Ubatuba Basics

Ubatuba is Brazil’s self-proclaimed surfing capital. This laid-back beach city with a funny name and some of the most spectacular beaches in Brazil gave me the opportunity to live a surfer’s life for a few days. I never actually got out into the water to surf, but I had a great time in a house full of surfers.

I arrived by bus from Paraty. At the Paraty bus station, I found two options – Colitur and São José. Colitur is a public bus with more frequent trips. There are no tickets or assigned seats – you pay an attendant on the bus. The worst part is that you must beat the crowd to try to get a space on the bus. If you have luggage or a backpack, it’s not easy to do. I recommend not taking Colitur because the staff was rude and unresponsive and the bus was overcrowded. It’s cheap, but not worth it. A better option is São José, a coach service with a few departures throughout the day. It isn’t much more expensive than Colitur. I only paid BRA$13 for my ticket. You should also know that there are three bus stations in Ubatuba, depending on arrival/destination city.

I stayed at Green Haven Hostel. It’s about a ten minute drive from town with nothing of interest or food options around it, but it was an amazing place to stay. It’s run by Vini, the owner, and employs a staff of surfers who love to laugh and have fun. As soon as I walked in the door, Vini made me feel more like a guest in his own home than a hostel. It’s located on a decent beach, Praia do Perequê-Açú, but the guys can get you to any of the other nearby beaches (or into town) for a reasonable price. It’s also just a half hour walk from a popular beach, Praia Vermelha do Norte. The hostel is clean and comfortable, offers a free pickup/drop-off at the bus station, and Vini encourages a social atmosphere among the guests.

Green Haven Hostel in Ubatuba, Brazil

Green Haven Hostel

Green Haven Hostel in Ubatuba, Brazil

Green Haven Hostel

We often started each night at the pirate ship bar and ended up at a local place. One night we went to Coronel Cachaça and listened and danced to a live Brazilian country music band. Another night, we closed down Blues on the Rocks, a bar with a live rock band.

Green Haven Hostel in Ubatuba, Brazil

Green Haven Hostel

For food, there is a small market/bakery just a five minute walk from the hostel. Otherwise, I hitched a ride into town a couple nights with Vini to Sem Miséria, an “a kilo” buffet that was dirt cheap and had good food. Another night, everyone ordered in. Some had pizza from São Lourenço. I had Lebanese food from Ki-beirute. Everything was amazing.

Ki-beirute in Ubatuba, Brazil

Ki-beirute

My time in Ubatuba was much different than I had imagined it would be. I thought I would spend a few days alone on the beaches, check out the town and turtle project, and kind of relax. Not only did it turn out more enjoyable than I thought, but I learned a lot about surfing and the surfer lifestyle from a really cool group of people.

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