The Best Beaches in South America for Sun, Sand, and Surf

Are you dreaming of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and endless sunshine? Look no further than South America! This diverse continent boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, perfect for soaking up the sun or catching some waves. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventurous surf trip, there’s something for everyone on this list of the best beaches in South America. So pack your sunscreen and get ready to explore these stunning destinations!


Brazil is home to some of the most iconic beaches in the world, making it a top destination for beach lovers. One of the most famous is Copacabana Beach, located in Rio de Janeiro. With over two miles of white sand and clear blue water, this beach offers endless opportunities for sunbathing, swimming and people-watching.

Another must-visit destination is Praia do Sancho in Fernando de Noronha. This secluded spot boasts turquoise waters and stunning natural rock formations that are perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving.

For those looking for a laid-back atmosphere, head to Jericoacoara. Known as “Jeri” by locals, this small fishing village has become a popular destination thanks to its rustic charm and tranquil beaches.

And let’s not forget about Florianopolis! Located on Santa Catarina Island, this city has 42 different beaches to choose from – each with its own unique vibe. Whether you’re into surfing or just want to relax on the sand with a caipirinha in hand, Florianopolis has something for everyone.


Argentina is a country that offers visitors a diverse range of landscapes, from the mountains to the sea. One of its most popular beach destinations is Mar del Plata, located on the Atlantic coast. This city has been a favorite among locals and tourists alike for over 100 years.

In addition to Mar del Plata, Argentina also boasts other stunning coastal areas such as Pinamar and Villa Gesell. These beaches are perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet.

For surfers, the best spot in Argentina is definitely Miramar Beach. This secluded gem offers consistent waves throughout the year and attracts surf enthusiasts from all over South America.

If you’re looking for something more offbeat, head over to Las Grutas in Patagonia. Here you’ll find turquoise waters surrounded by impressive cliffs – truly an unmissable sight!

Argentina’s beaches offer something for everyone: from family-friendly spots with plenty of amenities to secluded stretches where you can unwind and connect with nature.


Peru may not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking of beaches in South America, but it certainly has its fair share of stunning coastline. The northern coast of Peru is particularly known for its surf breaks and consistent waves.

One popular destination is Máncora, a small beach town with a laid-back atmosphere and great surfing conditions. It’s also known for its vibrant nightlife scene and fresh seafood.

For those looking for a quieter escape, there’s Punta Sal, located just south of Máncora. The tranquil waters and white sand beaches make it the perfect spot to unwind and soak up some sun.

Further south along the coast lies Huanchaco, a charming fishing village with colorful boats lining the shore. Here you’ll find long stretches of sandy beaches ideal for strolling or taking a dip in the Pacific Ocean.

No matter which beach you choose in Peru, be sure to try some ceviche – this tangy dish made with marinated raw fish is a local specialty not to be missed!


Chile might be famous for its wine and mountains, but it also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in South America. The country stretches along the Pacific coastline for more than 6,000 kilometers, with a diverse range of beaches to choose from.

One popular destination is Viña del Mar, known as the “Garden City” because of its stunning parks and gardens. Its long sandy beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing, while nearby Reñaca Beach offers excellent surfing opportunities.

For those seeking a quieter escape, Algarrobo is an ideal choice. A small town located south of Valparaiso, Algarrobo has calm waters that are great for families with young children. Moreover, it features one of the world’s largest saltwater pools at San Alfonso del Mar Resort.

If you’re looking for something off-the-beaten-path in Chile’s northern region, then head over to Arica. This city draws surfers from around the world thanks to its consistent waves and warm water temperatures year-round. Plus, there are plenty of other outdoor activities such as fishing and windsurfing available here.

Chile offers something different compared to other South American countries when it comes to relaxing at their numerous beaches lined across their coasts where visitors can relax by day or party hardy by night!


Ecuador, the smallest country in South America, boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches on the continent. One of its most notable destinations is Montañita Beach located on the Pacific coast. It’s a surfer’s paradise with consistent waves and warm water temperatures year-round.

If you’re looking for something more secluded, head to Los Frailes Beach within Machalilla National Park. This hidden gem features pristine waters and white sand surrounded by lush greenery.

Another must-visit beach is Canoa Beach situated in Manabi province offering visitors miles of soft sand perfect for long walks or horseback riding at sunset.

In addition to sunbathing and swimming, Ecuadorian beaches offer plenty of adventure activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and whale watching during specific months.

Whether you’re after relaxation or adventure, Ecuador has a variety of options to suit every type of traveler seeking a unique seaside experience.


Uruguay might not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about South American beaches, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Located between Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay boasts over 400 kilometers of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the most popular beach towns in Uruguay is Punta del Este. This trendy resort town attracts visitors from all over with its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and luxurious accommodations. The Playa Brava Beach is a must-visit for surfers looking for a challenge.

For those seeking a quieter beach experience, head to La Paloma or Cabo Polonio. These smaller towns offer picturesque beaches with crystal clear waters perfect for swimming and relaxing under the sun.

In addition to its beautiful beaches, Uruguay also has several charming seaside villages worth exploring such as Jose Ignacio and Piriapolis. Here you’ll find traditional architecture mixed with modern amenities like boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants.

No matter which beach you choose in Uruguay, you’re sure to find something unique and unforgettable about this hidden gem on South America’s coastline.

The best time of year to visit South American beaches

Timing is everything when it comes to visiting South American beaches. The best time of year to visit depends on your destination and what you’re looking for in a beach trip.

For Brazil, the summer months from December to March are the best time to hit the beach. In Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, the peak season is from December to February.

In Peru and Ecuador, however, things are a bit different. The dry season runs from May through November when temperatures are cooler and there’s less rain – making this period perfect for surfers.

No matter where you choose to go in South America though, there’s no shortage of stunning beaches waiting for you all year round!

So pack your sunscreen and swimsuit because these sandy shores are calling your name!