Stretched along the coast of São Paulo state, Ubatuba has gained fame as a favorite surfer destination in Brazil. Its 100-plus beaches welcome all kind of tourists coming to find quieter spots and to escape the chaos of big cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Choosing where to stay can be a difficult task in Ubatuba, but plenty of stylish pousadas (B&Bs) and hotels offer the perfect setting to discover the area. Here are the top 10.
Right in the heart of Ubatuba, Hotel Park Atlântico is perfectly located to enjoy both the city center and the local beach, and is easy to reach even if you’re not traveling by car. There are plenty of things to do nearby, with lha dos Pescadores (Fishermen’s Island), home to acclaimed restaurants O Limoeiro and Croissant do Francês, a particular highlight. The hotel’s first floor has a panoramic terrace offering views over the town’s rooftops, and a small pool for a final dip at the end of the day.
Hotel Recanto das Toninhas is located between the two most beautiful beaches in the entire Costa del Sol: Praia das Toninhas and Praia Grande. With 52 bungalows overlooking the sea or the Atlantic Forest, and facilities including bars, sauna, tennis courts and a kids’ club, the hotel offers the perfect getaway “with your feet in the sand,” as its slogan says. The establishment is part of the renowned hotel club Roteiros de Charme (Routes of Charme), which includes 70 gorgeous hotels and pousadas in Brazil. Hotel Recanto das Toninhas has been a member since 1996. Its seafood restaurant, Pedra Azul, is considered the crown jewel of the hotel and serves both local and international dishes.
Hidden in the forest and only reachable on foot for the last 250 meters (820 feet), this pousada in the northern part of Ubatuba is a place of retreat for nature lovers. Guests here can enjoy some much-needed tranquility, listening to the wind among the palm trees and the sounds of the sea from the nearby Picinguaba Beach. In order to maintain the atmosphere of this retreat, there is no internet, TV or phones in any of the 10 available rooms.
Look out over Ubatuba Bay from your room at Hotel Portofino
Ubatuba’s beachfront near Praia do Itaguá opens to the most spectacular view of the bay, with the hills of the Atlantic Forest rolling down to the sea. Housed in a striking blue-and-white building, Hotel Portofino offers the perfect location, just steps away from the beach, the pier from which boat tours set off in the morning and Ubatuba’s shopping district. The front rooms overlook Ubatuba Bay, with breathtaking views at dawn and sunset. The service includes a Brazilian buffet breakfast and free parking on the premises. Frequent guests swear by the hotel’s attentive staff and affordable prices.
The ocean-blue walls of Pousada Vila Luiza welcome tourists in charming rooms decorated with wooden artworks by local artisans. Guests can enjoy a rich breakfast in the colorful garden on the hotel grounds. But perhaps most enticingly, the hotel is located directly next to an organization that saves turtles. Five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world can be found in Brazil, and Projeto TAMAR is a Brazilian non-profit organization working to protect the animals from extinction along the coasts. Founded in 1980, the project has hatched and subsequently released over eight million baby turtles. It has 22 bases around the country, including the Ubatuba TAMAR site, which educates visitors on how to respect and protect marine wildlife.
Have fun with water sports at Hotel Solar das Águas Cantantes
Just a stone’s throw from Praia do Lázaro and the popular beach grotto known as the ‘Crying Cave’ (due to the water dripping naturally from its walls) lies the Hotel Solar das Águas Cantantes. This is a popular choice for fans of water activities, as the reception offers rental of flippers, masks and snorkels to observe local marine life. With assistance from staff, guests can also organize boat tours to nearby islands and hikes along trekking paths. If all this isn’t to your liking, birdwatching is very popular.
Rua Guarani is the heart of Ubatuba’s shopping scene, with the best beach and surfwear of the season on display. Pousada Don Diego is a pleasant B&B, brightened by local artist Virgílio Melo’s incredible pastel paintings. The entrance is slightly hidden behind ice-cream parlor Pistache Gelateria, which means guests can grab a scoop or two before heading to their rooms. The hotel patio is particularly charming and makes for the perfect place to enjoy your complimentary breakfast.
With its many hotels, bars and restaurants, and 1,600m (1mi) of firm sand that’s ideal for walks and playing sports, Praia da Enseada has a lot to offer visitors. The water here is pool-like calm, perfect for stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing. Hotel Porto di Mare offers beach service to all its guests, which includes deckchair and parasol reservations. It also has a bar on the beach, as well as numerous options for boat tours to nearby beaches. All of its rooms have a rustic decor, and some have a small balcony with mountain or sea views.
Family-run Pousada Nai’a takes its name from the Hawaiian word for dolphin, in honor of the toninha (harbor porpoise) that often visit the coasts of Praia das Toninhas. Created by a couple in love with surf and nature, it offers rooms for up to four people and small apartments ideal for families or small groups. Expect to fall in love with the ceramics, decorations and furniture that have all been created locally or restored by the owners and artisans and can be taken home for a price.
Along the south coast of Ubatuba, Praia Maranduba is one of the most popular beaches in the area – perfect for lovers of nature, trekking and waterfalls. Just off the beach, floating platform Tobocean entertains and thrills with its water slides. The nearby Castle of the Heralds of the Gospel, a well-known Catholic association in Brazil, is worth a visit for its splendidly decorated church and the expansive view from the top of the hill overlooking Ubatuba and the surrounding beaches. Casa Caçandoca has direct access to the beach and an infinity pool offering incredible views of the sea.