The Best Ecoresorts in Brazil
Set between sand dunes and a long curve of beach, Carmel Taiba and its infinity pool is a luxurious eco-retreat | © Carmel Taiba
Absorb yourself in Brazil’s extraordinary ecosystems via its stunning array of ecoresorts on the Atlantic coast, and all bookable with Culture Trip.
The wilds of Brazil aren’t limited to the Amazon. The Atlantic coast is backed by rolling sand dunes, cactus deserts and jungle-swathed mountains. There are thousands of beautiful beaches: coconut-palm shaded coves, turtle-nested sands and huge bays backed by vast mangrove forests. Large stretches are protected as national or state parks, others as private reserves. Ecotourism in Brazil is concentrated here, with many beautiful small hotels in natural surrounds, a few of which are genuinely conservational.
Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel
4.5/5 (71 Reviews)
Txai Resorts, Itacaré | © Txai Itacaré
With some of the best surf beaches in northeast Brazil and a string of bays and coves backed by steamy rainforest, the Chocolate Coast in Bahia has long been a popular destination with wealthy surfers from São Paulo. Txai is the most luxurious resort in the region – with large, thatched bungalows with four-poster beds and wooden sundecks set in a palm grove on a secluded beach. The spa is one of the best in Brazil and the hotel supports local environmental education programs.
Pousada Estrela D'Ågua
Courtesy of Pousada Estrela D'Ågua / Expedia.com
Ecotourism gets chic at Estrela D’Agua, on the edge of ultra-fashionable Trancoso village (where celebrities such as Beyoncé and Gisele Bundchen come for down time). Rows of luxurious fishermen’s shacks in a long garden lead to a sapphire swimming pool backed by a large glass-fronted bar and sundeck set under swaying palms and set over a seemingly endless golden beach. Electricity and water is solar powered, water and waste recycled and the hotel supports local welfare programs.
Resort, Eco Hotel
4.6/5 (37 Reviews)
Courtesy of Carmel Taiba / Expedia.com
North of Fortaleza city in the northeastern Ceará state, long broad beaches are backed by wind-swept dunes. At the village of Taíba they stretch many kilometers inland – forming a mini desert. Carmel Taíba sits between the dunes and a long curve of beach – neo-Frank Lloyd Wright glass-fronted villas faced with raw stone watch over the sea from a palm-tree garden, infinity pool merging with the horizon.
Rio do Rastro Eco Resort
Resort, Eco Hotel
Courtesy of Rio do Rastro Eco Resort / Expedia.com
The interior of the southern Santa Catarina state is wrinkled with rainforest-covered ridges that plunge towards the beach-fringed coastal plain in a series of deep valleys and canyons. The Rio do Rastro Eco Resort sits at their heart – in rolling hills, next to a lake a few minutes’ drive from a series of spectacular mountain-view points. Rooms are farmhouse comfortable in faux-European cottages with roaring fires and are popular in the winter when temperatures plunge to around 53F (12C) – almost Arctic for Brazilians.
Santa Clara Eco Resort
Resort, Eco Hotel
Courtesy of Santa Clara Eco Resort / Expedia.com
Popular with weekenders from São Paulo city, this ranch-house resort (with accommodation in glass-walled bungalows in bucolic surrounds) offers light adventure for families. There’s a large pool, a sports play area and lots of activities suitable for children of all ages – including horse riding, rope-bridge walking, tennis and soccer. The resort uses solar power, recycles water and waste and supports local educational projects.
Eco Resort Refúgio Cheiro de Mato
Resort, Eco Hotel
4.7/5 (26 Reviews)
Courtesy of Eco Resort Refúgio Cheiro de Mato / Booking.com
Overlooking the Juqueri river on the edge of the Serra da Cantareira mountains less than an hour’s drive from metropolitan São Paulo, Cheiro de Mato is a family-orientated weekend escape from urbanity. Rooms are set in a shady tropical garden, painted in muted tones and with hammocks on the balconies. There’s a large pool and lots of activities – including assault courses for kids, rope bridge walks in the trees, hiking, paddleboarding and waterskiing on the lake.
Kenoa Exclusive Beach SPA & Resort
Resort, Eco Hotel
Courtesy of Kenoa Exclusive Beach SPA & Resort / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Kenoa Exclusive Beach SPA & Resort / Expedia.com
Set on a long, empty tropical white-sand beach in the northeastern state of Alagoas, Kenoa comprises a series of striking modernist stone- and wood-faced concrete buildings which blend in with the natural surrounds. Interiors are tennis-court vast and luxurious – polished concrete floors with rattan and palm rugs on the floors, high palm-thatched ceilings and comfortable sofas. Floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the ocean flood the rooms with light.
Araras Eco Lodge
Courtesy of Araras Eco Lodge / Expedia.com
The eco-credentials of Araras Eco Lodge are strong. It sits in the Pantanal, one of the most important wildlife
sanctuaries in Brazil, with a design to minimize its impact on the surrounding wetlands. Additionally, a hotel-run environmental project aims to nurture local wildlife, and includes monitoring hyacinth macaws and protecting bees. You’ll feel good about a stay here. Rooms are rustic and relatively unfussy, but you’ll be spending most of your time touring the Pantanal, horse riding or dipping in and out of the pond-like pool.
Itamambuca Eco Resort
4.3/5 (47 Reviews)
Courtesy of Itamambuca Eco Resort / Expedia.com
Flanked by dense forest on one side and pristine shores on the other, Itamambuca Eco Resort is surrounded by natural habitats rich in wildlife. The coast is clean and tropical, home to dolphins, turtles and rare fish species. You can get deep into nature by pitching a tent on the camp grounds, or get comfortable in one of the apartments or bungalows. Whichever you choose, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the wild, with river kayaking tours, guided hikes and surf lessons available.
Paraíso Eco Lodge
3.8/5 (15 Reviews)
© Paraíso Eco Lodge / Expedia.com
Set in the heart of the Atlantic Forest, Paraíso Eco Lodge enjoys a stunning position best enjoyed from the many hikes and trails that surround it. The lodge was built to be as sustainable and ecofriendly as possible, constructed from leftover industrial and indigenous materials. Even better? It sits in a nature sanctuary with waterfalls, luscious vegetation and remarkable wildlife.
Zagaia Eco Resort
4.2/5 (114 Reviews)
Courtesy of Zagaia Eco Resort / Expedia.com
Spacious rooms are dotted throughout large gardens at Zagaia with an architectural style paying homage to the local indigenous Kadiweu people. From the resort, there are plenty of hikes and nature trails, and it’s near Pico Bonito nature park, home to crystal-clear pools and caves ideal for diving and snorkeling.
Arraial D'ajuda Eco Resort
Courtesy of Arraial D'ajuda Eco Resort / Expedia.com
The beachside location of Arraial D’ajuda provides excellent opportunities to snorkel or dive among diverse reefs teeming with tropical fish – get lucky and you might spot a turtle or a migratory whale. The resort has rustic wooden structures that blend into the surroundings, with hammocks slung between palms and grass-woven mats laid out for optimal sunbathing. There’s even an on-site waterpark
Kilombo Villas & Spa
Spa Hotel, Hotel
4.7/5 (33 Reviews)
Courtesy of Kilombo Villas & Spa / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Kilombo Villas & Spa / Expedia.com
Kilombo embraces a prime spot next to a secluded beach with daily offerings of fresh seafood, water sports (kayaking, surfing and sailing,) and outstanding marine-life watching. You’ll also find sea turtle breeding grounds here. While they’re fiercely protected, if you’re lucky you might see one of these endangered animals for yourself. There are also plenty of dolphins swimming the coastline.
These recommendations were updated on March 26, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.