South America has some beautiful beaches think perfect white sand, turquoise waters and the perfect blend of sun and wind. Brazil tends to get the most attention for its beaches. Perhaps that’s not surprising considering it’s got some 7,491m of coastline; they’ve got a lot of chances to have some stunning beaches. And, whilst the following list of my favourite beaches in South America does include some from Brazil, there are also beaches from other South American countries. Some of my favourite beaches in South America were beaches I’d never heard of, and in countries I’d never thought of being ‘beach places’. If you’re heading to this wonderful continent then make sure you check out these best beaches in South America.
5 of the best South American beaches
Playa Bonete, Ilhabela, Brazil
Image from here
Playa Bonete features as one of The Guardian’s top 10 Brazilian beaches. If you make the effort to complete the 4 hour, 15km hike to get there you’ll soon see why. Playa Bonete is completely deserted and behind the beach you’ll find a small little town to explore. There’s a few restaurants serving incredibly fresh fish too, but you’ll want to pack plenty of drinks and snacks for the walk there. Also be prepared to wade through a river and make time to enjoy the two huge waterfalls you’ll pass on the hike.
Don’t worry though, you can take a gentle, motorised canoe ride on the way back (or the way there if you don’t fancy the hike). Or, if you’re after some adrenaline, find a watertaxi and prepare to cling on to the boat for dear life!
El Silencio, Peru
Just South of Lima are some beautiful, tourist-free beaches. The richer inhabitants of Lima head to the South in Summer and stay in plush resorts with private beaches. El Silencio has the beauty of those beaches, but without the cost. The beach stretches for miles with perfect water and sand. If you get peckish there’s plenty of beach front restaurants serving up traditional Peruvian food, like Lomo Saltado or Ceviche, for you to try.
Playa Juliao, Ilhabela, Brazil
The beaches of Castelhanos and Bonete are lauded as the best Ilhabela has to offer. Bonete is clearly beautiful, but I preferred Playa Juliao towards to South of the island. It may not be completely empty, but nor is it full of tourists, and it take a lot less time to get to. The bus journey from the centre of town is about 20 minutes and drops you off right by the short slope down to the beach. The sunset from the beach is incredible, the water is warm, and there’s plenty of sea life to spot if, like me, you’re into that!
Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
Image from here
Tortuga Bay makes the perfect day break from cruising or island hopping while you’re in the Galapagos. Tortuga Bay is about 10 minutes by foot from Puerto Ayora, plus another 30 minutes or so to the beach. The sea has very strong currents so you’re advised not to swim but the best part of Tortuga Bay is the little lake-like area at the other end of the beach. Surrounded by trees the calmer inlet of water is a bit like a little oasis. You can swim, snorkel and kayak to your heart’s content.
Pocitas Beach, Mancora, Peru
By far my favourite beach was Pocitas Beach just outside Mancora in Northern Peru. Fifteen minutes down a dirt track in a moto taxi will lead you to the paradise, other wise known as Pocitas beach. There’s palm trees, luxurious hotels and plenty of sun loungers to relax on with a good book. As the tide comes in you can watch the crabs scuttle over the sand and as the sun sets you can hire a pony to carry you along the beach. If you’re looking for something special, then Pocitas beach is exactly that.