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Brazil: Beaches of southern Brazil

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The prosperous, European-influenced southern state of Santa Catarina has over 500km of undulating coastline scalloped with pretty crescent-shaped beaches. Ilha de Santa Catarina (the gateway is the city of Florianópolis) is beloved of Argentine holiday makers and popular with families (the sheltered beaches in the west) and surfers (who ride the rollers in the east). On the mainland the coast is fringed by attractive green hills covered with monkey puzzle trees. The cliffs and bays along the coast shelter a few top end beach properties and attract whale-watchers.

The coastline adjoining the agreeable little resort of Praia do Rosa - considered one of the top most beautiful 30 bays in the world - is particularly exquisite. There are nine beaches and bays, each very different from one another, separated by rugged headlands and linked by coastal paths reminiscent of those in Cornwall or Jersey. It is possible to spend days exploring on foot and by hire car, stopping off at Siriu to admire the sand dunes and maybe sandboard down them and at Ferrugem for the surfing or Gamboa to visit an unspoilt Brazilian beach village. Praia Vermelha's rust coloured sands are only accessible on foot, whereas you can take your car out onto the beach at Ouvidor (watch the tides!). Many beaches are backed by tranquil lagoons safe for swimming. Most visitors base themselves at chic Praia do Rosa but visit the charming low-key and laid-back fishing town Garipoba.

Our holidays to Beaches of southern Brazil

View all holidays
Explore and Relax Argentina to Brazil: Estancias and Beach

Explore and Relax Argentina to Brazil: Estancias and beaches

Private journey

13 days from £5,499pp

Serra Geral

Self-drive Southern Brazil and Buenos Aires

Private journey

16 days from £3,043pp

Things to do in Beaches of southern Brazil


Take a windsurfing course

Brazil wales

Whale watching in southern Brazil


Brazilian coastal walk with oyster tasting

White water rafting

White-water rafting in Brazil

Our insider tips for Beaches of southern Brazil


Laura Rendell-Dunn

Checking out the party scene on the north of Ilha de Santa Catarina, or the deserted beaches in the south – the choice is yours.

Claire Milner

Claire Milner

The sight of curious southern right mum and baby whales breaching or spy-hopping close to your boat. The adults can weigh 60 tons and be 18m long!


David Nichols

Snorkelling among the rocks of the sheltered bays: plenty of undersea wildlife on display.


Chris Rendell-Dunn

Visiting towns and the pretty countryside influenced by European immigrants, who flocked to the more temperate climate and sunny slopes suitable for vineyards.

What our experts say

Santa Catarina Island, and its gateway the pleasant modern city of Florianopolis, has over 40 beaches, with yet more sandy bays on the coast going south towards the border with Argentina and Uruguay. With developed (but not high rise) resorts through to to isolated sands accessible only by rough track, boat or cliff path, you are bound to be able to find one that suits you. I recommend hiring a car to explore this coastline, there's so much to enjoy. My favourite beaches are at Garopaba, an Azorean fishing port cum family-friendly holiday town, and the fan of silky sand at Praia do Rosa, an established surf centre with a super-cool atmosphere in season.

Claire Milner

Claire Milner

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