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Top 10 South America beach vacation destinations

Dreaming of a South America beach vacation? There are amazing places that you’ll love to soak up some fun in the sun! The only problem is deciding which one to choose. Let’s go through our top ten list of favorite sandy spots, in no particular order.


Paracas – Located about four hours south of Lima, Paracas is a great location to include in your Peru trip if you have a few extra days. The shore is lined with famous rock formations – cliffs that fall into the ocean and are so magnificent, they have their own names. Additionally, for the nature lovers, you can book a boat trip to the Ballesta Islands, where a range of birds, sea lions and penguins reside. Paracus is a wonderful spot for sightseeing some truly beautiful natural environments.

Lima – This culinary capital is a treat for foodies and beach bums alike. A lush green park lines the shore, giving you the option of sand or grass to take in those ocean views. Feeling a little daring? Try parasailing off the cliffs. It’s thrilling and offers the best ocean views around!

South America beach vacation

Lima beach parasaling


Punta del Este – Wondering where to park your yacht? This playground for the rich and famous is just the spot! Often described as the Miami of South America, this gorgeous town offers all the amenities without the crowds and noise. You’ll also want to explore the surrounding beach villages for some truly hip nightspots that will scratch your itch for the exclusive South American party scene.


Peninsula Valdes – Put that swimsuit away and pull out the camera for this special beach. You’ll be delighted with the wildlife spotting on this famous peninsula. Expect to see penguins, elephant seals, fur seals and even whales, if you’re lucky! The whale mating season is September through December, so time your visit to see these magnificent creatures along the Peninsula Valdes’ coastline.

South America beach vacation

Peninsula Valdes wildlife beach


Fernando de Noronha – Commonly described as a cross between Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands, this pristinely preserved spot gives the perfect place for those wanting a luxury getaway. These islands as protected by the government to preserve their natural beauty, so you’ll find no cars here and a cap on the amount of visitors allowed at any given time. The result it a beautiful place to snorkel, swim, and explore on foot.

Rio de Janeiro – This is a beach for those who like to be right in the action. Squarely in the shadow of one of the most amazing cities in the world, you won’t have to choose between an urban or seaside vacation. You get them both! Try to get into a game of foot volley, a game that’s much like volleyball but played with feet instead of hands. You’ll also have the chance to do a little sightseeing from your towel. Whether the World Wonder Christ the Redeemer suits your fancy, or the teeny bikinis that are a bit closer in view, you’ll have plenty to check out.

South America beach vacation

Rio beach sunset

Ilha Grande – This unspoiled beauty has a little something for everyone. It has one the the largest untouched sections of the Brazilian rainforest, gorgeous sandy beaches and waves that just beg surfers to jump in. You’ll find no ATMs here, even in the tiny colonial town, so you’ll want to bring cash to for any extras. It might seem like an inconvenience, but really, it’s just another example of how special this place is as they just won’t allow over development so as to preserve this wonder spot.

Buzios – This resort town offers twenty beaches, a charming colonial town and top notch hotels. It’s a favorite vacation spot for Argentines and Brazilians, and it’s easy to understand why. Soak up the sun and surf by day, then head into town for the afternoon to take advantage of delicious local cuisine, music and shops. It’s a relaxing experience with just enough play time.

South America beach vacation

Buzios beach


Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park – Though the smallest of the national parks, it’s known for its 4 beautiful Pacific beaches and attracts many visitors each year. It has been listed among the most beautiful national parks in the world with both Manuel Antonio Beach and Espadilla Sur Beach containing tidal pools and some very easy and gorgeous snorkeling.

Manuel Antonio romantic beach

Playa Dominical – Playa Dominical is considered one of the best beaches in Costa Rica to practice wave surfing. Shops and surf schools are to be found left and right in the area. The place has a relaxed, laid-back vibe with a lot of young people and even if you are not a surfer yourself the beautiful beach, clear water and good bars still make it a worthwhile stop on the bets vacations to Costa Rica.


Discover the incredible diversity of South America’s coastline. 11 out of 13 countries on the South American mainland are blessed with beautiful beaches.  From adventurous surfer beaches and wildlife beaches to the quiet turquise water bays, we hope that this list will help you selecting your next South America beach vacation with Class Adventure Travel.