São Sebastião

Maresias beach.

São Sebastião is a coastal city and a municipality on the North Coast of São Paulo. The city is known for its historical heritage and for the Maresias beach, part of the international surf circuit and regarded as "the Ipanema of São Paulo".


São Sebastião is a long and noncontiguous coastal area, offering an incredible number of beaches, the majority with a somewhat rustic aspect. In the beginning of the 90s, its tropical climate and savage feel attracted wealthy Paulistas who, suffering with the infrastructure problems of the Baixada Santista, looked for calmer beaches and less congested roads. Nowadays, the reality of the chaotic traffic affects São Sebastião, but the municipality resists growth through laws, such as one that forbids the construction of tall buildings.

Get in

By bus

Intercity buses between São Paulo and São Sebastião are provided by Litorânea and can be taken from the Tietê intercity bus terminal. Note that there are two types of buses: one takes 3 and a half hours and another takes 5 hours and 25 minutes, and they cost about the same. There are also less frequent buses to Maresias and to the ferry boat to Ilhabela. Check the website for detailed information.

Normandy runs a bus from Paraty to São Sebastião twice daily.

By car

Coming from São Paulo, there are three routes of access.

Get around

The "city" of São Sebastião is more properly described as a compact downtown and various discontinuous or semi-continuous coastal suburbs, distributed along 100 km of coast.

Downtown is small enough to walk around. A map can be obtained at the tourist information office located on Av. Dr. Altono Arantes (not far from the ferry terminal). The ferry terminal is located at the end of Av. Antonio Januário de Nascimento; look for the signs 'Balsa'.

To get around the beaches, you may take bus 51 operated by Ecobus , which departs every 20-30 minutes (more on weekends). This bus goes from the intercity bus terminal (Rodoviária) downtown (from inside, not the bus stop outside) to the Boracéia beach, at the division with Bertioga. Getting around by car using BR-101 should be straightforward.



Stay safe

São Sebastião is a relatively safe city. During the summer, large numbers of tourists come to the city, which also attracts criminal activity (pickpocketing, grand theft auto, home invasion, etc). However, police will always provide more officers and cars to the city during that season to even the odds. Just apply commons sense and you'll probably be fine: avoid dark streets at night, pay attention to your valuables, never leave your car unlocked, etc.)

When in the beach, try not to leave your belongings alone when going for a swim. If you're in a relatively large group (say, 6 people or more), it might be a good idea to have at least one person at a time to stay on the sand to look after cellphones, etc.




Stay safe

São Sebastião is reasonably safe. In 2011, the robbery rate was around 1.85%, comparable to cities like Long Beach or San Diego, and three times lower than São Paulo's most popular beach town, Guarujá.

Go next

Routes through São Sebastião

Santos Bertioga  S  N  Caraguatatuba Ubatuba

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.