Whether it’s the pristine sands of Colombia’s Caribbean coast or the turquoise waters of the paradise that is North East Brazil, South America is a beach goers heaven. If you’re searching for a city with great beaches then you need look no further than Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (with the famous Copacabana beach amongst many many others), but if like me you prefer something more exclusive/remote/different then there are plenty of alternative options to the standard city or coastal resort. Some of my favourite beach spots in Colombia would be Capurganá and Sapzurro, relaxing, car free, small towns found on coast of the Gulf of Urabá in the Choco department. These quiet bays (sometimes crazy and lively though!) were my first port of call in Colombia after arriving from the stunning San Blas Islands, for more information about that see my hidden gems blog
Tayrona National park is a whole monkey filled coastal jungle of a national park! Rough waves and occasional crowds being the only negatives, this park holds some of Colombia’s best beaches, is easily accessible and can be a great camping spot. Cartagena has the famous Playa Blanca a short boat journey from the city, beautiful beach but usually very busy so keep that in mind! San Andres & Provedencia are Colombian islands off the coast of Nicaragua and offers the perfect island life, prices can be slightly higher than mainland Colombia but you are paying to be on a tropical island! Provedencia can be less touristy and more rugged and beautiful, however quite costly to get to. Satena offer flights and a slightly cheaper option could be a 2 hour catamaran journey.
Brazil is spoilt for beaches with the North East offering some of my favourites. Jericoacoara has become more and more popular as a stop along the backpacker trail over the years,a really relaxing remote tiny beach side town. Nice beaches but really everyone visits the stunning lagoons. Further up the coast you make the journey to the fascinating and unique Lencois Maranhenses a vast desert of a national park filled with lagoons, although not a beach such a mysterious and intriguing landscape is worth a mention. Day trips are possible, but for a real experience I’d suggest hiring a guide and trekking across it! Other idyllic beach locations in Brazil include Arraial do Cabo (many perfect beaches), Carneiros beach in Tamandare, Ihla Grande and Baia do Sancho, just Google the photos of these places if you need any convincing! 🙂
Also definitely worth a mention would be some of beaches in Uruguay; Costa del Oro & Punta del Diablo.