World's Sexiest Beaches 2008

by Jason H. Harper

Site: Natal, Brazil

Bring the heat: So your globe-trotting friends have Brazil-beach-hopped from Salvador, Bahía, all the way south to Florianópolis, but we bet none have been to the northerly city of Natal. Imagine a sea of sculptured sand dunes that push up against the perfect blue waters of the Atlantic—the juxtaposition is fantastic. Take a thrill ride on the dunes (pictured) with one of the region's lunatic buggy drivers before diving in the warm sea among the black dolphins. And expect an all-nighter in the town's ready-for-anything Alto de Ponta Negra neighborhood.

Select sand: The sexy crowd hangs out at Morro do Careca, where you'll find fine bodies working up a thirst playing beach soccer and volleyball, and then quenching it with ice-cold Brahma beers while chilling under yellow umbrellas.

Hookup potential: Through the roof. When you're wondering if you should invite along a romantic interest on your trip to Brazil, first consider the local saying, "Why bring sand to the beach?" Natal, with a population of around a million people, doesn't see a lot of tourists, so chances are the trim, black-haired surfer dudes and dark-skinned, white-teethed garotas in tiny bikinis will be very pleased to show you around.

Privacy rating: 1. This scene is all about showing off.

Pillow talk: Natal can be a bit rough around the edges, so go for the service and comfort of the Pestana Natal, which has three pools just off the beach and a staff that mostly speaks English. It's also where you can hire a dune-buggy driver who's less maluco ("insane") than most.

Pestana Natal
Tel: 55 84 3220 8900
Doubles from $110

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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