Have you arrived in the Baixada Santista with a great desire for sun, sea, sand and waves? You just have to get off your Costa ship in the port of Santos and discover the most beautiful beaches in this corner of Brazil!
Santos is located in the Sao Paulo state, to the south of the country and about 80 kilometres from the capital. It is largely located on the island of Sio Vicenteoverlooking Baia de Santos, and is also famous because none other than the legendary Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, played in its football team. This quiet town is particularly proud of its stunning Gonzaga Beach overlooking the Bay, where you can enjoy real Brazilian beach life between shots at the ball, sipping guaranà, some typical stuffed "pastel" and lots of sun.
But a short distance from Santos (just walk over a bridge!) is another popular destination for Brazilians, theIsland of Guaruja, whose Atlantic coasts attract a lot of bathers throughout the year. Here are beaches for all tastes, lively and urban such as Praia da Enseada and Praia das Pitangueiras, small but with a strong personality such as Praia das Asturias and Praia do Tombo, original like Praia do Perequé and also secluded and accessible only through a path, like Praia Branca. All face the same Ocean, each with its own unmistakable face.
If you too can't wait to dive into the sea and the rough of most beautiful beaches in and around Santos, check out the list with our favourites!
The most beautiful beaches in Santos
- Gonzaga Beach
- Beaches on the island of Guaruja
- Praia das Asturias
- Praia do Tombo
- Praia Branca
- Praia do Guaiuba
- Praia da Enseada
- Praia das Pitangueiras
- Praia do Perequé
- Praia de Pernambuco
Gonzaga beach is without a doubt Santos' most famous: You are also on the island of Sao Vicente overlooking Baia de Santos. Here we are faced with a real city beach, a walk from the centre of this Brazilian city in the state of Sao Paulo, so very simple to reach then by anyone who is in Santos. There is also a Costa excursion that will accompany you to Gonzaga beach!
What's so special about this beach? First, the position, in Gonzaga's historic district founded in the late 1800s. A bustling neighbourhood, where it's easy to find shops of all kinds for shopping and even a shopping mall a short distance from the beach, and where there are also many restaurants and clubs to cool off with a drink between dips or to try some Brazilian cuisine. A short walk from the beach, there are two of the most iconic places in this neighbourhood: Praca da Independencia is a few hundred yards away, while Prasa das Bandeiras is right on the promenade, separated from the sand only by a strip of tall palm trees, and owes its name to a row of flags of all the Brazilian states that every day wave in the breeze.
Although the location is important for a city beach, Praia do Gonzaga, as Brazilians call it, offers much more: a very long and wide crescent of golden sand where not only endless towels and parasols find space, but also nets for playing beach volleyball (challenging the proverbial sporting prowess of Brazilians!) and "Barracas", that is, beach kiosks that sell fruit juices and typical snacks. The waters of Gonzaga beach, moreover, are calm and pleasant, for this reason many families choose it to spend a day of relaxation and fun for everyone.
But that's not all, because Gonzaga beach is also a record-breaking beach! Behind it are the Jardins da orla, that is, the world's largest seaside gardens (the title was assigned by the Guinness World Records in 2002), that crosses 7 Santos districts. They are more than 5 kilometres long and even 50 metres wide, and form a strip of meadows with palm trees and almond trees in the shade of which it is splendid to sit or walk to see the panorama of Praia do Gonzaga.
Beaches on the island of Guaruja
The city of Sao Paulo, Brazil has its own "official" island where its inhabitants go to enjoy the beauty of the ocean and beach life: it is the island of Guarujá, which is about an hour's drive away from Santos. Called "pearl of the Atlantic” by the locals, Guarujá has 27 different beaches, attracting millions of tourists in each season.
What attracts travellers and locals to the island is the wide variety of beaches you can find there. It is rare, in fact, that at least one of the "Praias" of Guarujá does not meet our tastes: there are lively and secluded ones, those that attract fans of fish cooking and those that attract sportsmen. There is also a Costa excursion that accompanies you to this island in comfort, during your stopover in Santos: you come from the city over a bridge, and you start out on your journey to discover this corner of Brazil.
Praia das Asturias
On the island of Guarujá, a popular destination for the inhabitants of Santos and beyond, is the small Praia das Asturias, which during the Brazilian summer attracts sea enthusiasts of all ages. The beach is in fact very quiet, so it is perfect for entertaining children and for the parents to rest.
Praia das Asturias offers about one kilometre of clear sand, dotted with countless colourful parasols. The shoreline here is wide, ideal for taking a walk or two shots at a ball on the beach. The small bay onto which the beach overlooks has calm and transparent waters, especially on the right side, closed off by a strip of rock, where fishermen's boats are moored. Praia das Asturias is in fact very close to the fish market.
Behind the beach runs an endless strip of tall buildings, which gives it the typical skyline of a Brazilian town beach: In the streets not far from the sea you will find several shops and clubs. But usually those who spend their day in Praia das Asturias choose to enjoy some tantalising local specialities by buying it in one of the "Barracas" on the beach, maybe together with an exotic fruit juice, so you don't miss a minute of sea!
For those who want to take a walk outside the arena, you can go to the Mirante das Galhetas, a paved viewing point with views of the cliffs and sea from which you can spot daredevil surfers, or to Mirante da Caixa D'Egua, a green hill overlooking the nearby Praia do Tombo, on which to enjoy the spectacle of the Ilha da Moela on the bay.
Praia do Tombo
Do you want to surf on the island of Guarujá, a short walk from the city of Santos? Your destination then can only be Praia do Tombo. Separated to the north from Praia das Asturias from the headland of the Mirante from Caixa D’Agua and Mirante das Galhetas, Praia do Tombo is a small beach overlooking the ocean, where particularly high and lively waves come crashing in. For this reason, there are often even national Surfing championships on the beach!
But it's not just adventurers coming here, because the beach has also a wide expanse of sand and a tranquil paved promenade that attracts families with children, to spend a day of beach games, walks overlooking the Ilha de Moela (which is about 2.5 kilometres from the coast) and some inevitable appetisers to enjoy from the beach kiosks, which offer both snacks and seafood specialities.
The sea In front of Praia do Tombo, is ideal for surfing, but is also particularly clean, in fact it can boast it has a Blue Flag, the only beach on the south coast of Sao Paulo to have been awarded this recognition also due to its safety and accessibility, as well as for the quality of its environment. The beach has recently been equipped with new infrastructures, to make it even more welcoming.
On Praia do Tombo the water gets deep a short distance from the shore, so it is not particularly suitable for little ones, but it is very popular with swimmers. A "wilder" area is located at the right end of the beach, where the arena is closed by a rocky headland covered with vegetation.
The island of Guarujá doesn't just offer worldly locations! An example? The Wonderful Praia Branca, which is in its most northerly part, facing the ocean and a short distance from the city of Bertioga, on land, from which it is separated by an arm of the Rio Itapanha.
Praia Branca, also known as Prainha Branca, has two souls. One is located on its left side, which is more alternative and young: It attracts the most adventurous bathers of Guaruja, especially because you can reach it only by leaving the main road and taking a path that you can walk in about twenty minutes in the middle of the wild. Several campsites overlook this stretch of Praia Branca, to allow tourists to enjoy a holiday in close contact with nature, and waves crashing on the clear sand are taller and more powerful. Here, there are surfers, especially on the central part of the arena. Reggae music plays out along the beach every night during the high season.
The right side beach, on the other hand, is equipped with kiosks, tables, parasols, and is the preferred destination of families departing by ferry from Bertioga to spend a day in complete relaxation. At the ends of Praia Branca, in fact, the waters are calmer, and even children can play more safely.
Those who love trekking can reach a smaller beach from Praia Branca, Praia Preta, through a path that takes about 30 minutes to walk along: it is a tiny sandy bay surrounded by forest behind it and rocks on the sides, a small corner of Paradise even more secluded where you can enjoy nature. And if you still want to stroll, another path leads further south to the Praia do Camburi, another "wild" corner where you can bathe in a waterfall.
Praia do Guaiuba
Small and perfect: Praia do Guaiuba is a real gem on the island of Guarujá. It is a short distance from Praia do Tombo, and therefore from the centre of the shops and the nightlife of the southernmost part of the Brazilian island near Santos, but unlike its "neighbour", it is lapped by calm waters. This is because it is set in a bay protected by a long headland covered by the lush Mata Atlantica, the forest typical of the coastal areas of Brazil, which mitigates ocean currents and gives Praia do Guaiuba lower and more peaceful waves, and crystal clear waters.
On this beach, in fact, it is also possible to go snorkelling. There are many species of marine animals that populate the sea in front of Praia do Guaiuba, and you can swim here throughout the year.
Those who arrive on this beach, however, are mainly attracted by its peaceful and idyllic appearance. The reliefs covered in green which protect it from both sides are a splendid and relaxing panorama, especially combined with the light colour of its waters and the golden colour of the shore, wide enough to leave space even for those who want to jog or stroll while enjoying the noise of the Sea.
Praia do Guaiuba is bordered by a paved promenade overlooked by clubs and restaurants, and is conveniently accessible by car, which is particularly appreciated by families with children, who also come here to enjoy the tranquillity. Here you will find all the pleasure of a secluded beach, but a short walk from the centre of Guarujá.
Praia da Enseada
Can seven kilometres of white beach be enough? If the kilometres are those of Praia da Enseada, they will most certainly not leave you indifferent: it is in fact the most famous beach on the island of Guarujá, very close to Praia das Pitangueiras and Praia das Asturias. The true essence of a Brazilian city beach, Praia da Enseada is a long stretch of golden sands bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. The waves here tend to be calm, so the beach is a great place to swim and play water sports like stand up paddle or kayaking, perhaps renting them in one of the stands that also offer lessons for beginners.
To stay on the subject of sports, on the promenade you can go on long walks, jogging and also ride a bike, on the 6-kilometre long cycling path. On the right side of the beach, on top of the Morro do Maluf (also known as Morro da Campina), a green-covered hill from where you can enjoy priceless views across the beach, you can even see some passionate paragliding enthusiasts, while from the left side of Praia da Enseada, which is much quieter, you can go on a banana boat trip.
Like any respectable tourist beach (Praia da Enseada attracts millions of bathers every year!), here too you will find lots of restaurants, bars and clubs offering all kinds of food or drinks just a short walk from the beach, in addition to the inevitable Kiosks on the beach.
Praia da Enseada’s most famous attraction is definitely the Aquamundo: In this gigantic marine aquarium you can admire more than 170 different species. There is also the possibility of swimming, accompanied by a guide, to see the aquarium's guests more closely, even the sharks! If you are looking for souvenirs, however, the Praia da Enseada Crafts Fair offers various kinds, made by local artisans, and there are also inviting stalls that prepare local specialities. It is located just off the beach, for those who want to take a break from their tan.
Praia das Pitangueiras
Visiting the small town of Guarujá on the island of the same name, it is very easy to find yourself on Praia das Pitangueiras, the most central of its beaches. Squeezed between Praia das Asturias and Praia da Enseada, Praia das Pitangueiras takes from the latter its worldly vocation: here the fun in summer never stops, and on the beach or on the promenade, there are kiosks and clubs where you can meet to spend not only the day but also the night.
The white sands of Praia das Pitangueiras form an undulating shoreline, with a wider central part, in front of which is the small and barren Ilha Pompeba, which with its presence slightly mitigates the currents on this stretch of coast. However, the beach is wide along its entire length, and the large amount of parasols, stalls and bathers that you will find in the summer is not a problem! The shores are lapped by strong waves, perfect for surfing, and in fact one of the main attractions of Praia da Pitangueiras is the "Surf Museum", created by a group of local surfers to keep alive the memory of the first Brazilians who tried the sport on the beaches of Guarujá. In the museum you discover their stories and above all you will understand their infinite passion for the Ocean.
For whoever wants to do a little bit of Brazilian shopping, just outside the beach you can find lots of shops, a shopping mall and a typical craft fair, where you can find some souvenirs that are difficult to find elsewhere. There are also restaurants on the waterfront shaded by long rows of trees, where you can try the seaside specialities of the area, or the "Barracas" on the sand, a genuine example of local street food.
Praia do Pereque
Off the coast of Praia do Perequé you can see a multitude of small boats of many colours: they are those of the fishermen who are very active on this stretch of coast of the island of Guarujá, in its northernmost part. On the right side of the beach you'll see boats gathering: here the waters are calmerprotected by the verdant headland that closes the bay on this side, and are also particularly fishy waters! In fact, one of the things to do absolutely when you spend a day at Praia do Pereque, is visit a little typical restaurant near the beach, serving the freshest "loot" of the fishermen. It is said that here you eat the best fish on the island! There's also a small pier on this side of the shoreline, from which to admire the relaxing comings and goings of the boats on the ocean.
If you want to dive into the water, it is better to move to the left side of the beach, where there is also a torrent of fresh water, where tourists particularly like to bathe. Praia do Perequé is ideal for those looking for a corner of tranquillity to lie in the sun, enjoy the sand, run and play beach soccer or beach volleyball, but less suitable for those who want to swim or ride the waves, due to the presence of fishermen's boats.
However, moving to the far left of Praia do Pereque, the picturesque appearance of the beach gives way to its wilder face, with the wider shoreline bordered by forest and rocks. A perfect place for strolling in contact with nature.
Praia de Pernambuco
Surfing or swimming in calm waters? You just have to choose on which side of Praia de Pernambuco to spread your towel: This beautiful beach in the north part of the island of Guarujá is located in the bay further south than Praia do Perequé, and offers its visitors plenty of different possibilities for have fun and relaxing, in a quieter and less frequented location than the other beaches on the island.
The right end of Praia de Pernambuco when the tide rises joins with Praia do Mar Casado, in fact, they are often considered a single beach. Depending on the time you arrive here, you can see the two separate "Praias" or a single, large shoreline. Here the waters are calm, thanks to the presence of theIlha do Mar Casado, a green islet in the immediate vicinity of the shore, which helps to create a calm basin to swim in. At low tide you can walk to the islet, to enjoy a walk in its vegetation and the view of the beach from above.
Who, on the other hand, is looking for wilder waves has to move on to the left side of Praia de Pernambuco, overlooking Ilha dos Arvoredos, where you will find rocky, overgrown coastlines, but also several companions with whom to share a day of surfing. The waves here probably won't be up to those of Praia do Tombo, further south, but fun and relaxation are still assured.
Discover Santos with Costa Cruises
It is unthinkable to come to the Atlantic coasts of Brazil and not enjoy at least a day by the sea! But in this huge country there is not only Rio de Janeiro: there are so many beaches and all to discover. Those of Santos and the nearby island of Guarujá, for example, are a must not be missed for travellers going to Sao Paulo. Get ready to spot them from your Costa ship as you arrive in port!