For anyone based in São Paulo, Ubatuba is the perfect beach destination for anything between a couple of days and a week’s rest. But before we begin to unravel Ubatuba, we need to make it clear that rather than a town and a single beach, we are referring to a district that contains more than 100 km of beaches. The district of Ubatuba occupies the northernmost stretch of coast on the state of São Paulo, and it borders with the district of Paraty in Rio de Janeiro. Ubatuba has some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, with a unique combination of mountains, tropical rainforest and beaches.
On the Google Map above you will find the location of the different beaches I will mention on the text. From south to north, we find:
– Lagoinha. The perfect beach for anyone looking for a long stretch of sand and a quiet sea. Appropriate for families with children. There are some holiday homes next to the beach. To the other side of the main road there is a supermarket. There are no restaurants and the closest shops are in nearby Maranduba.
– praia do Bonete and praia Grande do Bonete. Two spectacular unspoiled beaches you can only reach on foot. The path to the beaches starts from Lagoinha beach and borders the sea till you reach Bonete. A bit further ahead is praia Grande do Bonete, with a small fishing village. It will take you an hour to reach the beaches from Lagoinha.
– Domingas Dias. One of our favourite beaches. Crescent-shaped, with calm waters and white sand. You can snorkel at the rocks to the left of the beach. You can reach the beach on foot from nearby Lázaro.
– Sununga. Recommended only to those seeking strong emotions. With rough sea, it’s a dangerous beach for bathing. Surfers love it.
– saco da Ribeira. The region’s marina. Schooners to the Ilha Anchieta leave from here.
– praia das Toninhas. Another popular beach, with strong waves. There are quite a few accommodation options on the area.
– praia Grande. One of the most popular and crowded beaches of the entire district. Cars park right next to the beach. Strong waves, excellent for surfing. If quiet is what you are after, stay away from this beach.
– Itaguá neighbourhood. Right next to the center of Ubatuba, it is a nice place for a walk, with a number of bars, restaurants and shops. Water is polluted.
– Projeto Tamar. The Projeto Tamar is a Brazilian NGO looking after sea turtles. It has a rehabilitation unit and visitor’s centre in Ubatuba.
– Ubatuba center. Downtown Ubatuba contains all the services you need, including shops, chemist, doctor, the bus station and even an airfield.
– Itamambuca. A long stretch of sand very popular among the surfing crowd.
– praia do Félix. Another beautiful crescent-shaped beach. It has strong waves to the left, calm waters to the right (where snorkel is possible).
– Prumirim and ilha do Prumirim. From charming Prumirim beach there are boats taking tourists to the Prumirim island, where there is a desert beach.
– Almada, approaching the border with the Rio de Janeiro state. Don’t miss the sign on the road. Almada is a fishing village with calm and transparent waters.
HOW TO GET TO UBATUBA
We have published two blog posts on how to get to Ubatuba from São Paulo: from São Paulo to Ubatuba/Paraty by bus and from São Paulo to Ubatuba/Paraty by car. For those coming from Rio de Janeiro, the bus company Util has services between Rio and Ubatuba. From Paraty there are local services to Ubatuba.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN UBATUBA
Regardless or where you set camp in Ubatuba, you are going to need some means of transportation, after all do remember we are talking about 100 km of beaches. Ideally, you would drive your own or a hired car, but lacking that, you can use the local buses that will take you places albeit at a slower pace.
Ubatuba is surrounded by tropical rainforest. Do take plenty of insect repelent with you.
The weather in Ubatuba is one of the most delicate aspects of vacationing at this destination. It is not by chance that the area is humorously referred to as Ubachuva (chuva meaning rain in Portuguese). Make no mistake, it rains in Ubatuba. Often. And quite a lot. All year round. There is no escaping this fact, if you go to Ubatuba and don’t see a drop of rain in a few days, you can consider yourself very very lucky.
Whether it rains or not, you’ll be able to have a bath at the sea all year round – there might be two or three particularly chilly weeks during winter, but that’s it.
You can have a look at the weather forecast for Ubatuba for the next 10 days.
At hotels and pousadas in Ubatuba you will find a full listing of all the accommodation in the area, along with a map identifying the different sectors of the district.
Search for hotels and pousadas in Ubatuba:
DIVING AND SNORKELING
Ubatuba provides good spots both for diving and snorkelling. There are a couple of dive shops in the town. NDS – Mergulho is one of them, and at its website there is a section on the diving locations in the region Points de Mergulho.