1. Buzios, Brazil
With a country known around the world for its beaches it is tough to just pick one but Buzios has a coastline well over 4,000 miles and is near popular Rio de Janeiro. On the Atlantic coast, it was one a small fishing village but once famous actress Brigitte Bardot began vacationing in the area Hollywood elite and eventually the crowds started making Buzios their favourite beach destination.
Choose Buzios if you want:
Plenty of options. There are twenty-two postcard perfect beaches on this peninsula. For days you want to feel the energy of Brazil you can sit amongst the crowds and for those days you would like a little peace and quiet there are other beaches to wander.
2. San Andres Island
Many people do not know that while the mainland of Colombia has great beaches, the nation also has several islands in the Caribbean known for their turquoise waters and white beaches. San Andres is actually closer to Nicaragua, only 125 miles from its shores.
Choose San Andres if you want:
To party. As an island with tourism as its principal economic driver, San Andres has developed into the ultimate beach holiday with lots of night life and English spoken by many. There are many all-inclusive packages and international hotel chains to plan the perfect holiday.Check out the best beaches in Colombia.
3. Mar del Plata
On Argentina's Atlantic Coast about 250 miles south of Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata is Argentina's best beach area with millions of people visiting each year. It's not surprising with a beautiful town with classic colonial architecture, over 10 miles of beaches, possibilities for sport fishing and lots of opportunities for night life and other activities.
Choose Mar del Plata if you want:
Luxury. This is Argentina's resort area and a favourite for Argentines. It was also once the home to famous poet Alfonsina Storni who committed suicide in the area. Argentines say that she walked into the ocean until she drowned.
4. Mollendo, Peru
Located on the Pacific Ocean in southern Peru it is only a short bus ride away from Arequipa. It was once a busy port in Peru until about fifty years ago it was replaced by a more modern port in Matarani. Today it is principally a tourist destination and its population doubles during the summer with the beach as the main attraction.
Unlike other beaches in South America, it is mostly locals who visit the beach, primarily from Arequipa. For this reason it is not over developed into an attraction for international tourists.Choose Mollendo if you want:
Birdwatching. Mollendo is only a short cab or bus ride to Mejia National Lagoon Sanctuary. The region was established in 1984 to protect the flora and fauna of the area and winter is the best time to spot migratory birds. You can easily spend the day wandering around the coastline and observe the sky peppered with birds or crabs burrowing into the sand. With an entrance fee of $2 it's a steal.
5. Arica, Chile
In Northern Chile, Arica is usually the first town people visit when traveling overland from Peru or Bolivia. While Chile is considered to be one of the more expensive countries in South America, Arica remains a bargain with many budget accommodation options.
Choose Arica if you want:
To kiteboard. Arica is the home to many watersports including surfing, body boarding and kite boarding also known as kite surfing. It is not one of the most beautiful beaches but it is nice enough to spend the day relaxing on a towel or taking advantage of the strong winds and getting in the water.