By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Some of the most spectacular beaches in Brazil are located along Costa Verde, the coast connecting the states of Rio and São Paulo. Besides its great tourist destinations, like Ilha Grande and Paraty, the Costa Verde offers hidden paradises that many have never heard of.
Empty, clean and gorgeous, beaches like Calhaus, Praia do Sono and Martim de Sá are the perfect bet for the upcoming (Brazilian) summer.
Calhaus is one of the best alternatives for those who want something other than eventful, busy beaches in the vicinities of Paraty.
Different from Pouso do Cajaíba, one of the region’s most famous beaches, Calhaus is a relaxing spot located 2.5 hours away from Paraty by boat, or only forty minutes by motorboat.
It is worth noting that Calhaus has a rustic infrastructure – which is also what makes the place special. What’s more, one must not expect a nightlife in Calhaus: this is literally the place to chill and enjoy nature. In terms of accommodation, a good option is renting a fishers’ house or camping at the beach.
The very experience of a wild, isolated beach can be found at Martim de Sá, the most peaceful corner of Costa Verde. At Martim, one single “caiçara” (descendants of the native indigenous peoples) family is responsible for preserving and running the area.
Apart from its stunning nature and crystalline waters, what makes this beach so peculiar is its rules: due to preservation matters, there cannot be more than ten residents in Martim de Sá. What’s more, the excess of alcohol, drugs and “bad words” is forbidden by Seu Maneco, who lives in Martim for fifty years. Everyday at 3PM, he invites the tourists for a storytelling circle at the beach.
Like Calhaus, Martim de Sá offers very simple infrastructure. Thus, camping is the only option for those who want to sleep over. It is also possible to spend the day at Martim and go back to Paraty by boat.
To get to Martim, one can either take a boat to Pouso do Cajaíba for R$25, and, from there, do a one and a half hour trail; or take the boat straight to Martim de Sá for R$50.
Another great beach nearby Paraty is Praia do Sono. More famous than the above mentioned ones, Sono can get really crowded during the highest seasons, specially in New Year’s. During most part of the year, however, it is a peaceful spot that is definitely worth the visit.
Praia do Sono’s more complete infrastructure pleases both the adventurers and the ones who look for comfort. There, several are the houses available for rent – most of them belong to the local fishers. What’s more, Sono has a good variety of bars and kiosks. In the evening, there are a couple of bands playing forró and samba in some of these venues.
In addition, Sono offers the most complete nature’s experience: besides the beach itself, the area includes some waterfalls and a river, all of them easy to get to. Departing from Praia do Sono’s church, a twenty minute trail takes the visitor to the beautiful natural pools formed by the Jamanta’s stream.
At the end of Praia do Sono, one will find two pleasant surprises: first, the namesake river, a favorite among those who want to take a break from the salted water; following, the trail that leads to Antigos and Antiguinhos, two wild beaches that are worth the walk.
To get to Praia do Sono, one can either take a 50 minute trail from Vila do Oratório (close to the condominium Laranjeiras) or do a ten minute boat trip from Laranjeiras to Sono (prices for the boat trip are negotiated in person).
To get to Paraty from Rio de Janeiro, one must take the Rio-Santos road. Once in Paraty, take the “Condomínio de Laranjeiras” road to get to Laranjeiras.
From São Paulo, take the SP-070 highway and turn to the Tamoios road (SP-099) in São José dos Campos. At the end of SP-099, turn left and take the Rio-Santos road (SP-055, and BR-101 afterwards).