From The Northeast U.S. to South America – A Sailors Guide (Part 12/12)

Boom! You´ve arrived. Brazil is our final destination, and getting down here is something to be proud of. I bet it´s a game-changer: the journey, the learning experience, all the people you´ve met and challenges you´ve overcome. Let´s dive into Brazil.


Okay, now Brazil is a mammoth of a country full of culture. It´s almost impossible to know where to start, because Brazil has so much to offer, with over 4,040 nautical miles of coastline, islands, and navigable rivers – including River Amazon, which can be navigated for 869 nautical miles.

The Geography of Brazil

There are thought to be 365 islands – once for every day of the year. Check out bustling Itaparica, wild and remote Abrolhos and tropical Baia da Ilha Grande.

One of the most scenic stretches of coastline in Brazil is between Sao Sebastiao Island in Sao Paulo State and Rio de Janeiro, where you´ll find a lot of protected anchorages and amazing scenery.

Spare parts are super expensive in Brazil, so bare that in mind before you choose to get your repairs done here. Carry spares where possible! Also expect friendly people, a certain lack of facilities for yachts, and pricey cities (head up the rivers for about 1/3 off most items). Keep an eye on your belongings, as muggers, boardings and robberies aren´t unknown in Brazil.

Sunset at Ipanema, Brazil

Here are some handy and essential details you´ll find useful when sailing from place to place along the coast. And here´s more on immigration and customs policies. There are also some rules and regulations, like the fact that sailboats must stay at least 100 meters from the shore, but you can anchor near to the shore if there are no warning buoys or signs if you approach at 3 knots.

The Sao Paulo Boat Show is held in late September every year.

Where to Spend the Night

This site has some information on local marinas. And there are quite a few, as you can image. Click on the Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook link to see where each one is.

All marinas all have 24-hour security, according to one guide, but facilities vary and so do prices. That guide also has lots of information on the safety of the anchorages at marinas all along the northeast coastline.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This podcast covers a Dutch sailor´s experiences in Brazil since 1983. He lives on a boat in Brazil full time. Bear in mind that the situation in Brazil may be different when you read this article. The prices have risen in recent years, for example.


There are many different routes you could take when travelling from the northeast coastal cities of the U.S. to South America. Which one you take depends on your sailing experience, vessel size, the amount of time you have and your taste for adventure! Your trip will be unique.

Don´t forget to watch out for the following:

  • Gulf stream currents
  • The North Carolina Outer Banks
  • Hurricanes and weather patterns
  • Safety issues! You can anchor in a range of different places in the U.S., outside of marinas. In South and Central America, it´s a different story.

Enjoy your adventure!! Please add your comments below this article 🙂

Jericoacoara Beach, Ceará, Brazil

*Disclaimer: this information is based on sailor´s experiences and other resources that may change over time and are subjective by nature. Always use good charts and other resources in conjunction with guides, and a good dose of sailors´ common sense.

From The Northeast U.S. to South America – A Sailors Guide (Part 11/12)

From The Northeast U.S. to South America – A Sailors Guide (Part 10/12)

From The Northeast USA to South America – A Sailors Guide (Part 1 of 12)




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