Brazil is often seen as a country with underrated surf spots. But it is the largest country in South America with a very long coast line of 7500 kms. About half of the coast is wild and remote tropical jungle with hundreds of secret surf spots. Where do you think all those Brazilian surfers on the World Championship and big-wave riders come from??
Even the most popular surf spots can offer top quality waves on their good days.
Let’s face it, Brazil doesn’t have the wave quality of Hawaii or Indonesia but you will be compensated in many other aspects in your surf trip.
This is the country of contrasts, no doubt. To be at the right place at the right time will make all the difference in your Brazilian experience. That’s where we come in…here we can help you out!
Anyway, here you can take a look of some of the best surf spots in Brazil. Again, we have identified the different surfing areas on each surf spot (Northeast, East and South). To know more check also www.surfinn.travel/best-season-surf-in-brazil
Arpoador (East – Rio de Janeiro)
Arpoador is considered Brazil's surfing birthplace. It is located at the east end of Ipanema beach easily recognized by its giant rock background. This is a very popular left hand beach break quite consistent all year round. On medium to big E swell, lefts can reach 10ft (3m).
Due to easy access, Arpoador is always hugely crowded but that can be avoided by surfing at night, since the beach is lit or simply go surfing down a bit to Ipanema or Leblon.
Dropping in someone’s wave here is quite common but keep calm, keep your head and you'll be OK.
Barra da Tijuca (East – Rio de Janeiro)
Located on the west of Rio in one of the most exclusive areas with a concentration of high-class hotels and condos as a background. A bit crowded in the front of the condos but you can always surf alone in any given surf spot. This is a very big beach (15km!), with an amazing landscape and lots of spots that used to host the WCT until 2001. Waves can change a lot from barreling or very soft, depending on the sand bottom or wind conditions. Normally you can expect glassy by the morning holding up to 2m. Afternoons can be good if the E wind isn't too strong.
Anyway, it’s one of the best surf spots in Rio, a must surf if you're around!
This is one of the most “complete” surf spots in Brazil. It has it all: left, rights, beach break, point break, long waves, smooth waves, paddling channel… All in just one spot with amazing consistency especially between September and March!
This is a horseshoe shaped beach perfect for beginners due to slow currents and a deep channel on the left whatever the swell size.
It is easily accessible from the Parking plot, just a 20 mins walking through the forest.
Fernando de Noronha (Northeast)
This is definitely the best that Brazil has to offer. This is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets located 354 km (220 mi) off the northeast coast of Recife, loaded with quality surf breaks.
The volcanic origin of the islands make the same effect on waves as in Hawaii. This means barrels everywhere, from head-high size reaching double plus up to 4 meters.
A true tropical paradise where you can expect good surf conditions all year round but the best season is no doubt from November through March, when it receives North atlantic winter swells with offshore winds blowing all day long with hot sunny days. Top quality waves guaranteed during that time of year. Warm water makes it a great dive or snorkeling as well.
Cacimba do Padre is probably the masterpiece in all the archipelago: a quality tube with both rights and lefts, with lefts a bit longer. Located towards the northern part of the island, the scenery is breath-taking.
Fernando de Noronha Archipelago is a must-see destination but there are a few travel restrictions. Make sure that you plan your trip to this spot in advance!
Florianopolis in the state of Santa Catarina is considered the surf capital of Brazil by many Brazilians. Water temperatures are a bit colder than the rest of the country, ranging from 18C/60F to 26C/78F. The swell in the south comes mainly from the South Atlantic meaning that surf size averages head high and double head high spring, winter and fall seasons between April to November. Florianopolis area is full of beach breaks that can handle different swell and wind conditions, so it helps to know where conditions will be best for which wind direction and swell. Conditions can vary dramatically and our local surf instructors and surf guides know the right place to be at the right time!
Geriba is the most popular beach in Búzios - a ritzy seaside resort with nice villas, friendly pousadas, beautiful and wealthy people from Rio de Janeiro enjoying their relaxed weekend away from the big city.
It’s easy to reach and easy to park, so sometimes it can be really crowded out there on weekends. Respect the locals out there, and you’ll be fine.
There are surf spots all over the beach where you can chose from. This is a medium consistency beach break that offers its best on NE wind and S to E swell.
Just like most of the beach breaks, the wave has several sections offering barrels to airs passing through floaters and snaps…
On good days you will be able to ride awesome waves, very long and manoeuvrable.
When it gets big (over 6ft) the wave is better at the left corner but in the right one, if you are kamikaze, there are monster barrels behind the rocks.
The waves may not be the best around but it’s a nice, fun place, where you can surf during the day and during the night you can have fun in one of the many discos and bars around.
Grumari (East – Rio de Janeiro)
Just next to Prainha we have Grumari. Another beautiful and isolated beach, Grumari offers nice and empty waves especially on the week days. The best conditions are during the south or southeast swells when the right corner offer long and powerful rights. On the smaller days, there are waves breaking all the way along the beach.
Swell: south, southwest
Wind: northeast, light southwest
Height: 2 to 10 feet
Characteristics: in the middle of the beach, waves for both sides in small and medium days. With a bigger sea, strong rights in the beach right corner.
Tips: a Gun can make the difference on the big days. Spots all over the beach during the week. On sunny weekends, get there early to guarantee your place.
Ipanema (East – Rio de Janeiro)
World famous beach, got know by the famous songs “Garota de Ipanema”. The beach is approximately 2 Km long, with tall buildings on its entire extension. It offers a wide selection of hotels and restaurants perfectly set for tourists from over the world.
On its perfect days, this beach break offers multiple sand bars with fast, short and hollow waves. During the 70`s the “pier” offered perfect waves. Nowadays, you still can see a bit of the structure of it around “Posto 8” where on good days the waves offer perfect walls with quick barrels. On the big south swells, the “Sao Sebastiao” slab offers large barrels that can be ridden by the experienced surfers.
Swell: east, southeast
Wind: east, northeast
Height: 2 to 6 feet
Characteristics: short and fast barrels
Tips: Intense crowd; respect the locals; difficult parking
The true surfers’ paradise that you will refuse to leave!
A beautiful typical Brazilian town lost in the last remaining coastal Atlantic tropical forest with powerful beach breaks along the coast. Corais (Corals) is the only reef break around.
This is the place to go if you’re looking for surfing adventure warm temperatures and exotic settings.
Night-time transforms tranquil Itacaré into party paradise, with a variety of small bars catering to the hippie and surf crowd. They just keep on going and going until morning hours, making dawn surfing sessions quite difficult indeed.
Joaquina is the most consistent spot on the island of Santa Catarina (Florianopolis).
Just like all the other places around, it’s a powerful beach break with barreling waves and no easy way in when it´s big. Better places to paddle to the line-up are between a large rock in the water and the coast cliff, and around the middle of the beach.
Hence, as you can imagine, this is the most well-known surf spot on the island, but surprisingly, sometimes you can get great waves with a surf spot just for you, even on weekends (at winter only).
Macumba (East – Rio de Janeiro)
Another beach break… but this time the most versatile surf spot for all surf levels. From beginners on the left next to the rock to experienced Shortboarders at the campsite end of the beach where the waves can be really hollow. Experienced longboarders can get some huge rides in the middle. Another break in Macumba is called "Secreto" by local bodyboards. It is a recently formed sandy-bar after a pier-rock construction. The waves in this local are extremely hollow producing deep barrels,
This is the chance to run away from Rio’s crowded beaches. It’s 30 kms from Rio’s downtown but easily accessible by car or public transportation (surf Bus).
Maresias (East – São Paulo)
This is considered the best wave in São Paulo surfing area. In good days you can’t expect anything but good barrels. It holds up very big swells and becomes one of the few surf spots for tow-in. If it gets too big, then the little fishing village of Pauba has some decent waves.
When it’s flat, it is still a very nice place for sun and girl watching! This north coast of São Paulo State is well worth seeing its beautiful coastline with crags and coves at every bend in the road.
Most of the times, and especially on weekends, it gets extremely crowded due to it’s proximity to São Paulo and its 18 million people!
Moçambique is a long stretch of sandy beach on the Island of Santa Catarina. It is the biggest beach in Florianópolis surfing area, around 13km long and many peaks along the way. You just have to choose one wave breaking the way you want and have fun! The beach has 12 access points but the northern you go, the best you will get.
Because of its size, the crowd is not concentrated in one place. You can surf in peace. It is actually not crowded at all like some famous surf spots in Florianopolis, even in the summer.
The waves are really powerful. Many lefts and rights usually breaking in A-frame peaks, with barrels. The only problem is it does not offer canal to paddle out. So you better stay close to a rip.
This long beach is a well preserved stretch of coast with no buildings or commodities, clean water and surrounded by tranquility. Since there is no infrastructure on the beach, don’t forget to bring food and water.
Pipa is a remarkable surfing village! Staying at Pipa is one of the most exciting and rich experiences you’ll ever get. Around Pipa there are some of the most spectacular beaches in Brazil with a big collection of surf spots within a short distance, like Praia da Pipa, Praia do Madeiro and Praia do Amor. You can easily find different spots for all level of surfing, different kind of waves, good for long board and short board.
Right next to Praia da Pipa there’s another secret spot where you can normally see dolphins while surfing.
This is a place well known among Brazilians by its natural beauty and open minded and relaxed atmosphere that gathers people from all over the world alongside with Brazilian tourists and an old community of fishermen and small-business owners.
That’s why Pipa has this exciting and contagious nightlife hard to resist…
Praia Mole (South)
This is an incredible swell magnet! This beach break offers an amazingly consistency all year round, reaching perfection if wind is blowing from South. There are several peaks along the beach with rights and lefts but definitely the best one is located on the far north side of the beach. The South side only works if big swell as big as 3 meters comes ashore.
Because there are lots of peaks along the beach, crowds are rarely a problem.
Prainha (East – Rio de Janeiro)
Prainha is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of Rio. Surrounded by a backdrop with trees, there are no buildings making an amazing scenery. Being a protected area, the waves break all year around on different sand bars along the beach.
Swell: south, southeast
Wind: light southwest
Height: 2 to 10 feet
Characteristics: waves all over the beach right and left maneuverable on the most different conditions; very solid.
Tips: Prainha is a protected area with kiosks, showers, bathrooms. It is frequented by beautiful people and by the best Rio de Janeiro surfers. On the weekends, get there early to guarantee your place.
Recreio dos Bandeirantes (East – Rio de Janeiro)
Recreio is located at south end of Barra da Tijuca. There are a multiple sand banks along the beach that can offer perfect “A” frames on the good days. At the further south end, a good right breaks along the rock on east or southeast swell and southwest wind. It is a good option for beginners and for big riders holding waves up to 8ft.
Swell: Southwest, southeast and east
Wind: South, Southwest
Heights: 2 to 8 feet
Characteristics: maneuverable waves with long rights breaking off the rock. Towards the middle, lefts and rights break along different sand bars. Tips: Next to the rock on big days and right tide you can get good right and open all the way to the sand. Just a bit down the beach, you can find multiple sand bars breaking perfect waves with nice clean pitches on good days.
Saquarema (East – Rio de Janeiro)
Saquarema is a very consistent and powerful beach break northeast of Rio, that picks up more swell then anywhere in Rio de Janeiro surfing area. Just like most of the beach breaks around, when it's pumping, it is a great wave with top good barrels.
This is a place with huge natural beauty and very cool and relaxed place. If you respect the locals your will get high receptiveness and very good vibe back.
Itaúna, another beach right next to Saquarema has its reputation of holding the biggest swell in East Brazil, reaching up till 4 meters.
Like most of the beaches around this area, Tiririca is a small beach with sharp rocks on the sides, tropical forest on the background and pristine waters.
In all Itacare’s 12 beaches, Tiririca is the most disputed one because of its consistency and proximity to the village (only 10 minutes walk from downtown). The neighboring beaches like Resende, Costa and Ribeira get some surf but don't compare in the consistency.
Although, all these beaches between Itacaré and Ilhéus benefit from a deep coastal trench, adding power and shape. The result is very powerful waves that normally close out but depending on sand banks and wind conditions, you can get a day full of barrels.