Right on the Tropic of Capricorn on the Brazilian coast, Ubatuba is a glorious stretch of white sand, turquoise seas and lush rainforest. There are more than 100 beaches in this region, which is known for being a fantastic surfing spot for all experience levels. The verdant Serra do Mar mountain range rises up behind the town, giving your skyline photos a dramatic backdrop. Whether you come for the waves, the forest trekking or beach-hopping, remember to pack a mac as the tropical climate means there's a chance of rainfall.
Many hostels in Ubatuba have swimming pools for cooling off when the tropical heat is at its peak. Lots of them put on free breakfasts too. If you're looking for a party, you can choose an Ubatuba hostel with an on-site bar and regular barbecue events. For a more tranquil escape, stay in a sustainable eco hostel and chill out with friendly conversation, or browse the beach equipment for rent.
The town centre of Ubatuba is a bustling spot with a vibrant bar and restaurant scene thanks to its outgoing locals. This area has easy access to the beaches, forests and diving locations up and down the coast. Maranduba Beach, for example, is ideal for swimming, has island views and is lined with bars and restaurants. For a more low-key atmosphere, you can make a day trip to Ilha das Couves island by boat to experience abundant marine life and well-preserved habitats.
It really is all about the beaches in Ubatuba. The waves at Prumirim make it a great surfing beach for all, while Tenório Beach is for those more experienced with a board. For a real adventure, make the short but steep hike to Cedro beach through the Cedar woods. You'll be rewarded with seas calm enough for paddling, soft sands and a beach bar. On land, you can trek through the thick jungle of the Serra do Mar State Park, relax in one of the region's lively bars or try a local seafood restaurant for a taste of just-caught fish.
If you're flying in internationally, the closest airport is São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport. From there, you can either take a bus to São Paulo's Tietê Bus Terminal, then another bus to Ubatuba, or rent a car to make the 225km drive. It'll take at least three hours or more. In Ubatuba, a rental car (or van if you're lugging a surfboard between beaches) is a good bet, or you can catch the VerdeBus between local spots.