Travel and Leisure — January 8, 2015 at 5:00 am

7 Brazilian Beach Getaways for this Winter

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The temperatures are steadily dropping which can only mean one thing—time to head south of the equator. If you’re looking for a great winter vacation full of sand and sunshine, Brazil has you covered. Here are some of the country’s best beaches.

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
Forget about Copacabana—which is loaded down with tourists no matter what time of the year—and skip over to Ipanema Beach. It’s still pretty popular itself, but you’ll have a few less contenders for that primo space on the sand over here while still having access to all the same great amenities. Plus, it’s in Rio, meaning you’ll be knee-deep in some of the best parties and nightlife in the world.

Porto de Galinhas
If you’re looking for the exact opposite of Rio then check out Porto de Galinhas. With next to no nightlife, tourism or traffic it’s the perfect vacation getaway spot. Rather than live it up at the bar check out the local tide pools, hit the sands in a dune buggy and simply lie back and bask in the sun.

Lopes Mendes Beach, Ilha Grande
Shallow and surfing are the two words that come to mind when thinking of Lopes Mendes Beach. The shallow sands extend pretty far out into the water so, as you can imagine, the place attracts a lot of surfers. Be wary of swimming these waters, though, as the current is known to get a little strong sometimes.

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Garopaba Beaches
Garopaba was once a quaint fishing village before tourism took over, but it’s still managed to hold onto its charm. It’s become a big destination for ecotourism, and you’ll find a lot of fun things to do like windsurfing, paragliding and hang gliding. Garopaba is the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, while also maintaining a somewhat boisterous nightlife.

Armação dos Búzios
Búzios was once voted one of the 10 most beautiful places in the world and we can easily see why. You’ll feel like you stepped right into a postcard when you arrive in this picturesque fishing town. Twenty beaches full of lush, green wildlife and pearl white sand will make you never want to leave. It’s also home to great shopping, rustic architecture and amazing food!

Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco
This mountainous region is legally off limits to most people on account of being a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it one of Brazil’s hidden and isolated treasures. That doesn’t mean you can’t stop in for a visit, though. You’ll have to find accommodations away from the area and travel in, but when you do you’ll be treated to an enormous array of sea turtles nestled in volcanic outcroppings and the cleanest beaches the country has to offer. It’s peace and quiet like you’ve never experienced.

Florianópolis
Colonial fortresses and modern conveniences exist side-by-side in Florianópolis. Brazilians themselves named it the best place to live in Brazil, so you can imagine how big the tourism scene here has become. Shockingly, that hasn’t diminished it’s appeal quite yet. People come for the beaches, but stay for the seafood.

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