Caraguatatuba is a vibrant coastal city surrounded by sandy beaches and turquoise bays. Known locally as “Caraguá”, the city is a mecca for São Paulo sunseekers. Holidaymakers flock to bask on the gold-sand beaches, swim in the Atlantic Ocean and sip cocktails at waterfront bars.
Things to do in Caraguatatuba
Swim, sunbathe and play volleyball on Cocanha Beach. This golden arc of sand wraps around a bay and is dotted with palm trees and beach bars. From the sand, you’ll get uninterrupted views of the islets just offshore. Rent a kayak and paddle around the bay or take a spin on a banana boat. Cool off with a caipirinha, a refreshing Brazilian cocktail made with “cachaça” sugarcane liquor, lime and sugar. You’ll also be tempted by snacks like grilled “tainha” fish and shrimp.
Cafes, bars and restaurants line Praia Martim de Sá, a built-up beach dotted with colourful sun lounges and beach umbrellas. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Caraguatatuba and features glassy water that’s perfect for swimming.
Beautiful historic buildings frame Dr. Candido Motta Square. Walking around the city centre, you’ll also see gems like the 17th-century Church of St. Anthony. The city is brimming with restaurants where you can try São Paulo dishes like “virado” beans served with pork, sausage, kale and fried plantains.
Drive or hike up Santo Antônio Hill for sweeping views over the sandy beaches and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. Watch local hang gliders and paragliders fling themselves off the flight deck and soar down to the landing area.
Getting around Caraguatatuba
Parts of Caraguatatuba are easy to get around on foot. For longer distances, it’s best to take a taxi. The city is in the state of São Paulo, a three-hour drive from the São Paulo city centre and 2.5 hours from São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport. Buses run between São Paulo and Caraguatatuba in three hours.