Costa Verde - Brazil's Rugged Tropical Paradise
The Costa Verde is Brazil's Green Coast and perhaps the most spectacular stretch of coastline in the country. Mountains covered in Atlantic Rainforest drop directly into the sea, with paradise beaches, hidden coves, waterfalls and tropical islands galore.
The scenic route between the two biggest cities in the country, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, has many wonderful escapes and remote corners hidden amongst its rugged peninsulas and islands. Coastal towns such as Ubatuba, Trindade and Paraty bring people from all over the country and the world to enjoy them, while each state has two marvellously rugged islands (Ilha Grande for Rio de Janeiro, and Ilhabela for Sao Paulo) that provide scenic escapes just a few hours from each metropolis.
As well as the scenery, there are plenty of land and ocean activities to keep you occupied. Boat trips, sailling, kayaking, stand-up paddle, snorkelling and scuba diving can all be found at most points along the coast, either for day trips or multi-day expeditions. Ubatuba styles itself as the Brazilian Surf Capital, with good surf on many points of the open ocean from Guaruja through Juquehy and Maresias (where world surf champ Gabriel Medina learnt his trade and tricks) up to the remote beaches of the Laranjeiras Peninsula. The two islands also have good surf on their wild sides. They also have fantastic hiking and tropical trekking, as do the mountains of the continental stretch such as the Laranjeiras Peninsula or Ilha Grande treks. Atlantic Rainforest trails take you to remote beaches and over the headlands between quiet fishing villages or to waterfalls hidden in the jungle, always with the chance to cool off in the water. The peaks of the Costa Verde have fabulous views along the coast on clear days.
Wildlife on the Costa Verde is another reason to visit the area, with Altantic Rainforest Birding especially good quality. The waters of the coast, its bays and secluded islands are visited regularly by whales, dolphins, turtles, penguins (one has even made friends with an Ilha Grande fisherman and returns every year to see him!), rays and much more. Monkeys, porcupines and sloth can be found in the forest, while collared anteaters and even big cats make their home there too, although they are rarely observed.
The Costa Verde has the kind of exotic tropical scenery that makes people want to return!
Suitable Destination For: The Costa Verde really does have something for everyone
Best Time to Visit: The coastline straddles the Tropic of Capricorn, so the Rio side is tropical and slightly warmer during the winter months. Any time of the year can be good to visit, with April to August giving the best chance of clear blue skies, and with less heat than the summer months of December to February. This also makes them the best months for outdoor activities.
Essential Sights & Activities: The Costa Verde is an essential sight as a whole, with Paraty being the finest town, while Ilha Grande and Ilhabela are the best islands to visit; Boat and kayak trips around the rugged coast and islands; Atlantic Rainforest hiking; Remote paradise beaches; Wildlife in the forest and marine life in the waters