- Encounters with locals
- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Water Sports
- Sustainable Tourism
During your trip to Brazil, you'll soon realize that the best beaches are to the north of the country. But even so, the shoreline between the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, known as the Costa Verde, has its fair share of sand and aquatic activities.
Even if São Paulo is not famous for its beaches, Ilha Bela is worth a visit if you find yourself in the area.
However, Rio de Janeiro State has better ones. When I was there, I particularly enjoyed my time at Paraty (and the Trindade Beach) and Ilha Grande, with its breathtaking Lopes Mendes Beach.
You can easily travel from beach to beach along the Costa Verde by bus. At the same time, some of the more isolated ones are difficult to access by public transport, so hiring a car is the best option.
It's difficult not to be impressed by the beauty of the Costa Verde. Its steep roads dropping straight down to the sea and the lushness of the Atlantic Forest, a protected area, make you want to make frequent stops to get the camera out and take photos of the simply breathtaking views. Unfortunately, it isn't easy to stop along the road.
There are two essential places to see in particular when visiting the Costa Verde: Paraty and Ilha Grande. Ilha Grande is a veritable little paradise on earth, offering opportunities for diving and with hundreds of beaches to explore. Lopes Mendes, in particular, is one of the most beautiful beaches I got to see in Brazil. One of the good ways of exploring the island, in my opinion, is to go walking along a few of its hiking trails. As for Paraty, it's a very touristy little town, but a magnificent place all the same. Its historical center has been very well preserved and the colonial houses, with their wrought iron balconies, have been beautifully restored. It's also an excellent place from which to take a boat tour: there are many for you to choose from at port!
You should always bear in mind that traveling a hundred kilometers or so on the BR101 highway between Rio and Santos can involve a journey of more than two hours. So don't spend too long at each place if you want to see and get the most out of all the beauty the region has to offer.