While we were travelling in Brazil, we went up to the North Coast of Sao Paulo and stayed a few days in Riviera de Sao Lourenco. We loved it and didn’t want to leave it, the place was deserted, everything was within walking distance and the condo provided the chairs and umbrellas every day.
BUT, we heard from a friend that we should visit nearby Juquehy and a beach bar called Chapeu de Sol (Sun Hat), so we hit the road for a little exploring.
It was a little bit further than we had imagined, about an hour from Riviera by car, partly due because of the road bumps and narrow, village streets, but was totally worth it. Riviera is a planned resort community with hundreds of condos and houses and everything is well thought out, but it lacks the local flavor. Most people go to Riviera to escape the stress of living in a big city. They live in Sao Paulo and vacation at the beach on the weekends or during the summer.
Juquehy was different. Although it also relies on tourism, it also had year-round residents and several businesses, art galleries, B&Bs, restaurants and a few surfers.
One thing to note in Brazil is that you usually don’t need to carry your chairs and umbrella, beach bars will usually supply those, but it requires a minimum consumption”fee”. The cooler the place, the higher you will have to spend. The beach is an all day event, so given that you may be there for 4-6 hours or longer and have lunch and a few drinks, the minimum comsumption fee will be well spent and easy to achieve. For this place it was R$50 per person, or about 5 beers. It’s expensive, but if you are travelling to Sao Paulo, this will seem pretty normal. Sao Paulo boasts a high cost of living, even higher than Europe and New York City.
One main reason to go off-season is to have the beach all to yourself.
Now, all this privacy also gives some people some pretty kinky ideas. While walking on the beach, a couple doing the dirty was spotted by the edge of the water doing it in broad day light… And you would think they would have stopped and been embarrassed…Nope. They didn’t miss a beat!
Sometimes, these things make for the best travel stories…