Six of the best: Brazilian beach getaways

TXAI RESORT

ITACARE

Bahia is Brazil's version of Queensland, where the weather is always warm, the beaches go on forever and everyone has a good time. Txai Resort takes the Bahian classics - white-sand beaches fringed with verdant rainforest and delicious local cuisine, known as the best in Brazil - and adds a little luxury. The stilted bungalows have wrap-around balconies, daybeds and outdoor showers. If yours doesn't have its own pool, don't fret - there are five shared swimming pools on the property. Rooms from 1100 reals ($530).

See txairesorts.com.

PONTA DOS GANCHOS

SANTA CATARINA

When the well-heeled citizens of Sao Paulo need a break, they head for the island of Santa Catarina, where pirates once roamed. The really smart ones head for Ponta dos Ganchos, set on its own private peninsula. Seriously posh, Ponta dos Ganchos has South America's only Christian Dior spa, and the Emerald Villa comes equipped with an underground gym, a lap pool and its own wine cellar. Dinner for two can be arranged on the resort's private island and, since this is a Relais & Chateaux property, the food is something special. Rooms from $US750 ($800) a night.

See pontadosganchos.com.br.

POUSADA PICINGUABA

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PARATY

Forget about door-to-door delivery. To reach this rustic hideaway, tucked away behind a fishing village, you need to walk the last 250 metres. The trip is more than worth it, however. The rooms are simply furnished and there are no TVs, airconditioning or (gasp) internet, but that's the point. Here it's about the gentle lapping of the turquoise water against the beach and the wind rustling through the lush forest. When you need a change of pace, one of Brazil's prettiest towns, Paraty, is just 30 minutes away. This old port town has preserved its rough-hewn colonial charm, and makes a splendid day out. Rooms from 1100 reals a night, including breakfast and dinner.

See picinguaba.com.

SOLAR DOS VENTOS

FERNANDO DE NORONHA

Even in a country with 7500 kilometres of coastline, the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is something special, with its forest-covered mountains, cliffs, endless beaches where turtles come to lay their eggs, and crystal-clear waters filled with fish, manta rays and vibrant coral. Throw in the dolphins that come in their thousands to gambol in the calm bays and you have a marine paradise. So why are most of the hotels so far from the water? At least there's Solar dos Ventos, within strolling distance of and with with views over one of the island's scenic beaches. Book a bungalow and enjoy. Rooms from 770 reals.

See pousadasolardosventos.com.br.

ETNIA CLUBE DE MAR

TRANCOSO

The beach-fringed coast where the Portuguese first landed, known as the Discovery Coast, has been rediscovered in the past few years by Brazil's cool crowd. The clifftop village of Trancoso is the epicentre of the buzz. Etnia Clube de Mar, on the beachfront 10 minutes out of town, offers a more tranquil experience. The property's five two-storey houses come with a choice of indoor and outdoor showers and fully equipped kitchens. If you don't feel like cooking, there's an excellent restaurant on site, or you can take a stroll along the sand to one of the little beach bars. Rates start at 692 reals, including breakfast.

See etniaclubedemar.com.br.

FAZENDA SAO FRANCISCO

CORUMBAU

Call it Trancoso's quiet little sister. Like Trancoso, Corumbau has a wide, coconut-fringed beach. However, it is so hard to get to that you will have it almost to yourself. If you're up for the journey - more than three hours by road from the nearest airport, but much quicker if a helicopter is in your budget - head for Fazenda Sao Francisco, a chic 10-suite retreat. The four standalone bungalows are the pick of the bunch. Meals are included in the package, for there's really nowhere else to go, and Wi-Fi, massages and DVDs are available, but apart from that, it's just you and the waves. Rooms from $749 a night.

See mrandmrssmith.com.au.

The writer was a guest of Etnia Clube de Mar.

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