There’s no doubt about it that being on any beach is better than being on no beach at all. But there’s something about standing on a shoreline that feels exotic and blissfully remote that really fuels the brain with those ocean-induced happy juices.
And Brazil’s Baia do Sancho certainly fits the bill. While far from undiscovered—the sandy cove was just named the best beach on the planet by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards—it’s just remote enough to make access restricted only to those who really want to be there. But, if you trust your fellow travelers (and your own eyes), the rewards are more than worth the extra effort.
Located in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago 217 miles off the coast of Brazil, the tropical paradise is comprised of 21 islands, each blessed with some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery. Postcard-perfect bays with glassy aqua waters sit side by side sun-drenched sandy beaches, many of which are world-renowned for their looks. But the most gorgeous among the gorgeous, say travelers, is Baia de Sancho, a crescent-shaped cove surrounded by dramatic green cliffs which, in the rainy months, sprout towering waterfalls. On TripAdvisor, nearly 8,000 travelers have given the sandy stretch a five-star review, with some describing it as “jaw-dropping,” “unforgettable,” and “absolutely magical.”
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As part of a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the beautiful beach is protected and pristinely upkept. (In order to visit the entire archipelago, all tourists must pay a preservation fee.) And, according to traveler reviews, depending on when you go, it isn’t uncommon to have the entire stretch of sand all (or at least almost all) to yourself.
That might be attributed to the fact that getting there is, indeed, a bit of a challenge. To access Baia de Sancho, tourists must either arrive by boat or (more commonly) via series of steep and narrow ladders that descend through caves and ultimately empty out onto the sand. It’s an adventure, to say the least (and perhaps a good reason to start upping your cardio game).
But even if that makes Baia de Sancho a no-go for you, there’s plenty of beach beauty elsewhere in the world, including right here in the U.S., where this Florida beach was just ranked the best in America for the second year in a row. Time to start planning another beach vacation? Always.