With more than 8,000 kilometers of stunning coastline scattered with scores of tropical islands, a wonderful all-year climate and a warm and colorful population, it would seem that Brazil boasted all the necessary qualities to make it a premier superyacht destination.
But until now, the Latin American country — first discovered by Portuguese seafarers more than 500 years ago — has remained relatively closed to the international yachting community.
However, leaders in the yacht charter industry believe this is all about to change. They predict that in as little as two years time there will be a new emerging superyacht destination on the world map.
Daniel Doppler, CEO of Windward Islands, said: “I think the luxury sailing industry is going to open up in Brazil dramatically over the next few years. I think it’s going to be a minimum of two years before some very exciting plans emerge there, and we begin to see a yacht charter presence.
“It is a beautiful country, with one of the biggest coastlines in the world. It’s very exciting,” Doppler said, adding that Windward Islands, which has offices in all the major yachting capitals of the world, is about to open one in Sao Paolo.
Interest in Brazil as a superyacht destination has been growing rapidly in recent years as savvy clients seek out new cruising grounds to explore. However, Doppler, who recently visited Brazil to attend the 14th Rio Boat Show, said that the country’s infrastructure and services still had a way to go before they conformed to European standards. But he believes the fact that Brazil will host the Football World Cup in 2014 — coupled with a massive push by the Brazilian government to attract superyachts to its shores — is all the country needs to put its mark on the yacht charter map.
Brazil has won the World Cup a staggering five times, which is more than any other nation, and the event in two years time promises to be one long carnival in the country that introduced the notion of the beautiful game. The main action of the Brazil World Cup 2014 will center on Rio de Janeiro, and Doppler believes this will bring a number of super yachts to the capital.
For its part the Brazilian government is making efforts to develop the super yacht industry by reducing the level of tax owners must pay on their vessels as well as by offering tax incentives to yacht building companies who set up in Brazil. He said the first area of tax reductions would be for vessels in the north of the country, near Salavdor de Bahia.
The government’s attempts to lure yacht building companies to Brazil appeared to be working, with leading boat builders such as Beneteau having recently opened up new production facilities there. Indeed, the world’s largest boat manufacturer is extremely positive about the emerging market in Brazil, predicting that the majority of growth in future years will come from countries like Brazil and China, reaching 14 percent of sales by 2015.
So, the signs for potential yacht charters in Brazil couldn’t be better. But what can we expect from its coastline when we get there?
Angra dos Reias is arguably the country’s most popular coastal destination at present, and lies on the south-eastern coast of Bazil. Surrounded by a smattering of 365 islands, one for each day of the year, the area is little more than a two-hour drive south of the international airport in Rio de Janeiro.
All 365 of Angra’s islands are within Baía da Ilha Grande, the Bay of Grand Island, as opposed to out in the rougher Atlantic Ocean, and boast wonderful tropical scenery with emerald blue water and pristine white sand. A number of excellent restaurants have sprung up in what could be seen as anticipation of what is to come.
The biggest island is unsurprisingly called Ilha Grande, which is 192 km square and surrounded by wonderful coves and stunning beaches off which to snorkel, swim and dive. The island also offers an excellent opportunity to surf in waves off beaches such as Lopes Mendes, which is famous for being one of the most scenic spots in the whole of the country.
Another popular island, especially amongst the Brazilian jet set, is Ilha da Gipoia, which lies 30 minutes away by boat from Angra dos Reis. Over the last decade a number of beautifully designed villas have sprung up near the coast, with Dentista Beach being the place to be seen.
Meanwhile, the historic town of Paraty, still in the Bay of the Grand Island but on the mainland, offers peace and tranquility as well as a wealth of history, including a number of stunning buildings from the colonial period.
Every yacht charter destination appears to have its own Saint-Tropez, and Brazil is no different. Approximately two hours north of Rio to Janeiro is Buzios, the Latin American equivalent to the South of France’s most popular fishing village. Originally settled by European pirates and made famous by Brigitte Bardot in the ’60s, this once sleepy fishing port today boasts an impressive array of expensive boutiques, first-class restaurants and oodles of charm. It is also surrounded by no less than 20 golden beaches hidden in coves along the peninsula, just waiting to be explored.
Most of the Brazil is an all-year destination, although due to the sheer size of the country, weather can vary from area to area. There are five climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical and subtropical. Temperatures rarely dip below 25C or rise beyond 33C, even during winter months — between April and August — but the best time to visit is definitely during summer, when the rains are few and far between.
The northern part of the Brazilian coast has strong NE winds that blow particularly fiercely in the summer, whilst the rest of the coast is influenced by SE trade winds, which are strongest between March and August. Overall, the weather in Brazil will do little to dampen the government’s efforts to encourage the superyacht charter industry to its shores.
Marinas in Brazil
Porto Marina Asturia CING
At: Rua Francesca Sapochetti Castrucci 805, 11401-970 Asturia, Guaruja
Tel: (13) 3354 3888
VHF Channel 68
Rio de Janeiro
Marina da Gloria
At: Avenida Infante Don Henrique s/n, 20021-140 Rio de Janeiro
Tel: (21) 205 6716
Fax: (21) 285 4558
VHF Channel 16, 68
At: Av. do Contorno N 1010, 40015-230 Salvador de Bahia
Tel: (71) 322 7244
Fax: (71) 322 7244
VHF Channel 16, 68
Porto Marina Oceana
At: Rua B Constant 89, 83203-450 Paranagua
Tel: (41) 423 1831
VHF Channel 68
Marina Park – Fortelza
At: Av. Presidente Castelo Branco 400, Praia de Iracema, Fortaleza, Ceará
Tel: (85) 4006 9595
Fax: (85) 3253 1803
VHF Channel 74
Jacaré Yacht Village
At: Praia do Jacaré
Tel: (83) 3248 3638
Suzanna Chambers is property editor for US magazine France Today and writes articles for various news publications, lifestyle magazines and websites. Her love of yachts began went she went sailing with her father as a child in Poole Dorset, England.