Most of Brazil’s all-inclusive resorts are an easy flight from Rio, clustered in beach towns in popular destinations like Porto de Galinhas in Recife and Bahia’s Praia do Forte.
They range from sprawling beachfront hotels near sleepy fishing villages to secluded properties on coral reef-fringed islands. They may all offer guests endless eating, drinking, and activities, but there’s nothing cookie-cutter about these seven resorts.
If you’re heading to Brazil, check into one of these places and enjoy beach life without worrying about anything (except maybe how well you applied your sunscreen).
Vila Galé in Combuco
International visitors tend to overlook the Brazilian state of Ceará and its capital city Fortaleza, opting to hit the beaches in Recife or Trancuso instead. It’s a shame because Ceará, tucked into Brazil’s northeast corner, is filled with fishing villages and spectacular beaches lined with red cliffs that are definitely worth a visit. For those interested in exploring a new corner of the country, Vila Galé’s Combuco outpost is a great option, combining the ease of all-inclusive travel with the excitement of a new locale. Combuco, about 15 miles from Fortaleza, is a beach surrounded by turquoise waters and wind-swept sand dunes. The massive beach hotel, which has over 400 rooms and 49 chalets, has three restaurants, three bars, and plenty of activities from tennis to yoga, kite-boarding, and (of course) dune buggy rides.
Iberostar in Praia do Forte, Bahia
The sprawling Iberostar resort sits on the pristine Praia do Forte in Bahia. The hotel has over 500 rooms spread throughout the various buildings on the property. From Iberostar, guests can access the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean, or enjoy the complex of swimming pools (the kids’ pool will blow some minds). There’s also a golf course, tennis courts, and restaurants and bars. Included in your fee are a full roster of fitness classes, including aerobics, water polo, and dance. For those looking to explore more of Bahia’s natural wonders, the hotel is near the Atlantic forest, and close to some of Bahia’s best beaches; many of which serve as nesting grounds for sea turtles and offer views of Humpback whales.
Mabu Thermas Grand Resort in Iguaçu Falls
Visiting Iguaçu Falls, an awe-inspiring waterfall to see before you die, is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The massive natural wonder is comprised of 275 individual terraced falls surrounded by a tropical forest and the Parques das Aves (Bird Park), where visitors can easily pass an entire day. At the end of the trek, collapse into bed—or a geothermal pool—at nearby Mabu Thermas Grand Resort. The resort is built on one of the biggest hot springs on the planet, the Guarani Aquifer, which refills the pools every few hours with water naturally warmed to 96 degrees. People from all over the world come to soak in its medicinal waters. In addition to the geothermal wonder and proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Mabu offers guests access to a spa, a club for kids, restaurants and bars, and activities like biking, zip lines, and rock climbing.
Fazenda São Francisco Do Corumbau in Bahia
Corumbau means "distant place" in the local dialect, and this hotel is one worth discovering. Relax in a hammock, kick back in the salt-water pool, or hit the white-sand beach for sunbathing or snorkeling (a coral reef right outside the hotel means it’s easy to take a mid-day dive). If you decide to leave your lounger and explore Bahia, the hotel is close to two of the area’s best beaches: Espelho and Barra do Caí. The hotel’s organic garden provides fruits and vegetables for the kitchen and seafood is caught right outside. Rates include three meals daily and all the coconut water you can drink, but caipirinhas and other alcoholic beverages are not included.
Club Med Itaparica on Itaparica Island, Bahia
Club Med has several locations in Brazil, including one in Trancoso (Anderson Cooper’s favorite getaway), but this one on the secluded tropical island of Itaparica is the classic. Located an hour’s boat ride from Bahia, the all-inclusive resort has beaches and gardens to fulfill all your Brazilian beach vacation fantasies. The resort has a golf course, 14 clay tennis courts, and a trapeze. There’s also a sailing school, cooking classes, and plenty of activities for kids. It may not be the most authentic Brazilian experience, but there’s no doubt you’ll be entertained during your stay.
Salinas do Maragogi in Maragogi, Alagoas
On the coast between Recife and Salvador, Maragogi offers spectacular views, warm waters, and few crowds. The main draw of the hotel is the location—the resort sits on the banks of the Maragogi River, which runs directly into the sea. The region is known for its coral reefs, which create natural pools that fill when the tide comes in. Guests can also take a trip to the secluded Carneiros beach for peace and quiet. Families will love the hotel, as it offers a full schedule of children’s activities, pools just for kids, a child-sized kitchen stocked with snacks, and trained babysitters on hand to ensure parents get a little rest and relaxation, too.
Vila Galé Eco Resort in Angra dos Reis
If you’re looking for an easy trip from Rio, head to Angra dos Reis, located just 95 miles from the city in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The palm tree-lined Vila Galé in Angra is a perfect spot to explore the islands that dot Brazil’s so-called Green Coast, if you can pry yourself away from the hotel’s pool, beach, tennis courts, and spa. The resort has five on-site restaurants, including one specially designed to appeal to children. There are also four bars and a disco. Angra is known for having one island for every day of the year, and the hotel has a nautical center to help visitors explore at least a few of the 365 islands while visiting the area.