Félix Beach, Ubatuba.

Ubatuba is a municipality in the northern coast of São Paulo state, just in the border with the Rio de Janeiro state. Ubatuba is a true paradisiac area, being predominantly covered by exuberant Atlantic rainforest and containing more than 80 non-contiguous beaches distributed along 100 km of coast. You may find some of them completely deserted, especially on low season.


High vs. low season

Ubatuba is devoted to tourism, but the fact that it is relatively far from both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (despite being almost exactly between them) makes it far more a "vacation/holiday" destination than a "weekend destination".

For that reason, during summer vacation (jan-feb) and holidays, the city and the more central beaches will be packed, and congestion in the Rio-Santos road may frequently occur. However, during the rest of the year, especially during weekdays, the city will be almost empty, and some beaches far from the city center may even be completely deserted.

The low season is thus great if you want tranquility, but in the other hand, the city center will be far less vivid, and it may be very difficult to find something to eat or drink outside it. Many shops, kiosks and restaurants close during low season.


Ubatuba is humorously referred by Paulistas as "Ubachuva" (chuva means rain in Portuguese) due to the good chance of raining when they get there. In reality, this reputation is likely due to the city being most visited between December and March (the summer), which coincides with the rainy season. Winter months (between June and August) have little rain, but the average temperature goes below 20°C. However, there is usually plenty of sunshine hours year-round.

Tourist information

Get in

By bus

Buses stop en-route between Rio de Janeiro and Santos. From São Paulo, you can take an intercity bus at Terminal Tietê. From the International Airport (GRU) at São Paulo City there is a bus line from Expresso Rodoviário Litoranea. They come to Caraguatatuba, which is a neighboring city, about 43 km from Ubatuba. There are only four departures from the airport to Caraguá: 7AM, 11AM, 4:30PM, and 8PM. From the airport to Caraguá it takes about 3 hours by bus. The bus ticket is about R$35 per person.

By car

By car, from São Paulo or São José dos Campos, you may take either Tamoios (SP-099) and after Rio-Santos (BR-101) or Osvaldo Cruz (SP-099). Journey from São Paulo to the city center of Ubatuba should take about 3 hours in good traffic conditions.

Get around

By car

Ubatuba has about 100 km of coast, so if you plan to check out the beaches far from the city center, a car is highly recommended. You can rent a car in the city if you are not up to driving 3 hours from São Paulo (which can become much more in holidays). If you are going to Ubatuba in low season, and you are not staying in the city center, a car is also a good idea, since you may find out that where you are staying there is no place to go out to eat, sometimes not even a supermarket.

By bus

Public transport is administrated by Verdebus. There are some buses that go to more remote beaches, but they are not very frequent and they may stop not at the beach itself but rather at a nearby village. Be sure to check these things in advance.

By bicycle

Amogn locals, bicycles are a very popular means of transport. However, the beaches of Ubatuba are not contiguous, requiring a cyclist to ride in the sides of the Rio-Santos road to move between them, which is not particularly safe, despite being done by locals. Also, Ubatuba is quite hilly!

Cycling in the city center of Ubatuba, however, is much easier. The area is flat and there is a fair amount of cycleways.


Prumirim waterfall.


Ubatumirim beach.

Ubatuba is simply one of the best places in Brazil to practice surf, nautical sports, diving and birdwatching. With 80 beaches, there are beach options for all kinds of audiences – from the high waves of Itamambuca to the calms waters of Lázaro. Uninhabited beaches such as Brava, Almada and Cedro draw one’s attention, and the access to them is made through tracks. For those looking for movement, the best option is “Grande” Beach or the schooner rides to Anchieta Island.



Many tourist-oriented shops are located at Rua Guarani and the north part of R. Leovegildo Dias de Oliveira, in front of the Itaguá beach. The area becomes quite crowded during evenings on high season and holidays, and contains shops, restaurants, bars and kioks in the beach front.

The "actual" commercial center of the city is Av. Thomás Galhardo, where you can find more general products and services. The area is currently under revitalization, to make it a popular spot among both local and tourists.


Specialties in Ubatuba include locally-harvested mussels and peixe azul marinho, blue marine fish served and pirão de banana verda, a dish made with manioc flour and green bananas.



Stay safe

Ubatuba is generally a safe place. There is no place to be really avoided during the day, at least not a place that a visitor has reason to go. Walking during the night is generally fine, but consider driving or taking a cab if the place where you want to go is more than a few blocks away. During high season and holidays, R. Guarani and R. Leogevildo Dias de Oliveiro are pretty safe during the evening, since there will be many people there.

Stay healthy

As you may expect from a rainforest area, mosquitos will be a serious nuisance in most places. Using a good repellent in all but the most urban beaches is advised.

Go next

Routes through Ubatuba

Santos Caraguatatuba  S  N  Paraty Angra dos Reis

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, August 25, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.