Latin America really does have it all for travellers. It has amazing history, some great geographical location, beautiful cultures and some amazing stretches of sand to sprawl across and listen to the waves.
The beaches of Latin America don't exactly get the same amount of publicity as those of South East Asia and Indonesia. However, they are perfect in their own right. I have travelled nearly every sliver of Latin America over the past three years and have come to decide on my favourite beaches in this region:
5. Roatan Island, Honduras
The cruise ships make a stop here about twice a week, swelling the size of the island's population to greatly exceed its comfort level. However, on days that the ships are at sea, the island can be secluded and exciting all at the same time.
There are resorts and there are hostels, there are wealthy vacationers and there are backpackers, but most of all there is a whole lot of sand and calm waters. On top of it, Roatan Island in Honduras is along one of the biggest coral reefs in the world some of which is accessible by a simple swim from the shore. If not, there are plenty of diving and snorkeling boats that leave each day.
4. Mal Pais, Costa Rica
The beach at the Pacific Coast town of Mal Pais is golden brown and might not have the exotic feel as the Caribbean white sand beaches, however, the name of the game here is surfing. The area around Mal Pais, Costa Rica is home to some great waves both for beginner and advanced surfers. Once you've worn yourself out after a day in the water, come ashore to the sleepy beach town and experience the easy going Costa Rican "Pura Vida" free life.
3. San Andres Island, Colombia
Most people don't realise that Colombia owns a couple islands out in the middle of the Caribbean named San Andres and Providencia. Both of these islands are Caribbean paradises with San Andres being the most populated and most easily accessible. The vibe on the islands is an interesting mix of African/Caribbean and pure Latin/Colombian, which creates a great atmosphere. The beaches are as white as snow and the ocean is so calm you'll surely wonder if it's actually just a giant swimming pool.
2. Barra de Lagoa, Florianopolis, Brazil
Picking a beach from Brazil to go on this list was a challenge, simply because there are so many. The most famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema are amazing, sure, but the beaches outside of Rio are to die for. I chose Barra de Lagoa near the city of Florianopolis for the vibe. Though the city is modern and busy, just a 20 minute drive brings you to Barra de Lagoa, a haven for hippies and millionaires alike.
And if even Barra de Lagoa is too big for you it's just a quick boat ride off to some of the most beautiful hidden beaches in the world. This beach, is the one you see and think "this is what I think of first when I think of the word Brazil".
1. Cayo Coco, Cuba
The first time I arrived in Cayo Coco, Cuba my first thought was, "This is what paradise looks like." There really is no other way to describe the beach, the quaint town, and the atmosphere that comes along with it. Tall palms stretch gently over perfectly fine white sand-shell beaches which flow gently into a turquoise sea. The Cuban spirit and vibrancy will surely too catch your mood and have you spending your entire time there with a grin from ear to ear.
If you're ready to hit the beach yourself, take a look through all our trips to South and Central America.
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