Discover the 10 Biggest Waves in Brazil for Surfing

Brazil is far from being part of the right destinations for big riders (giant wave surfers) in search of big swells throughout the year. But there are some peaks that, depending on the conditions, can scare even the most experienced. Some are more consistent in the right season and others only work in the big hangovers for the bravest.
Discover the 10 Biggest Waves in Brazil for Surfing

Introduction - The Biggest Waves in Brazil

Brazil is far from being part of the right destinations for big riders (giant wave surfers) in search of big swells throughout the year. But there are some peaks that, depending on the conditions, can scare even the most experienced. Some are more consistent in the right season and others only work in the big hangovers for the bravest.

When talking about giant waves or the biggest waves in Brazil, the unsuspecting will soon imagine the image of Carlos Burle dropping that bomb over 30 meters in Nazaré, Portugal. But, fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your degree of madness, it will be a great rarity to find a 5 meter surfable wave here.

In order to choose the 10 biggest waves in Brazil, I did some research and based a lot on the  Greenish award   that chooses the biggest wave, the best tube and the best aerial in Brazil annually since 2007. To compete for the award, you don't need to be a professional. Just send a video with a wave surfed by you in the row and cheer.

Let's go to the biggest waves in Brazil (surfable) ...

Greenish award

1. Slab of Jaguaruna - Jaguaruna - Santa Catarina

Laje da Jagua, as it is known, this calm and peaceful place as seen in the image above, is considered the biggest wave in Brazil. An underwater rock formation located about 5km from Praia do Arroio Corrente and Balneário Nova Camboriú is responsible for the formation of this giant wave.

The site was discovered for surfing in 2003 and already in 2007 it received the I Mormaii Tow In Pro, the first tow-in event in Brazil. The peak works with some frequency when large swells from southwest, south or east come in at any tide and with east wind. And when it works, you can go there with the certainty that you will find some of the best big riders in the world, because in the undertow the waves can exceed 5 meters.

Needless to say,  to surf   this peak you need to be either professional or kamikaze and must be well equipped for giant waves.

2. Ilha dos Lobos - Torres - Rio Grande do Sul

The island of wolves also has an underwater rock formation that forms one of the largest waves in Brazil. The wave breaks 2km from the coast facing the cliffs of the city of Torres, on the border of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina.

It gets giant a few times throughout the year with large swells from the Southeast, East and Northwest, winds from the West and Southwest and a rising tide. The waves can reach 5 meters in the biggest surf. Surfing there was banned by IBAMA for a long time for environmental protection, and today it is still controlled and requires authorization from ICMBio. The claim is that the tow-in modality, with the use of jet skis, causes damage to the environment.

On giant wave days, surfing at Ilha dos Lobos is recommended only for those who are professional and very experienced. The strong current prevents any chance of surfing there in  the paddle   and, even in the tow-in, it offers risks, as you can throw the jet-ski on the rocks.

3. Cacimba do Padre Beach - Fernando de Noronha - Pernambuco

The beach of cacimba do padre in Fernando de Noronha is a beach break with tubular and powerful waves. It usually works with a normal size, between 1 and 2 meters, but in a few moments in history there is the occurrence of a phenomenon known as superswell, which can transform the waves into terrifying bombs of more than 4 meters. Some special features of the archipelago make it support the superswells in good condition. The main one is the fact that it is surrounded by depths of 4 thousand meters creating the fame of Brazilian hawaii.

phenomenon known as superswell

Considered by many surfers as the best wave in Brazil, it works  with swell   from north and northwest and wind from south and southwest. In addition, Noronha's indescribable look and little crowd make this peak a unique experience. It is not as difficult  to surf   as the first two in this post, but it does require a lot of experience.

4. Itaúna - Saquarema - Rio de Janeiro

Saquarema is considered by many surfers to be the surf maracanã. Itaúna beach, which is one of the main peaks there, has a point-break very close to the famous beach. Although it allows less experienced surfers on smaller days, when a big swell comes in, I don't recommend it for adventurers.

It works with almost all swell and wind directions, if it is not too strong, making the peak very consistent. The classic peak is a left that breaks close to the rock, but there is also a right in the Backdoor on the other side of the rock, a beach-break more towards the middle of the beach and a slab on the outside. On the strongest days, this humble bomb can reach 4 meters in height and it breaks all the time, forming one of the largest waves in Brazil and one of the most famous!

The peak of Itaúna has already hosted WCT, the world surfing elite, in 2012. Nowadays, it annually receives a prime stage of the QS. Another interesting factor is that this is the first peak of this post in a very easy place to reach. Saquarema is located about 100km from the capital of Rio de Janeiro.

prime stage of the QS

5. Praia da Vila - Imbituba - Santa Catarina

The sandbank of Praia da Vila is one of the best and most famous surf spots in southern Brazil. He has hosted several stages of the WCT, until he lost his post to Barra da Tijuca beach  in Rio de Janeiro   much more due to the little infrastructure of the small town of Imbituba than the world-class quality of his wave.

The peak is very consistent and works  with swell   from south, southeast and east and almost all winds, as long as they are not from the east or derivatives (marais). If you are going  to surf   on the village beach, respect the locals and avoid the weekend crowd. On the biggest days, it can reach 4 meters.

6. Laje do Patiero - Ubatuba - São Paulo

The slab of the patiero is another important destination for big riders in Brazil. It is also a point that is caused by an underwater rock formation, such as Laje do Jagua and Ilha dos Lobos. The practice of tow-in is very common at this point, but it is also possible to find some crazy people surfing waves of more than 4 meters in the row.

The peak is on the Ponta Grossa peninsula and, to get there, you need to get a boat or jet-ski. It is not recommended to try rowing due to the currents and the long distance to the nearest beaches. It works only in special conditions, with south or southeast swell.

7. Silveira Beach - Garopaba - Santa Catarina

Praia do Silveira is one of  the best surf   spots in the south along with Praia da Vila, Joaquina beach, Campeche, among others. In the right corner, there is a famous point-break with a stone bottom that can form one of the biggest waves in Brazil in the days of bigger swell, reaching about 4 meters. In the northern part, there are some beach breaks with less crowd.

It is a very consistent peak, as it works well with almost any wind and is best with south and southeast swells and medium tide. Inside the right corner, in the smaller swells, there is a fast, tubular wave known as Mike Tyson. You can even imagine the reason… If you decide  to surf   in the right corner, respect the many places to avoid problems.

8. Itacoatiara Beach - Niterói - Rio de Janeiro

The Itacoatiara beach, in Niterói, despite having a sandy bottom, is one of the most dangerous beach breaks in Brazil, especially in the days of hangover, when it can form one of the largest waves in Brazil, measuring up to almost 4 meters. The very characteristic of the wave, of breaking very close to the sand, its strength and the current that throws the surfer back outside are the main reasons why it is such a dangerous peak.

For having this more “breakable” wave, Itacoatiara ends up being a peak better known by body-boarders, but some kamikaze surfers also face the peak. It works a lot throughout the year with swells from the south, southeast and southwest and winds from the north, northwest and northeast. The high tide is even better so that the waves break a little further away from the sand.

9. Praia da Vila - Saquarema - Rio de Janeiro

After Itaúna beach, Praia da Vila is the best known peak in Saquarema. Although it is not as big as Itaúna, on a hangover, Praia da Vila can form one of the biggest waves in Brazil, as shown in the video. It is a very easy peak to find in Saquarema, as it is in the middle of the city, and the locals tend to be more friends than in other cities in the world, as there is never a shortage of waves for anyone. Even so, it is good to avoid problems.

It is a peak of right and left that works well with swells from south, southeast and east and winds from north, northeast and northwest. It works very often throughout the year.

10. Pororoca on the Araguari River - Amapá

Surf is not always synonymous with the sea. Surfing on the pororoca of the Araguari River has the longest wave in the world. Because it is a big and strong wave, reaching almost 4 meters, surfing in the pororoca has become a very coveted experience among big riders and experienced surfers.

Pororoca is a phenomenon that only occurs a few times throughout the year, depending on the combination of tides and moons. A strong current from the sea enters the river, forming a powerful wave that can be considered one of the largest waves in Brazil. The best time to find the pororoca is at full and new moons from January to May. From August to November, the phenomenon can also occur, but the river is stirred by a lot of wind, and kite-surfing is preferable.

If you want  to surf   the pororoca of the Araguari River, one of the biggest waves in Brazil, seek professional help by contacting the specialized agencies in Amapá itself. And watch out for alligators, snakes and piranhas that swim by the Araguari river.


That's it, guys. I tried here to make a selection of the biggest waves in Brazil, based on opinions and research on sites like Wanna Surf. Brazil is not the best place in the world when it comes to giant waves, but it still has a number of options for big riders and aspirants. I may have forgotten some point or other and I ask that you let me know by comments, if you have done so.

Wanna Surf

There are also some newly discovered slabs, or those that do not have very favorable conditions for surfing. These I preferred to omit, even though they may be some of the biggest waves in Brazil, so as not to induce anyone to take unnecessary risks.

One of the best ways to enjoy all these waves might be to find a job that allows you  to surf   – either by being close to the beach, by finding a flexible schedule, or even a remote job!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the characteristics of Brazil's biggest waves, and what should surfers know before tackling these spots?
Brazil's biggest waves are known for their height, power, and the skill required to surf them. Surfers should be experienced, understand local conditions, and ideally, seek guidance from local surfers before tackling these challenging spots.

Comments (2)

 2019-08-14 -  Luiz Ignacio Guimaraes
Thank you for choosing the Itaúna Beach video.
 2019-08-15 -  Filippo Ghermandi
@Luiz Ignacio Guimaraes. Luiz, is the video yours? Do you want me to put your name or the name of your production company below with a link to the site? It will be a pleasure

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