Latin America has no shortage of exceptional beaches. From secluded tropical paradises with sweeping golden sand to some of the most world’s most iconic beaches such as the Copacabana. Here we list five of our must-visit beaches, although with coastlines stretching across the Atlantic & Pacific oceans plus the Caribbean Sea, there are so many fantastic beach holiday destinations across this diverse continent…
Getting here isn’t easy, but a journey where part of the route needs to be navigated by dune buggies must surely prick up the ears of the more adventurous traveller. Those who do make it to this beach in the northeast of Brazil are well rewarded with some of the continents most spectacular natural diversity. ‘Jeri’, as it is affectionally known as by the friendly locals, is much more than just a picturesque beach town, it is a national park, a mangrove swamp, a vast plain of towering sand dunes, an eclectic town of charming bars and restaurants, but above all, it is an idyllic haven. We recommended clambering up the Por do Sol sand dune for sunset, you won’t regret it.
Whilst Colombia has no shortage of picture-perfect beaches alone its idyllic Caribbean coastline, it is those in the Tayrona National Park that the nationals are most proud and Cabo San Juan is the pick of the bunch. For one, it is the safest place to swim in the Park, but that is not the only reason many make the somewhat difficult journey to its shore.
The view from the hillock could explain all as it exposes two seemingly identical white-sand coves, littered with enormous egg-shaped boulders, and fringed by dramatic jungle terrain. This, along with the echoing calls of the exotic wildlife and of course the clear turquoise waters, provides a serious argument for Cabo San Juan to be considered one of the country’s, if not continents, prettiest spots.
This is not your typical Latin American beach. Not at all. You will neither find nor join sunbathers basking on sandy shores here, sipping cocktails in the shade of palm trees. That is not to say that the Peninsula Valdes, in Argentina is not beautiful though. In fact, its vast stretches of dramatic coastline and sandstone cliffs could be reason to travel here alone if it was not for the ‘locals’ so demanding of your attention. Vast populations of penguins coinhabit this coastline with elephant seals, sea lions and even armadillos, and, if that wasn’t enough, pods of Orca’s can frequently be spotted from the land cementing the Peninsula Valdes as a spectacular if somewhat different Latin American beach experience.
Whilst the beauty of Manuel Antonio is no hidden secret, there is a good reason why locals and tourists flock to its shores time and time again and why its beaches remain highly recommended for those lucky enough to be visiting Costa Rica. Firstly, we may have cheated a little here as Manuel Antonio is far more than just a beach destination. It is an area that is quite literally alive, with vast vegetation and wildlife and an engulfing rainforest fringing its white sand shores and crystal-clear waters. Sloths are not rare here, nor are howler monkeys who can be spotted frequently scurrying around the coast and canopies.
Could there be a more fascinating beach in the world than Anakena? We are struggling to think of one. For starters, it is located on Easter Island but even so, this is a very special place in a very special destination. The Rapa Nui culture began in this very spot, with the arrival of the first king – Hotu Matu’a to its shores more than a millennium ago. Despite its cultural significance, this is still a beach where you can laze on the pristine white sand and bathe in the warm clear waters, all under the watchful eye of the Moai statues, of which seven dramatically provide the backdrop.