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Sparkling sand, translucent water, stunning natural beauty, coupled with year round sunshine and a unique atmosphere that is pure magic.

Brazil and beaches go hand in hand like Havaianas, caipirinhas and beautifully golden-tanned bodies. With thousands of pristine, unspoiled beaches nestled within nearly 8 thousand km of breathtaking tropical coastline, Brazil is the sun worshiper’s Holy Grail.

Is it possible to rank Brazil’s best beaches? Of course it is. Ask any of the locals and you’ll get a myriad of favorites ranging from the crowded shores of Copacabana to the secluded sand dunes of the Northeast.

But if you are looking for hidden stretches of paradise with hardly a soul in sight and agree that getting there is half the fun, here are 5 secret beaches that are sure to please even the most diehard beach aficionado.

Praia do Farol, Arraial do Cabo – Rio de Janeiro

Located in an ecological reserve a couple of hours north of Rio de Janeiro, Praia do Farol is the beach of your dreams. Due to its incredibly transparent water and the quality of its super fine white sand, INPE (The National Institute for Space Research) considers it the most perfect beach in Brazil. Surrounded by small dunes and only 1km long, the beach forms a natural aquarium perfect for diving. To complete the picture, there is a hundred year old fig tree that adds to the charm. But do not expect to spend the day there. Controlled by the Navy and accessible only by authorized boats, your stay cannot exceed an hour. We guarantee it is an hour you will never forget.

Beautiful sail boat and hammocks at the Paradise Lake (Jericoacoara, Brazil)
Praia de Jericoacoara – Ceará

Imagine small lagoons and shallow transparent water dotted with jangadas (traditional wooden fishing boats) surrounded by 30m sand dunes that change color throughout the day. Affectionately known as Jeri, this piece of heaven on earth is located on the northern coast of Ceará, and features exotic landmarks such as the Pedra Furada stone arch and a rustic, isolated fishing village. Once you arrive at this hidden nirvana and stretch out in one of the hammocks that are literally strung on sticks in the water, you’ll never want to leave. Accessible via 15km of rough dirt roads, its calm waters and strong winds make it a haven for kite surfers, windsurfers and sand boarders.

Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande – Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro’s southern coastline is full of pleasant surprises, one of which is Ilha Grande (Big Island), known as the jewel of the Emerald Coast. A ferry from the mainland followed by a 40-minute boat trip, a quick taxi-boat, and a fairly steep 20-minute trek through the forest and you arrive at Lopes Mendes. A sweeping 2.4km of the whitest finest sand stretching out to a shallow, blue-green crystalline ocean, it is undoubtedly the most beautiful of the island’s 113 stunning beaches. Once inhabited by the Caiçara Indians, today the palm and almond lined beach is practically deserted making it well worth the effort getting there.

Praia de Castelhanos on Ilhabela in the state of São Paulo
Praia de Castelhanos, Ilhabela – São Paulo

A mere four-hour drive from the São Paulo megalopolis, a hop on a boat, plus a 20km jeep ride through the rainforest is Praia de Castelhanos, one of the best kept secrets along the São Paulo coastline. The longest of Ilhabela’s 43 gorgeous beaches, for many it is the most beautiful. Going to Castelhanos is like going back in time. Great for taking long walks, the beach is secluded and very clean. On the left side of the beach is a river that forms a lake and where the 30-40 minute hike to the famous 50m Cachoeira do Gato (Cat Waterfall) begins. Be sure and take plenty of bug repellent to fend off the borrachudos (tiny gnats). It’s a small price to pay to experience the breathtaking scenery.

Baia do Sancho on the Fernando de Noronha archipelago off the coast of Pernambuco
Baia do Sancho – Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco

If you are looking for a secluded paradise, look no further. Voted the World’s Best Best by TripAdvisor, it would be a mission impossible not to include Baia do Sancho in this list! Located in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago 350km off the mainland, Sancho is pure peace and tranquility. The beach is a perfect crescent-shaped stretch of sand protected by thick tropical vegetation. To reach the ocean you need to follow a trail, then climb down a 50m ladder along a crack in a rock wall. The water is so clear you’ll think you can touch the bottom. But the transparency is deceiving since in reality the water is on average 6m deep. Due to the plethora of fish, turtles, schools of dolphins, and a few well-fed sharks, here you will experience some of the best diving and swimming on the planet.