I was being unfair to Praia dos Ingleses yesterday—it’s more than yet another lovely crowded Brazilian beach because there’s a picturesque sand dune at the southern end.
Everybody climbs it for the view and for fun. It’s harder than it seems, though, because it’s high and it gets very windy at the top, so expect to get sand in your eyes.
Which is why most people usually rush down the beach and go for a swim after a few selfies at the top.
But last year, we discovered that if we went down the other side of the dune and kept going, more dunes were waiting for us—and behind the last one, a lovely quieter beach, Praia do Santinho.
This is a case where both the destination and the journey are enjoyable.
It took us about half an hour to walk to the end of Praia dos Ingleses and another thirty minutes to hike across all the dunes. This is where you realize that sand dunes aren’t a barren pile of lifeless sand but dynamic structure shaped by the wind. Each one of them felt different under our feet—hot sand, cold sand, white or beige sand, coarse or fine sand, and mysterious sculptures found along the way.
Oh, and the hidden beach was gorgeous—definitely going back to this one.