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Our Best Beaches In Latin America


August 26th, 2015Travel, Volunteering, Gap Year, Food, Culture, Latin America
By Samantha Evans

A boat on the seashore

Image courtesy of Flickr, Bruno Ahlgrimm

Balmy weather, pristine waters and beautiful people often come to mind when one thinks of the beaches of Latin America. Whether you’re looking for a quiet, private piece of paradise or a lively party atmosphere, the coastal areas of Latin America have you covered.

With placements in 7 Latin American destinations, our staff here at Projects Abroad have been fortunate enough to visit a number of these beaches. We’ve discussed personal favourites, taken into account feedback from our volunteers, and have come up with a list of our best beaches in Latin America.

Playa Grande, Argentina

The city of Mar del Plata is also known as the “Happy City” and it’s easy to see why. It would be almost impossible to feel sad in such a spectacular setting. There are a number of activities to take part in when visiting this seaside town such as cycling, hiking and riding, as well as a huge selection of restaurants and shops. If you surf then pay a visit to Playa Grande beach in Mar del Plata, one of Argentina’s top surfing spots. The beach is wide and has some of the best waves for surfing. This beach does get particularly busy in the summer months so make sure you get there early to claim a spot and hire a chair.

Porto de Galinhas, Brazil

Waves breaking on the sand

Image courtesy of Flickr, raphaelstrada

Brazil is world famous for its beaches and while you’re most certainly familiar with the likes of Copacabana and Ipanema, we’ve decided to highlight the beautiful Porto de Galinhas as an alternative option. Once a fishing village, Porto de Galinhas is now Brazil’s chosen playground for the rich and famous. Porto de Galinhas has been voted as the best beach in the country on several occasions. Well known for its bright waters and natural pools, it’s a great spot for snorkelling and swimming.

Seine Bight, Belize

As our newest destination here at Projects Abroad, volunteers often ask us for suggestions on what to see and do when they’re in Belize and of course a visit to the beach is always at the top of our list. You will find Seine Bight beach located along the Placencia Peninsula in Belize. The area leading up to the beach is covered in palm trees and tropical vegetation. The beach itself offers visitors four miles of fine, white sand and crystal clear water, making it an ideal spot for snorkelling.

Tulum, Mexico

Ancient ruins perched on a cliff

Image courtesy of Flickr, hobvias sudoneighm

When our volunteers in Mexico are not spending their weekends buying sombreros, visiting a market or sampling the delicious local cuisine, they can be found soaking up some sun at a beach. Situated along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea is one of Mexico’s best beaches – Tulum. Limestone sands and sparkling blue water are not the only highlight when it comes to spending time at Tulum beach. There are ancient Mayan ruins dating as far back as AD 250 perched on the cliffs which overlook the beach. The unspoiled scenic beauty combined with the chance to lay eyes on the ruins of an ancient civilisation make a visit to this beach a must.

Jaco, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country in Central America known for its rich biodiversity, volcanoes and beaches. Our staff pick is Jaco which is the closest beach to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, and is one of the countries most visited beaches by locals and tourists alike. There is a wide range of accommodation nearby and a number of activities to keep you busy such as zip-lining, diving, snorkeling, and surfing. The town is also well known for its nightlife and selection of restaurants.

Máncora, Peru

Mancora beach in Peru

Image courtesy of Flickr, James Southorn

When most people plan a trip to Peru their itinerary is usually structured around a visit to Machu Pichu and other cultural excursions. While it’s not famed for its beaches like some of our other destinations, Peru actually has an exquisite coastline and a number of great surfing spots. Máncora is an incredibly accessible beach which is located along the Pan-American Highway in Peru. The beach itself is less than 100m from the road and is conveniently serviced by public transport. If you’re a beginner surfer then this is the beach for you as the waves are long and smooth. There are a number of restaurants and bars around too making for a vibey atmosphere.

Puerto Chino, Ecuador

Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands boasts one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet, so it’s no surprise that its many beaches are a highlight for any visitor. Arguably the most beautiful of all the beaches and a favourite among our volunteers, Puerto Chino is located on the south east side of San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. It’s a 20 minute walk from the car park to the beach itself so be sure to pack a swim suit as you’ll be very keen get into the water after the little hike to get there. The sand is powdery and white but can appear green on occasions due to the algae that get washed up on it.

Cayo de Agua beach, Venezuela

Clear water and white sand

Image courtesy of Flickr, Márcio Cabral de Moura

“Perfection” and “paradise” are two words often used to describe Cayo de Agua beach in Venezuela. Its part of Los Roques Archipelago National Park, the largest protected marine park in the Caribbean Sea and its pristine waters host 61 species of coral, 200 species of crustaceans, and around 280 species of fish so it really is a snorkelers dream. If snorkeling isn’t your thing then the gentle waters are perfect for just floating around on or taking a leisurely swim. We do recommend bringing along sunscreen though and lots of it, as there is very little shade available.

We hope you found our selection agreeable. Which beach in Latin America is your favourite? If you have any other suggestions tell us about them using the comments box below.

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