Oh, Ubatuba- what a paradise you are! Located only 3 hours from São Paulo city, Ubatuba is the perfect tropical escape for some of the best beaches and bluest waters on Brazil’s coastline. There are over 100 beaches to explore, amazing food and lots of activities making Ubatuba A MUST when you come to São Paulo, Brazil. Check out all you need to know & get inspired in this blog post!
Top Things to Do in Ubatuba, São Paulo
Get ready for the top things to do in Ubatuba, São Paulo. Ubatuba is such a beautiful place with so much to explore that you should spend at least 4 days in this tropical paradise! Located on the Tropic of Capricorn, it’s the southern hemispshere’s first spot to receive summer sun, rich in flora & fauna.
Ubatuba is one of Brazil’s most beautiful places on the coastline! Why? Because you have over 100 white sand idyllic beaches with turquoise waters to choose from!
The surrounding islands are just exactly how you imagine tropical Brazil! Here are some of the top beaches you should visit in Ubatuba.
Praia Do Cedro
One of our favourite beaches in Ubatuba is Praia Do Cedro. It’s a wonderful beach surrounded by tropical jungles and views over the blue ocean.
The way to get to Praia Do Cedro is a little complicated as the gravel road for the cars is steep and narrow, but the way is worth it! After you parked your car you have to walk about 10 minutes down to the beach.
Most beautiful place! Praia Do Cedro.
➳ Tip: Once at the beach make sure you take the hidden jungle trek on the right side of the beach- it leads you to hidden rocks where you can set up your beach spot for the day or enjoy the views.
Another amazing beach to highly recommend is Felix Beach! It’s a very calm and unique beach making it the perfect spot for relaxing.
Views in Ubatuba, São Paulo: turquoise waters and tropical beaches.
Itamambuca Beach (for surfing)
If you’re up for surfing and like waves Itamambuca Beach is for you!
This beach in Ubatuba is known for one of the best surfer beaches in São Paulo. You can hire boards yourself to get active or simply watch the other surfers riding along the waves. It’s such a stunning scenery: the waves, the mountains and the beach.
Praia Da Almada is located in the north of Ubatuba and a dreamy beach also perfect for watching the sunset! Very beautiful and highly recommended.
Praia do Lázaro
Another awesome beach is Praia do Lázaro, a calm beach surrounded by lush green mountains. This beach is great as there are 2 other beaches nearby that you can easily walk to.
From beaches to hiking trails- let’s get to the more active part! The two most stunning hikes in Ubatuba, São Paulo (you really have to do one of them!) are ‘Trilha das 7 Fontes‘ and ‘Trilha das 7 Praias‘ – they are so beautiful!
‘Trilha das 7 Fontes’ is shorter and easier while ‘Trilha das 7 Praias’ is longer and more challenging.
Connecting to nature and yourself – hiking became one of my favourite things while exploring new places!
Trilha das 7 Fontes
If you are just up for a small hike that doesn’t take the whole day and gives you enough time to enjoy the stops you’ll pass, then Trilha das 7 Fontes is perfect for you!
The hike only takes 4 hours return giving you lots of time to enjoy the different beaches you pass on your way.
There are 4 beaches the trail is leading along:
1. Praia da Ribeira
This beach is right at the start of the trail and already gives sight of the stunning scenery. The trail is leading through lush green jungles before you reach the next beach.
2. Praia da Dionísia
20 minutes after the first hiking part you arrive at Dionísia beach. It’s a long stretch of a tropical beach with beautiful views!
3. Flamengo Beach
Flamengo Beach is paradise! The white sand beach is shore to green turquoise waters and there is a delicious bar called ‘Flamengo Bar’ where you should definitely stop for a small break!
➳ Tip: They literally have the BEST PINEAPPLE JUICE there! Don’t miss it!
4. Praia das 7 Fontes
Praia das 7 Fontes is the last beach and the one you should spend the most time at. You can eat & drink, go for a refreshing swim and spend a perfect beach day here.
Praia das 7 Fontes from the top.
Trilha das 7 Praias
If you like more challenging hikes and wanna see more than only 4 beaches, you have the option to do Trilha das 7 Praias. This hike is a full-day hike of 10 km which means: leave early in the morning to make the most of it!
We didn’t do this one, but apparently, it is SUPER AMAZING!! Most people say it’s way better than the short hike, so if you are physically fit and have the time: Go for it!!
Besides beaches and hiking, there are real picturesque islands in Ubatuba. The islands in this special place are so idyllic and unreal- all you can hear are the ocean waves and the sounds of the jungle. The best way to explore the islands in Ubatuba is by island hopping.
Ilha de Pumirim from the top- isn’t this paradise?!
The island hopping tour is a full-day tour and you visit different islands where you will have time to relax, swim and enjoy.
I feel very lucky to say that I spent my 23rd birthday here!! There would be no better place I could imagine to be for starting a new year of exciting adventures. The island hopping really has to be on your bucket list when coming to Ubatuba!
Spending my birthday on Ilha das Couves.
➳ Like tropical beaches? Explore Alter do Chão in Brazil’s Amazonas here!
Ilha das Couves
When you book your island hopping tour make sure that Ilha das Couves is included as a stop! It’s a small hidden island far from society and absolutely stunning. We spent hours here jumping into the waters and exploring the island barefoot. Don’t miss this magical place!!
Speed boat or schooner?
When you choose your island hopping tour you have the choice to go rather by speed boat or schooner. So, which one should you take to make the most of your experience?
The speed boat is faster which means you are able to visit more islands and see more of the surroundings. In contrast, the schooner is a sailing boat and takes way more time to get to the places, which is why you visit fewer places.
Personally, I recommend taking the schooner. It’s way more relaxing, you can chill out, enjoy the views and move around on the boat. Compared to the schooner, in the speed boat you have to stay seated the whole time. You can simply enjoy more of the journey and beaches itself when choosing the schooner.
➳ Tip: We did our tour with Brasil Tropical and can really recommend them!!
Our schooner and amazing people we met there!
➳ Tip: Don’t forget to bring your own lunch and water onto the boat!! It will be a long day and you’ll definitely get hungry after all the impressions.
The next Top Thing to Do in Ubatuba is Projeto TAMAR.
This is a very special project and something that matters a lot to me- which is why it has been a big dream of mine to visit that project!
What is Projeto TAMAR?
The Tamar Project is Brazil’s biggest Sea Turtle Conservation Centre. They’ve helped and saved thousands of sea turtles already by helping with pro-creation and releasing hurt turtles back into the ocean after prepping them up.
Besides that, they do lots of research on behaviour and movements which helps to understand the turtle’s cycle of life and how we can help to protect them better. 🙂
Sea Turtle with GPS to track its movements for research purposes.
Albino Sea Turtle!! This phenomenon is extremely rare. Only about 1 in many of thousands of eggs occur albino. It’s very hard for Albino Turtles to survive as their white colour makes it very easy for predators to find them, so they rarely have a chance to grow up.
Visiting Projeto Tamar in Ubatuba
Projeto TAMAR in Ubatuba is open for visitors and it’s really nice to get to know more about our beautiful an different kinds of sea turtles. You can see different species and learn a lot about the project, what they do and also how we can protect our marine wildlife and sea turtles.
It’s very informative & interesting!
➳ Good to know: Projeto TAMAR can be found in many places within Brazil! Check the map below.
Why is saving Sea Turtles so important?
The TAMAR Project is truly doing such an amazing and important job!!
Many people are not aware that oceans are essential for human life on this planet. The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere which is the main regulation of our climate and weather patterns.
Without a healthy ocean, there won’t be enough oxygen for us on earth and life would become impossible. Over the past years, our oceans are suffering badly from pollution and extinction of marine wildlife, which puts our life on earth to risk too. That’s why it is SO important that we all do our best to protect marine life!
➳ Wanna know more about that? Click here to visit Save the Reef, one of many amazing organizations!
How can we protect Sea Turtles?
Sea Turtles play an essential role in the ecosystem of our oceans because they maintain healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs that provide key habitat for other marine life, helping to balance marine food webs and facilitating nutrient cycling from water to land.
Here are a few simple things we can all do in our daily lives to protect sea turtles and oceans:
- Use Reef Safe Sunscreen! Chemicals that are being used in all other sunscreen are very harmful to our reefs slowly killing them and marine life. Use certified sunscreen that is reef-friendly– it works just as good!
➳ The reef-friendly sunscreen I am currently using is made by Suntribe Sunscreen.
- Use less plastic: reduce, reuse and recycle! Switch to zero waste products like bamboo cotton swaps, zero waste soap & shampoo, re-fillable water bottle and bring your own shopping bag.
All change starts small and imagine how much plastic you can already save by simply switching to these products!
- Clean and renewable energy is the key to maintain our reefs and ocean. Instead of oil and fossil fuels, this may mean the difference between a world with coral reefs, or a world without. Also, use share rides and public transport as much as you can!
- Consume products that haven’t been sprayed with harmful chemicals (e.g vegetables and fruits).
- Don’t touch, feed or swim with turtles! Respect their natural habitat.
Best Places to Eat
Jundu Praia Bar
Jundu Praia Bar is the perfect place to have lunch or dinner on the beach. They really have the best prawns that you cannot miss!
There are 2 Jundu Bars in Ubatuba: one on the beach in Prumirim and one in the centre of Itaguá. Both restaurants have the same menu, just the location is different.
When eating in Jundu you should really go to the one in Prumirim on the beach, it looks so stunning!
So many of our friends recommended it, but it closes at 6 pm already and we just couldn’t make it on time none of the days, so we went to the one in Itaguá.
➳ Tip: The most popular plate in Jundu is Prawns with Risotto and Cream Cheese (sooo yum!!!). It truly is heavenly delicious. There are also veggie options available.
Most popular dish: Prawn, Risotto, fresh batatas and cream cheese.
Another great place to eat in Itaguá is Sushi Bistro. They have very good Sushi, Poke Bowls and Shimeji here. There are also a few veggie & vegan options!
Alecrim is perfect for vegetarians! This per kilo restaurant offers many veggie options and you can choose from a wide range of different food in the buffet. You fill up your plate with whatever you want and pay for the weight of your plate.
Blues on the Rocks
Do you like live music? Blues on the Rocks is one of the best bars in Ubatuba, São Paulo and the best place for live music, drinks and great food!
O Limeiro has some of the best caipirinhas! It’s a Brazilian Bar with delicious seafood (also option for vegetarians) and the place to be if you want to drink true Brazilian caipis.
Places to Stay
The best area to stay in Ubatuba is by far Itaguá!
Itaguá is an amazing part of the town that has all you need: bars, restaurants, supermarkets, the beach and things to do nearby (also Projeto Tamar is located in that area).
Pousada Papaya Containers
The accommodation we stayed at and really loved is called Pousada Papaya Containers.
It’s such a nice place with a pool and cute private rooms. The best thing are the small balconies that are perfect for some morning & evening time to relax with views on coconut trees and the sound of the birds.
Also, the outside area is super nice for chilling out and only 5 minute walking distance from the beach and restaurants.
➳ Book Pousada Papaya Container here.
➳ Check all available accommodations in Ubatuba here.
Our small balcony at Papaya Containers.
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Ubatuba in São Paulo is during the summer months from December to February when temperatures remain high and you can enjoy beach weather!
➳ Good to know: Besides that, it rains less in these months (Ubatuba’s nickname is Ubachuva meaning Ubarain as it rains a lot here).
We went in September, the weather was still very nice: we had two hot days with lots of sun and 2 more cloudy rains, but no rain.
Ubatuba during Covid-19
(Status: October 2020)
Let’s get to this very important part: how is Ubatuba like to travel to during Covid-19? Is it safe?
I got sooo many questions about safety in Brazil as a pandemic hotspot and what it’s like to live and travel here. I will do a separate post on that soon, as I think it’s another topic that lots can be said about.
First of all, I think everyone has to decide for themselves what they consider safe and not safe during the pandemic. Many people don’t feel safe travelling with Corona around, others still enjoy travelling. There are people belonging to risk groups which is why they are more careful than others.
Personally, I think travelling to Ubatuba is safe! You should follow all the restrictions though like wearing your face mask and washing/disinfecting your hands on a very regular basis. During our time in Ubatuba, there were a lot of people enjoying the weekend, so be aware that even during the pandemic, Ubatuba is still a very popular spot and there will be many people around.
The restaurants all offer disinfections and as there are many outdoor activities to do in Ubatuba, you can also keep distance to the people around you.
Tourism is open in Brazil for a few months now and it’s allowed to eat in restaurants, travel around and do things you enjoy. It’s up to everyone how they use the opportunities out there and be safe at the same time. 🙂
Check out our Vlog in Ubatuba!
Here’s our Vlog in Ubatuba- a day in paradise! We take you with us to Ubatuba’s idyllic and magical places. Enjoy watching!
Watch our Vlog here.
➳ Also Read:
This is Ubatuba, a tropical escape in São Paulo! I hope you enjoyed reading this post and are inspired to come to this magical place now. Any questions or thoughts? Leave them in the comments! Also, don’t forget to follow me on social media for more. See you there 🙂
Excellent article; well researched and well written with some beautiful photos of the area. We have lived in Itaguá, Ubatuba for about 6 years for about 6 months each year and the other 6 months in Colorado, USA. Personally, I prefer the months of April-June (dry season here) to be in Ubatuba for two reasons. First, during the high season of Nov-Feb, the tourist traffic (streets, sidewalks, beaches) can be overwhelming and it’s becoming more congested as more and more people “discover” Ubatuba. Second, the weather is much better from April-June; it seldom rains; the humidity is lower, and the temps are still moderate. The one drawback is that the ocean temps can be too cold for swimming, especially in June. Glad you love and appreciate this paradise as we do. Unfortunately, the current mayor and city council are promoting growth and expansion without regard to the environmental impact. Their policies may degrade what makes Ubatuba such a paradise and top-tourist destination; the beautiful beaches, protected rainforest, and the atmosphere of an isolated fishing village. We don’t need another Prague, Paris, etc. where tourist trap areas look like USA malls.