Brazil’s huge, sprawling mass covers half of South America, and makes it the world’s fifth largest country; windsurfing in Brazil, you’ll be entertained both on and off the water!
Dense jungles, colourful cities and of course, those beaches. It is the beaches, or more specifically, the deep blue ocean that lies off them, that pulls windsurfers to Brazil.
From experts looking to conquer big waves, to backpackers stumbling into a windsurf school for the first time, Brazil has windsurfing to suit everyone. The country’s north eastern area offers the most reliable winds, and has an international reputation, but some good windsurfing can be found further south too.
Jerioacoara, on the north-east coast, is the undisputed king of Brazilian windsurfing destinations. It tends to be the default choice of windsurfers heading to the country, and offers good, varied sailing for windsurfers of all standards.
It has become a stop on the global windsurfing circuit, attracting a good number of pros with its ultra-reliable wind. June to January sees the strongest winds, reaching up 45 knots by the time they hit on their journey from Africa. The main spot is ‘The Point’ which tends to stay flat and attracts beginners, improvers and freestylers. The more exposed Malhada spot is good for more advanced wave junkies.
Prea lies around 10 km south of Jerioacoara. Like its larger neighbour, it offers good, varied conditions for windsurfers of all levels, with strong and reliable winds from June to January.
Its 15 km long beach is less crowded than Jerioacoara’s, and the atmosphere in general more relaxed. The high wind speeds and choppy water mean Prea is not suitable for beginners. Those with a bit of windsurfing practice under their belts will love it, with high tide bringing waves and low tide great freestyle conditions.
Icaraizinho is a relaxed village in the same region as Jerioacoara and Prea. It is relatively undiscovered, so is perfect for those who want a relaxing, and truly Brazilian, experience.
Winds are reliable, as they tend to be everywhere in this part of Brazil. They are generally a little lighter than in Jerioacoara and Prea, making it a good choice for improvers.
At low tide, a flat lagoon ideal for freestylers is created. At high tide, the reef that lies off the beach helps build some small, manageable waves.
Gostoso (or to give it its full name, Sao Miguel de Gostoso) lies to the south of Brazil’s northern coast, near the city of Natal. Gostoso is a fairly new windsurfing destination, offering some great conditions.
It has four beaches, which windsurfers and kitesurfers share with local fishermen. Beginners will find some nice, easy, flat water, protected by reefs just offshore. There is also some good wave sailing, with waves of around 1-1.5 m. September to March brings the most reliable winds, of around 15 to 30 knots.
If you are booking windsurfing holidays in Brazil, where could be more glamorous than its eclectic capital, Rio? While the conditions don’t match those of Jerioacoara and Prea, they are good enough for beginners and improvers looking to combine windsurfing with a city break. There are windsurfing schools and hire shops on most of the city’s beaches. Praia do Pepe has the best spot, with winds between 10-25 knots and some big swells at times.
Buzios is a popular windsurfing destination, with a lively, international feel. When Rio’s windsurfers get bored of what their city’s beaches have to offer, they head to Buzios, around 175 km along the coast.
Buzios sits on a jagged peninsula, with enough beaches to keep all kinds of windsurfers happy. Beginners should head to Ferradura and Tartaruga Beaches. Both offer calm water and great learning conditions. Those looking for waves have a few options, including Manguinhos, Rasa and Geriba are the most popular.
Barra de Lagoa
Barra de Lagoa is a cosmopolitan town in the Santa Catarina area that has grown from a small fishing village to a popular tourist destination. This area, south of Rio de Janeiro, is an established and popular windsurfing area, with plenty of beaches to choose from.
Those around Barra de Lagoa is one of the most popular, and is fantastic for beginners, with a lovely flat lagoon to get started in. Winds are best from July to December, but can be variable.
In the same area as Barra de Lagoa, Ibiraquera tends to offer more varied conditions. There is a flat lagoon that meets the needs of beginners on windsurfing holidays but more advanced windsurfers won’t be disappointed either.
Winds reach up to 25 knots from July to December, and some decent waves can be found when the wind gets up. Wave sailing champion Kauli Seadi lives in Ibiraquera, and organises wave sailing tournaments there.
Ilhabela, Sao Paulo
Ilhabela is an island just off the coast of the city of Sao Paulo. It is a popular place for windsurfers, offering some good conditions off its forty-one beaches.
Beaches on the ocean side of the island are less polluted than those on the channel side, but the winds on the channel side can be stronger, due a funnelling effect.
There are plenty of beaches to choose from on Ilhabela, making it a good choice of you want to try out a few different spots and explore a little. The best spot is Canas, on the island’s northern side, although it can get busy, with strong winds and big waves.
Porto de Galinhas
Porto de Galinhas is an increasingly popular tourist destination, with several gorgeous beaches, although some of them are only accessible on foot. Maracaipe is the best option for windsurfers, with some strong winds and swells. Conditions are at their best from June to September.
For more windsurfing blogs and guides, check out: Windsurfing Gear: How to buy a wetsuit / Windsurfing Equipment: Choosing new sails for your board / Top Ten Windsurfing Locations in Egypt / Windsurfing Equipment: Buying your board and gear
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