From Cape Town in South Africa (as we sadly wrapped up the Africa leg of the trip), we headed to Brazil, officially kicking off the South America leg. Brazil means family time (yay) and further exploring of Carlos’ home state, Santa Catarina, in the south of Brazil. This time around we ventured to the beaches in the southern part of the state, often considered some of the prettiest in the country and the world. Is there anything more quintessential Brazilian than going to the beach? (The answer is no.)
Bombinhas is a favourite for locals and foreigners alike. Every summer the beach gets packed with Brazilians, Argentinians, Paraguayans and Uruguayans; it’s simply too packed and busy during the high season. We had previously visited during the summer and the traffic and crowds were unbearable. This time, we opted for shoulder season, which was perfect. Good weather and no crowds meant it was a lovely place to be.
Not only are the beaches in the area amazing, there are beautiful hiking trails as well. One of the more popular ones is the Monkey Hill trail – only 2km roundtrip and not very steep. Along the way, there are stunning panoramic views of the shore, but the best view of the trail by far is at the very end, when you reach a canopy overlooking the peninsula stretching out of the continent. This is what makes this trail special – you can see the beach and the ocean on both sides, as well as everything in between.
Praia do Rosa
Praia do Rosa is often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the south of Brazil as well as in the world. The bay is simply stunning and the town has a laid back and remote feel. A hidden gem.
The infrastructure for the local town itself is minimal, but it had more than you would expect catering to tourists. One of the main draws is the good surf – if you go to the northern end of the beach, you can enjoy the best waves in the region. Even if you don’t surf, it’s still quite fun to watch other surfers ride the waves or just wipe out.
There are many hiking trails along the coast with views of the rocky cliffs and the strong swells. We have often felt like tourism in Brazil could be better developed and made more accessible – there are so many unknown places. The upside, however, means that not only do we often have the trail to ourselves, it really feels wild and off the beaten path.
Guarda do Embau
Guarda do Embau is another award winning beach in the south coast of Brazil. Only a short ride away from the capital of the state and the main access point – Florianopolis – it retains a secluded and quiet feel.
Continuing the theme above, the panoramic trail that starts from the small town center and runs along the coast line was a joy. The views of the rocky cliffs covered in lush green tropical forest and the blue Atlantic Ocean water is very typical for the region, but nonetheless picturesque no matter how many times you may have seen it before. The trail also crosses two deserted beached dotted with boulders. If you’re looking for untouched nature, here it is. It reminded us of Lagoinha do Leste, another deserted trail and beach we previously visited.
From July to October, if you’re lucky, it is possible to spot right whales in the distance.
For every beautiful beach we explore, there are so many more yet to be discovered. Looking forward to coming back and visiting new ones in the future! After some quality family time, we headed west to Santiago in Chile, the main connection to Easter Island (!!!).