique South American art.
From the north to the south of Brazil, foreign visitors can fall in love with cities, beaches, landscapes and scenery that are far from the everyday. The island of Fernando de Noronha boasts the Baia dos Porcos (Bay of Pigs), with a strip of sand that disappears at high tide covering the many hidden rock pools. It's worth navigating every slippery stone along the route to get to the natural pools that lie in front of the Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Mount) - and take along a mask and snorkel to see the amazing fish.
In Rio Grande do Norte, between the north and south coast, tourists can visit the beaches of São Miguel do Gostoso, a haven for kite and wind-surfers, as well as the dunes of Genipabu, a great place to practice "esquibunda" (also known as sandboarding) or take a camel or buggy ride -- and Pipa beach, which, as well as its incredible scenery, has areas where visitors can watch sea turtles and dolphins. Another popular pastime is hiking through the Mata Atlântica forest, an area so rich with life that new species are constantly being discovered.
In Porto de Pedra in Alagoas state, another tourist favourite is the Praia do Patacho (Patacho Beach), a semi-deserted yet extremely peaceful place to take a leisurely swim in a calm, shallow sea at low tide. A little further south, in Bahia, the Praia do Espelho (Mirror Beach) in Trancoso is breathtaking, with crystal clear seas (hence its name) that range from green to bright blue as the sun moves through the sky. Here tourists can play hide and seek with the tide as it reveals and then covers up numerous reefs in front of the high cliffs.
In the south of Brazil, in Santa Catarina, a much sought-after venue for surfing, the Lagaoinha do Oeste beach in Florianópolis is yet to be fully discovered by tourists, and the local cuisine features churrasco barbecued meats and chimarrão, a caffeine rich drink infused with the native yerba plant.
A little further to the north, on the São Paulo coastline, lucky tourists may bump into Gabriel Medida, the first Brazilian to win the title of world surfing champion, on a trip along the Praia de Maresias (Maresias Beach).
The latest survey carried out by the Ministry of Tourism shows that 65.9% of foreign tourists who visit Brazil for leisure do so for the sun and the beaches. To cater to this demand, the country has invested in numerous beach clubs that offer bars, music and relaxation along the coast. Inspired by European resorts, these beach clubs, normally mounted on wooden structures, are great options for those who wish to enjoy an exclusive atmosphere, top quality cooking and guest-only access.
Florianópolis is one of the leading cities to offer this type of service, with at least ten beach clubs along its coast. The popularity of these establishments provides a healthy boost to the tourism economy as they bring together what many tourists look for: beautiful scenery, a paradise beach, iced drinks, chef-prepared dishes and live music.
As well as all the above, summer travellers to Brazil often descend on Rio de Janeiro, and its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, which welcome more than 3 million people each season. As well as the beaches, many take a trip to the Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain and the various museums in the city, with the soft sound of samba or bossa nova in the background.
Rio de Janeiro state also offers the resorts of Angra dos Reis, Búzios, Cabo Frio and Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, the Botanical Garden and Maracanã stadium (the stage of two World Cup finals), not to mention its samba schools.