The beach is, for many Brazilians, a focal point of life. And Brazil's 7,250 kilometres of coastline offer plenty of attractions and distractions for locals and visitors alike - from romantic sunset strolls, beach soccer and volleyball, surfing, capoeira and dune buggy rides, to the sight of Brazilians sunbathing in speedos and skimpy bikinis.
Rio de Janeiro is blessed with some of Brazil's most iconic stretches of powdery sand, and the bustling beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema are often the first introduction that visitors get to Brazilian beach life. From Rio it's just a short scenic drive to the Costa Verde, a rainforest-fringed stretch of coast lined with beautiful offshore islands and pretty colonial towns.
The coastline of North Eastern Brazil, meanwhile, is less visited by overseas holidaymakers but just as enticing and well worth incorporating into a tailor made Brazil tour. There are popular beach resorts such as Jericoacoara and Natal, and superb beaches in Bahia, in and around Salvador.
Brazil also offers miles of divine empty shore, too, such as the dunes and sandbars of the Lençóis de Maranhenses. If time allows, then the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is also worth considering, for its beautiful beaches and spectacular marine life. The contrast between the lively beaches or Rio and the secluded shores elsewhere is vivid, but seeing both is a major highlight of Brazil travel.