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Brazil Ecojourneys Hosts South American's 1st Lesbian Surf Camp

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Mar 11, 2015

On May 9-16 in Santa Catarina, South Brazil, Brazil Ecojourneys invites women to catch some of the sweetest waves in the country, during South America's first-ever lesbian surf camp. After successfully hosting a mixed LGBT surf camp, the lesbian-owned tour operator felt it was time to offer women a week of their own.

"I surf all the time, and I'm usually the only lesbian out there, surrounded by heterosexual men. I see how there really aren't many opportunities for gay women to get together and learn to surf in a friendly environment," said Marta Dallas Chiesa.

Chiesa said that they had worked with to promote two previous LGBT surf camps, but discovered that only men signed up. Through contact at travel agencies that cater to lesbians, they learned that when it comes to group travel, women prefer women- or lesbian-exclusive trips. So they decided to give it a try.

"We are presenting a whole week of events, from surf clinics to a surf 'safari,' yoga sessions and a whole lot of socializing," said Chiesa. "We plan to have a night out in Florianopolis on arrival, and a special dinner at a restaurant run by a lesbian chef in Praia do Rosa. Although it's only a small beach resort, there are at least four restaurants run by lesbian chefs!"

The surf camp is open to all levels, from absolute beginners to experienced surfers. Prices range from $1299 for a double room to $1799 for a single room, and the package includes the surf camp, which consists of lessons for beginners and intermediates, followed by surf clinic with exercises/practice for better performances aided by analysis of videos filmed during lessons/sessions. Experienced surfers will have "Surf with a Local" Sessions and the Surf Clinic (4 hours daily). It also includes two yoga group sessions and a full-day Surfari with Capitão David School. Also included are two dinners, an English-speaking tour leader and a DVD with photos and videos of your session.

Also included are transfers to and from Florianopolis airport with an English-speaking driver or guide; two nights accommodation of private ensuite rooms at a Town Home in Praia Mole, with breakfast; five nights accommodation of private ensuite rooms at the charming Pousada Casa do Ceo in Praia do Rosa, with breakfast. The deadline for registration is March 27.

Santa Catarina is a hidden gem known for its gorgeous beaches and mild climate. Thanks to the half-moon shape of the bay where the camp will take place, Praia de Rosa, you will always find great surfing there no matter the direction of the winds or swells. An area long appreciated by the local LGBT community, in recent years it has become a popular gay and lesbian vacation destination.

Chiesa said that she is most looking forward to surfing and relaxing in Praia do Rosa, one of her favorite spots in Brazil. She also loves encountering beginning surfers, saying "their excitement is a great high for everybody."

Chiesa said that they normally work with individual travelers rather than groups, and all their trips are LGBT-friendly, as they are an LGBT-owned company. We also run a mixed LGBT surf camp in October/November and have special packages for summer in Florianopolis, which is a gay hotspot in Brazil. But they still thought it was important to hold an event just for women.

"When I surf, there are hardly any women around, even less lesbians," said Chiesa. "I think a lot of women want to try surfing but find the line-up too male-oriented. I myself only started a few years ago, although it was a childhood dream. Sexism is also prevalent in surfing; the only images of women surfers are young girls with perfect bodies. So, I think having our own event in a safe, friendly environment will help women of all ages, sizes, skills to fulfill their dream of surfing and have a relaxing vacation together."

The deadline for registration is March 27 at or

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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