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Where to go for the Holidays? Beaches Beyond the Caribbean

Pria de Pipa

With the Caribbean going through the slow process of rebuilding after the hurricanes, clients should consider Brazil for some of the best beaches anywhere. Many vacationers are having to rebook for winter holiday season or rethink spring break. I wanted to give a shout-out to two of my favorite beaches in the entire world - Praia da Pipa and Buzios in Brazil.

Brazil is easier than you think to get to. You can fly direct from most major cities to either Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo and there is no jet lag to manage - only an overnight flight. And, LATAM airlines will introduce to a civilized way to travel with remarkable service.

Praia da Pipa

Praia da Pipa is one the most beautiful spots I've ever been. A small beach town ("Praia" is "beach" in Portuguese), it is the type of place you go and the world melts away. The town, just under two hours from Natal in Northeastern Brazil, was discovered by surfers in the 70's. As described by Lonely Planet, "the laid-back, ecological, independent traveler vibe still reigns." The small town is well set up for tourists with a main esplanade filled with excellent restaurants and lovely shopping. There are many beaches to chose from including one small cove, appropriately named Dolphin's Bay, where you can enjoy the beach, eat oysters and drink Caipirinhas and kayak with dolphins.

Lunch at Praia da Pipa
Praia da Pipa, Brazil

The resort we stayed at was terrific. The Toca da Corua offers great privacy. The resort has special bungalows that offer families a great set up of two rooms - one up and one down in a free standing house. The resort is also perfect for honeymooners. You hardly ever see people with such lush surroundings.

At breakfast each morning we were visited by hummingbirds tempted by the fresh Brazilian fruits with the backdrop of a a tropical garden. While you feel world's away, the resort is centrally located - you can walk everywhere you need to go.

The only downside to Praia da Pipa is that it is not an easy trip from the United States. You need to fly into Natal and then get a transfer to the town. But, this is also the reason why it remains such a special place.

Buzios, Brazil

If you want to make an easier trip to see a beautiful Brazilian beach then look no further than Buzios. Buzios is located three hours by car from Rio de Janeiro. It too has countless beaches, one more beautiful than the next.

Casas Brancas is in a great location and has been a staple of the luxury hotel scene in Buzios for years. The concierge will make any arrangement from a spectacular jogging trail for a morning run or charter a private boat for a snorkel outing.

A highlight was a day spent at Praia Brava perched out at the Rocka Beach Lounge and Restaurant. This very hip institution in Buzios is perched high on a cliff overlooking the ocean. You can reserve a spot under a Veuve Clicquot umbrella and be catered to with drinks and fresh seafood pulled from the ocean.

Rocka Beach Lounge & Restaurant

Buzios is definitely a more popular option of the two beaches and a bit more formal infrastructure and luxury hotel properties. Buzios also has a very significant nightlife - probably some of the best clubs in Brazil - if you are so inclined. You can also rent villas here but booking ahead in Summer (December/January/February) is advised.

So perhaps while we give the Caribbean time to recover, we can explore new parts of the world. I'm happy to set up an itinerary that can hand-hold every step of the way or give you lots of freedom to explore. Add in a few days to see Rio de Janeiro and you will fall in love with Brazil.


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