Floripa literally has more than a hundred beaches. How do you choose which one to go to? Here’s a quick guide to determine which one is for you. From the foodie, to the active, to the lgbt.. there is a beach for everyone here.
The Famous Beaches
Praia de Jurerê: Come here to admire mansions of the rich and for a beach and parties with a Miami-like vibe. The rich and famous of Brazil have summer homes here. The waves are mild, the water is warm, and the beach is wide. Home to Brazil’s best beach clubs, P12 and Cafe de la Musique. Pacha Floripa and Music Park are also located here.
Praia do Mole: Famous beach that is popular among LGBT. There are surf schools here but it is not the best place to surf as a beginner as the waves are large.
Praia da Joaquina: Well-known beach and next to the famous Joaquina sand dunes. There are surfing schools here as well, as well as sandboard rental.
For the Active
Lagoa de Conceição: Not a beach, but is the heart of the island. Come here to do water sports, eat, and have a typical Brazilian night out. At the famous Lagoa there is a narrow beach, where one can do water sports in the usually calm waters. Kayak, wakeboard, longboard, windsurf, jetski… you name it, they have it.
Praia Brava: Many say that this is the most beautiful beach in Floripa; surfers love this beach too.
Praia de Canasvieiras: Come here if you love packed beaches with hustle and bustle; want to see Argentinians, Uruguayans, and senior citizens on vacation. By far the most packed beach in Floripa (also due to it being narrow), in the height of summer there is literally no space to sit down. The waves are extremely mild and the water is warm. It is a great place to people watch, do ocean activities (floating playground, kayak, banana boat). There is also a “pirate ship” tour that leaves from here, and takes you on a couple of islands in the north.
Praia do Lagoinha do Leste: Come here for a challenging hike to a secluded beach. The only way to access this beach is through a challenging rocky trail (wear proper shoes!) for one hour, or by fishing boat from Armação or Pântano do Sul (around 20 reais). At the end of the trail you will be awarded with a beautiful view of where a river meets the ocean.
Praia dos Naufragados: Come here for a hike to the southernest point of the island. The hike is easy but takes around 40-50 minutes one way. In the summer, there is a boat that will take you there if you don’t want to hike.
Praia do Moçambique: A long long loooong wide and beautiful beach surrounded by a great forest – this is a beach for those that like deserted beaches, and for surfers.
Praia do Morro das Pedras: Come here if you are a pro surfer looking for big waves. Violent waves 0.5-1 meter high. Rocky sand.
For the Foodies
Praia de Canasvieiras: Come here to experience never-ending beach food. Because of how packed the beach is, there is also an overabundance of mobile vendors. Sit at your spot and food will come to you. Try the Argentinian “Choripan” (Sausage inside of a roll, with special dressing). Get the “queijo coalho”, cheese on a stick roasted on coat, originated from the North of Brazil. Try the “pamonha”, which is a corn-based tamale and can be sweet or salty. For dessert, get some brigadeiro (chocolate) or churros, Top it off with a cool beer or a pretty fruit caipirinha. I somehow managed to spend $R50 eating here one day… snacking really adds up.
Lagoa de Conceição: Lagoa is the heart of the island and there are many restaurants along the lake. Try the “Casa do Pastel”, a restaurant which serves huge “pasteis” a tipical Brazilian food (kind of like an empanada). Take a boat and go to one of the seafood restaurants along the shore, only accessible by boat (the port is directly under the bridge, across from the Magia supermarket).
Praia do Ribeirão da Ilha: Don’t come here for the beach (it sucks), but for the fresh seafood and omnipresent oysters. Ostradamus (Rod. Baldicero Filomeno, 7640) is very pricey, but said to be the best seafood restaurant in Floripa.
Other Beaches Worth Visiting (by order of how much I like them)
Praia da Galheta: Come here if you want to be in your birthday suit, are gay, or want to enjoy a wide and gorgeous beach. Yes, it is nudist but most people wear clothes. The beach is only accessible by a short trail from Praia Mole and is well worth a visit. The mountain walls cast a shadow on the beach in the afternoon, so it is easy to find natural shade.
Praia do Forte: Come here for a killer sunset and to visit an ancient fort built by the Portugese. Over a hill next to the club P12 is Praia do Forte. Suggestion during the summer is to park the car and hike the hill, because the street is extremely narrow and opposing cars always get stuck there.
Praia da Barra da Lagoa: Great for people learning to surf, and to check out sea turtles. There are surfing schools here and the gentle waves make it beginner-friendly. There is also a sea turtle preservation project and museum (TAMAR) that you can visit. There is an idyllic river where you can kayak or longboard. Many hostels are located here.
Praia da Cachoeira de Bom Jesus: Adjacent to Canasvieiras, it is a great place to set camp if you can’t stand the hustle and bustle of Canas. The beach is wider and the sand is whiter. The great thing is that vendors wander up here too.
Other Beaches, nothing special in my opinion…
Praia dos Ingleses & Praia do Santinho: Not worth the visit. Busy in the summer due to its proximity to the Ingleses neighborhood, but nothing special in my opinion.
Praia do Campeche: Come here if you want to visit the popular Campeche Island, otherwise it’s just another beach. Another wide, white-sanded beach…
Pântano do Sul, Armação: More beaches.. nothing special
Praia da Daniela (never been): Come here for a calm beach with calm waters and a great sunset. (Similar to Praia do Forte)
* I haven’t been to any beaches on the east side.
BONUS DAY TRIP: Guarda do Embaú: Come here for unforgettable natural scenery in a fishing village! Located on the mainland and an hour away from Floripa, it is where a river meets the ocean and has some of the best surfing waves (0.5-1m high), whitest sand, beautiful trail around the coast, and infinite picture-worthy scenery. One scene engrained in my brain is sitting on the rocks, watching many many fisherman stand in the ocean with their nets catching fish, while the seagulls fly over them, also catching fish.