Brazil - Profile
- Brazilian culture is a rich mixture of European, African and Latin American, all of which can be seen in its world-famous Carnival. It is this Carnival which brings many sailors to Brazil, those who arrive from the north sailing for Salvador in Bahia, while those coming from the south have the opportunity to see the greatest show of them all in Rio de Janeiro.
- In between these two cities, to the north as well as to the south, stretches a long coastline of varied scenery and just as varied climate and weather conditions. There are interesting places to explore all along the coast, but perhaps the best cruising ground is the area between São Sebastiao Island and Rio de Janeiro, which has many protected anchorages and attractive scenery, slightly marred by the increasing number of oil rigs.
- The River Amazon also has an appeal for some cruising sailors and it can be navigated for well over one thousand miles giving the opportunity to see some of the interior of this huge country.
- For many sailors the first taste of Brazil lies 250 miles offshore on the island of Fernando de Noronha, while another Brazilian outpost in the Atlantic is better avoided, the St Peter and St Paul rocks near the equator, where landing is only possible in the calmest of weathers.
- Yacht clubs are usually welcoming to foreign visitors, with the exception of the Rio Yacht Club, where visitors are not at all welcome. Contacting any club via e-mail to make a reservation or any inquiry however, is most likely a waste of time. On the whole you just have to show up, and hope for the best. This can be very frustrating however it´s the way things work in this part of the world.
- Getting work done: Clubs with a large fleet of yachts, often motor yachts, have good repair facilities or access to them. Finding a reliable contractor in Brazil however can be hard. It's also difficult to obtain and even import spare parts. Services tend to be alot slower during Carnival period.
- Provisioning: Good sized well priced supermarkets. In Salvador and Recife these are attached to big shopping malls and a taxi drive away from the port.
For the latest report on yacht security from Itaparica and Maragojipe see comments on this noonsite page.
March 2015: Itaparica - three cruising couples suffered yacht crime here. See comment at bottom of page.
February 2015: Yet another violent violent attack on a yacht in Fortaleza just an hour after its arrival there.
February 2015: A cruising sailor was shot in Sao Luis aboard his yacht at anchor and another yacht in Fortaleza was boarded by armed thieves.
The security situation in Maragojipe city located in the Reconcavo Baiano appears to be worsening. See this police report dated January 2015 (http://www.tupinambafm.com/?p=7303#more-7303).
A cruising boat was boarded April 2014, the crew attacked, beaten and robbed within moments of anchoring in Fortaleza. See report here.
Yachts visiting Belem have been boarded and robbed in the past, and sadly in March 2014 another similar attack was reported by a cruising boat. See report here. This port is best avoided.
In the Salvador, Itaparica, Morro de Sao Paulo area of Brazil there is a significant amount of armed crime. Cruisers should be be wary about walking ashore at night and lock themselves into their boats at night. Two boats have reported an armed boarding, assault and robbery so far in 2014 (see latest report here).
Four boats anchored outside the two marinas in the Port area of Salvador, were boarded and robbed in the first 2 weeks of June 2012. It is strongly recommended that, unless taking up a berth in one of the marinas, vessels should avoid anchoring in the Port area. For alternative options see Salvador de Bahia.
A notice published at the Aratu Yacht Club warns members and visiting yachts not to visit secluded anchorages in the Bahia de Todos os Santos. An American yacht was boarded at gunpoint at the anchorage known as "the waterfall" in February 2012, the Captain advised that he was unaware that such a warning was in force.
It is advisable when cruising Brazil to avoid isolated anchorages.
Levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in major cities. You should be particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods. Bank card fraud is common.
Last updated January 2017.
Brazil's climate varies greatly. Most of the northern part of the Brazilian coast is under the influence of NE winds which are strongest in the summer between December and February. The rest is in the SE trade wind belt, which predominates from March to August. During the austral winter months the SE trades have a lot of south in them, and sailing down the coast can be difficult. An eye must be kept on the weather, as the winds can change direction suddenly putting a boat on to a dangerous lee shore.
Brazil Weather Bureau - http://www.inmet.gov.br/
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page
Eastern coast (north of Rio de Janeiro): Abrolhos Reefs , Buzios , Cabedelo * , Cabo Frio , Caravelas , Guarapari , Ilha de Itaparica , Ilheus/Malhado * , Macae * , Maceio * , Marau , Morro do Sao Paolo , Natal * , Niteroi , Recife * , Rio de Janeiro * , Salvador de Bahia * , Vitoria *
Southern Brazil: Angra dos Reis * , Baia da Ilha Grande , Cananeia , Florianopolis * , Itacuruca , Itajai * , Paranagua * , Paraty , Porto Belo , Rio Grande * , Santos * , Sao Francisco do Sul * , Sao Sebastiao *
* indicates port of entry