Waking up early isn’t my strong suit, but when I have to it’s usually for something good. The 29th of December was one of those days, a 7:00 o’clock bus was on our calendar, bound for Ubatuba. The coast of São Paulo is extremely beautiful, making it a popular place for Paulistanos (and everyone else), especially around Christmas and new year’s. But that didn’t deter us, we’d been planning this beach trip for several months now, and the time was finally here. Vamos!
Getting to Ubatuba
As I mentioned, we took a bus down to Ubatuba. The company Pássaro Marron had lots of departures to Ubatuba during the holidays, costing around 100 R$ (= €15, Dec. 2022) one way, and taking 4 to 5 hours. Buses in Brazil are very comfortable, they’re nothing like Flixbus for example. You have plenty of leg space and the seats can recline quite a bit, perfect for a short distance ride.
When I tell you that everyone and their mother in São Paulo goes to the beach for the holidays (it’s summer after all), I mean, everyone. The Ubatuba region is extremely popular, you’ll see why soon. Getting to the coastal town of Caraguatatuba was smooth sailing over multiple lanes of highway, but from here it became a tedious, single lane drama. It should have taken around 40 minutes to get from Caragua, to Lagoinha, where our Aribnb was. It took around 3 hours! We were basically in a very slowly moving line of cars until just before our stop. The driver mentioned it when he did some announcements before departure, but annoying nonetheless, haha. And the way back was not much better.
But, on to the good stuff!
Praia do Lázaro
On our first full day we drove over to Praia do Lázaro, a beautiful beach surrounded by lots of green. It has plenty of barracas (beach bars) to choose from. But, you don’t have to sit at one of those, at the ends where the beach gets more narrow you can just sit down with your own stuff. It’s quite a long beach, which is great for taking a walk at some point during your stay.
Praia Domingas Dias
Next to Praia do Lázaro, you can find its smaller sibling: Praia Domingas Dias. It’s surrounded by big boulders and greenery, making it quite a dreamy location. The beach itself is narrow, and it was also quite busy, but we managed to find a spot towards the back (for some much needed shade).
There is no baracca on this beach, so we were glad to have brought some snacks and beers of our own. You can buy snacks and drinks from the individual sellers and their carts of course, like açaï, caipirinhas and milho (corn).
Praia do Lagoinha
Lagoinha is one of the many small towns in the Ubatuba region, and it has quite a nice beach. Truth is, it was the day after new year’s, we woke up late, and we didn’t want to get stuck in traffic driving to a beach that was further away. So, we stayed close. And truly, it’s a nice beach with shallow water, and lot’s of people selling stuff. Very convenient if you just want to do nothing for a(nother) day.
Praia do Bonete
And last, but definitely not least (I liked this one the best!): Praia do Bonete. We drove to the supermarket a couple of blocks from our Airbnb, got some snacks and water, and headed off to the trail. We had about an hour of walking ahead of us to get to Praia do Bonete. It’s an easy trail, but would recommend some sneakers, not a pair of Havaianas that most of the Brazilians were walking on. Some parts of the trail were muddy and slippery, so I was glad to be wearing my hiking boots. Although, those were probably a bit too much 😂…
After 3 kilometers we got to one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. White sand, clear water, and most important of all, it was not ultra crowded! It’s a small beach but there is one barraca selling drinks and some food. There are also some sellers that you can buy ice cream and other snacks from. Of course you can also bring your own food, which is what we did :).
So there you have it. Ubatuba is a dream (I let the pictures do most of the talking), but If I’d go back I would probably do so in a more quiet period. And, that is mostly to avoid all that crazy traffic, I don’t mind the busy beaches that much. Sitting in a bus for hours on end, however…
Little did we know how many hours we would spend on buses in Argentina…