The best time to come to Praia da Varandinha is on a sunny day with quality winds. This will allow you to get some great pictures, as well as some quality waves. While the large, sandy beach provides some security, this is diminished as the swell builds. We hit this spot as a 3 meter swell trashed the island and did not recognize it in the light of day.
Praia da Varandinha beach was completely engulfed and the only spot we had to rig up the kites was located in a tiny area by the dunes. Located in the southwest, if something goes wrong here, your chances of survival are slim to none. One 500 meter downwind and you are in the Atlantic before you know it!
Those who are truly unlucky will get washed into the volcanic cliffs before then, though. Most bizarrely of all, this place also doubles as a graveyard for turtles. They lay their eggs on the same beach, at another part of the island, then they come here to die. Standing among the remains of these creatures and watching the furious ocean can bring about pangs of fear.
Praia da Varandinha Waves break on the beach, making it tricky to get out, but on smaller days there are points where it easier to get back to safety. On bigger days, this place is very intimidating and I’ve never been more afraid of a location. The waves here were the biggest I’ve seen and I’ll never forget the experience.
The trade winds cross from the right, while the waves range from medium to MASSIVE!!