The Ultimate Guide To Beaches In Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil

Published June 13, 2020

Welcome to Caffeinated Excursions, a blog of a traveling coffee addict! My name’s Kevin, and in this post I’ll be sharing some of the best beaches in Ubatuba. This small beach town is one of my favorite destinations in Brazil so far, and I highly recommend visiting if you can! Ubatuba’s stunning beaches and beautiful mountain views make it the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature!

I’m hoping this post will be a helpful travel resource for years to come, but if you happened to read my previous post or saw that this post was published in June of 2020, then you’ll know that I’ve been riding out the COVID-19 pandemic here in Brazil. I’ve been lucky not to have symptoms but I’ve also been pretty cautious about staying away from other people whenever possible.

I’m excited to finally be writing about something that people from around the world will eventually be able to enjoy again someday (i.e., the beaches here), but the virus has still had an impact on my time here in Ubatuba. If you’d like to read more about my experience social distancing in Brazil, click here. If you’re curious what a partial reopening in Ubatuba has been like, check out my thoughts here! And finally, if you’re curious about some of the best restaurants in Ubatuba, click here to learn about your options [coming soon]! 

About This Guide

This post features ten beaches that are all within walking distance of the Ubatuba town center, although the final two on the list are pretty far (about 7 miles). Beaches line the coast for miles to the northeast and southwest on the outskirts of town; if you have access to a car, you could probably explore twenty or more beaches in a single day. This guide is designed for people who love to explore on foot (and is suitable for bikers as well). The beaches are ordered from northernmost to southernmost. So without further ado…

1. Praia do Perequê-Açu

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

This wide open beach on the north side of town is emblematic of everything that makes Ubatuba special: sand that isn’t quite white or black, views of deep-green rocky foothills, and water that’s a medium shade of blue.

Even though it probably looks pretty remote, Praia do Perequê-Açu is a short-ish walk from the town center. That’s another reason I love Ubatuba. It hasn’t been overrun with resorts and hotels, so most of the beaches have a very ‘undiscovered’ vibe.

2. Praia do Cruzeiro

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

This is the beach that’s closest to the center of town (Centro). It’s got a couple of unique offerings, like a boardwalk with a small lighthouse at the end where locals like to fish as well as a small plaza.

While Praia do Cruzeiro is nice enough, I recommend walking further south for much more impressive mountain views from…

3. Praia do Itaguá

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

My studio loft is closest to this beach, and I think I got lucky because of that. It’s probably my favorite because of the gorgeous views of the mountains that always end up looking layered in the sunlight, just like a painting.

For whatever reason, I’ve never seen anyone swimming or playing in the water at this beach. While there are some fishing boat docks further away, the water here doesn’t look polluted. However, the sand doesn’t necessarily look like the kind of sand I’d want to sit or sunbathe on. If you’re wanting to swim, I’d recommend checking out some of the beaches further south.

4. Prainha do Cais

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

If you have the time, I highly recommend spending an afternoon walking down the Estrada do Porto, which can be accessed by heading south along Praia do Itaguá. This small road features some gorgeous tiny beaches as well as a different vantage point of the Baía de Ubatuba.

There are a number of small docks along this road as well, so there are some great photo opportunities to capture fishing boats anchored in the bay.

5. Praia do Tenório

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

This beach is sort of tucked away, but its wide, flat white sand makes it an ideal spot to swim. There are security gates on most of the access points, so I’d imagine that this beach closes after sundown. However, as far as I can tell, it’s still open to the public.

6. Praia Vermelha do Centro

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

Praia Vermelha, which means ‘Red Beach,’ stood out to me as having the most picturesque water. The sand is less tightly packed and the beach slopes down at an angle, so it’s not the easiest place to walk, but it’s definitely still worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Ubatuba is also a major surfing destination, and the waves here looked perfect for advanced surfers. Although I’ve never tried surfing myself, this was a perfect place to get some action shots with my real camera.

Because of how big the waves were here, I’d say to exercise caution swimming here. I didn’t see a lifeguard, but I think the neighboring Praia do Tenório, which is only a short walk away, is a much better alternative, especially if you have kids or just want to get your feet wet, build a sandcastle, etc.

If you take a look at the map of this area, you’ll see that the peninsula east of Praia Vermelha has a trail leading out to “Ponta Grossa,” which I was interested in hiking out to.

However, when I saw that the trail looked like this and would take almost an hour one way, I decided against it. Ubatuba has always felt very safe to me, but I just figured walking alone on a heavily-wooded dirt path out to a remote point might be testing my luck. Whether it might be an opportunistic thief on a motorbike or an angry wild dog, I just didn’t want to be all the way out there in case something bad happened. If I had a rental car or was here with friends, I’d be much more inclined to check it out.

However, if you walk just a few minutes up the hill (to roughly this point), you’ll be treated with an amazing panoramic view of Praia Vermelha from above, as shown in the photo below!

7. Praia Grande

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

Praia Grande means Big Beach, and that’s definitely a fitting description. I think the views from most of the other beaches further north are a bit more impressive, but this one is still nice regardless.

8. Praia das Toninhas

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

At the far end of Praia Grande is a small cliff that offers a very nice view of Praia Grande to the north and neighboring Praia das Toninhas to the south.

A view of Praia Grande (looking north)

This area is also home to a small beach bar and restaurant, where I stopped for lunch one day. This is a great place to stock up on water or beverages if you’re in need of hydration.

I was expecting the food here to be so-so, but the fish combo I got ended up being really good! If you find yourself here during lunchtime, I highly recommend it.

To learn about other dining options in Ubatuba, head on over to this separate blog post [coming soon]! Further south of this outdoor cafe is Praia das Toninhas. This beach has a somewhat similar vibe to Praia Grande, although it definitely felt less busy.

Praia das Toninhas
Praia das Toninhas

9. Praia da Enseada

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

If you’re going to go further south on foot to Praia da Enseada, you’ll have to walk on the side of the main road (Rod. Dr. Manoel Hipólito do Rêgo) for about half an hour. It looks like this.

Praia da Enseada is another big, flat beach, but since it’s a fair distance away from town, it has an even more local feel to it than any of the beaches mentioned above.

I was intrigued by that very striking almost 90° cliff in the background.

Parts of Ubatuba have rural vibes, with unpaved dirt roads and the like. The neighborhoods near this beach are definitely like that. I liked this quaint blue church, but it was clear that it was more of an actual community church than a tourist attraction.

10. Praia do Perequê-Mirim

Location: Click here for Google Maps link

Last on my list is this small beach which felt almost like a lake to me, since it didn’t really offer a wide view of the open ocean. It was pretty quiet, and I’d say that you don’t need to walk all the way down here unless you’re like me and love walking for the sake of walking.

If you look at the map of the greater Ubatuba region, you’ll see that there are an endless string of beaches along the coast. If you wanted to continue further, the next beach south of Perequê-Mirim appears to be Praia do Lázaro. However, it’s a full hour away on foot and most of the walk would be on the side of the road (which isn’t quite a highway, but definitely has cars, trucks, and motorcycles zooming by). If you want to see a bunch of beaches but don’t want to end up walking fourteen miles in a day like I did when I went down to Perequê-Mirim​, you could stop at Praia Grande and still get a good sense of what the beaches in Ubatuba are like!

Notes on Weather

June in the Southern Hemisphere is the beginning of winter, although as you can see from these photos, winter in Brazil looks and feels more like a South Florida winter than, say, a New York winter. Temperatures are usually hot enough to go swimming as long as it’s sunny during the day. In addition to COVID, I’m guessing that June is also the off-season, so most of the beaches have been beautifully empty (which has made it pretty easy to social distance).

There were a couple of cloudy days, and as you might expect, Ubatuba’s beaches are much less impressive if the weather isn’t good. I’d just say if you only spend one or two days in Ubatuba, there’s always the chance that you might be unlucky enough to get less-than-ideal weather.

Up Next for the Blog: Thoughts About Reopening in Brazil

Ubatuba is definitely a resort town, but I really like that it isn’t overly commercialized. Aside from a McDonald’s, Burger King, and a Subway, the town seems to have almost exclusively family-owned restaurants and small businesses. There are no huge resort hotels, and one of the highlights of my trip has been the beautiful Airbnb I found for a great price.

In my next blog post, I’ll be writing about what a partial reopening here in Ubatuba has been like. I think the phrase “new normal” is definitely fitting, especially given the sad fact that Brazil has yet to flatten the curve nationally. In any case, you can check that post out by clicking or tapping here! For visitors in need of dining recommendations, be sure to check out my Ubatuba restaurant list [coming soon]! If you liked this beach guide, use one of the sharing buttons below to post it to your social media network of choice! Thanks for dropping in, and stay caffeinated!

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This post was published on June 13, 2020

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Jane@abfabtravels.com

    Even though I am not a “beach person”, I can certainly appreciate the beauty of these beaches. Not such a bad place to hunker down in these strange times – as long as you do manage to stay safe. Looks like you had the beaches pretty much to yourself so that is one consequence of Covid! Hopefully you will get to Ponta Grossa before too long as it does look interesting. Coming from the Uk, I could certainly appreciate a winter with this kind of weather. I would love to visit Brazil and explore for myself one day. Stay safe!

  2. Certainly looks like you’ve been making the most of your time whilst locked down, thanks for the comprehensive guide to the beaches of Brazil

  3. Two’s company

    I can’t believed that there are so many beaches accessible from one town centre! I think my favourite one would be Prainha do Cais, I would love walking along and exploring all of the tiny beaches!

  4. Some great beaches to visit and great images to give show them in their best light! Glad to see you managed to make the most of a bad time during this crisis

  5. Those are wonderful photos and it sounds like a great place to be stuck in. I wish I could go to a beach now…

  6. It’s great that they are all walking distance from the center! Sometimes I see beautiful beaches that are only reachable by car, and it’s a pity as I don’t drive 😦 Number #5 looks the most appealing to me!

  7. arsenalnic

    This is a great post for us, we’re hoping Brazil will be one of the next countries we visit when we head off travelling again after the pandemic! We will be making a visit for sure and look forward to surfing over in Brazil too.

    1. I hope you’re able to visit soon! Even though things aren’t too great here containment-wise, the scenery has been absolutely stunning and people have been so welcoming!

  8. Mei and Kerstin

    We’re not beach persons but we’ve just had a sudden urge to run towards a beach to dip our feet in an ocean! It’s probably because of Covid-19… giving us wanderlust! And these beaches in Brazil look amazing! We hope we’ll get to visit Brazil someday! Take care of yourself over there! And be safe!

  9. josypheen

    These all look looovely!

    You are so lucky that Praia do Itaguá is so close to where you live! I agree, the view out to sea there is simply stunning. I wonder why noone swims there! It looks so inviting! I really like the view from the cliff and the food at Praia das Toninhas too. 🙂

    p.s. Have you considered getting a bike so you wouldn’t have to walk along the side of the main road? It might be fun…

    1. Thanks, Josy! Biking would’ve been another good option and I sort of regret not asking my landlord here if any shops are currently doing rentals. There are a couple of hills further south, but nothing crazy. The road is also in good condition as far as I could tell. This is a great suggestion 🙂

  10. Sandy N Vyjay

    The beaches of Ubatuba look so gorgeous. Each one of them looks so beautiful, but I really loved the picture of Praia Grande, the Big Beach.

  11. Sarah

    Wow! So jealous you have been able to spend this strange time here with so many beautiful beaches! It looks a lovely place to explore. The beach bar with a view looks like a great place to stop for a relaxing lunch too 🙂 I really wish I could be there instead of in a boring city with nowhere beautiful nearby!

  12. Lara Dunning

    I appreciate your insider’s view of the beaches in this part of Brazil. I have never been and this certainly offers great details and guidance. I would have made the same call about not taking the trail.I really like the look of Red Beach, but I agree a sloped beach is hard to have a nice stroll on. Such strange times, but a great place to be and explore. Stay safe!

  13. Eric Gamble

    Where do I begin. I love all of the beaches you mentioned here in Ubatuba, Brazil. I particularly would love to take the hike to take in those amazing views of Praia Vermelha from above. It’s amazing that those beautiful beaches arent packed especially with the views of the surrounding mountains! I just hope the water isnt too cold!

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