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Camburi and Camburizinho

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São Sebastião, São Paulo's North Shore, Brazil
Camburi and Camburizinho

Camburi, with part of Camburizinho at the bottom of the image.

Photo courtesy of Egom/Beach Hotel Cambury.

Divided by a small peninsula and tucked away at the meeting of the Atlantic Ocean and Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest, Camburi and Camburizinho are part of São Paulo State's North Shore and of the southern beaches of São Sebastião. This part of the coast, dotted with upscale vacation homes and charming pousadas, is also known as Costa dos Alcatrazes.

The beaches located between Baleia and Boiçucanga are delightfully peaceful in the low season and abuzz with beautiful people in the summer and on holidays.

Still quite inospitable in the 1970s, the beaches became easily accessible after construction and improvements to SP-55 (Rio-Santos), the state-managed stretch of BR-101, which runs along the Brazilian coast. Across the road, which Cambury and Camburizinho are both close to and shielded from - the local sertão, or backlands, comprising the areas known as Cacau and Piavu, has attractions of its own: preserved rainforest, waterfalls, streams and a large natural pool ("Poção").

This is a great spot for bodyboarding and surfing; see the Camburi report on Surfline.

Local caiçara life, pressed by real estate speculation and the influx of outsiders, resists near extinction in Camburi and nearby beaches. However, the original culture of the region resists in the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of these lands: the pousada janitor, the stalwart homeowner who held on to the land, the fisherman, the artisan.

Camburi is one of the areas of São Sebastião where locals create handicraft made of caxeta (Tabebuia cassinoides), a tree once widely used in the production of pencils, and nearly extinct, which is now used by locals in the making of colorful handicraft such as miniature canoes, which can be found in souvenir shops.

Where to Stay:

From boutique hotels such as Villa Bebek and family-friendly Beach Hotel Cambury to pousadas in varying prices, there are many places to stay in Camburi.

Where to Eat:

Chef Edinho Engel, a Minas Gerais native, is a trailblazer in fine cuisine in Camburi: his restaurant, Manacá, has been in Camburi for about two decades. (The chef also owns the Amado, in Salvador.)

On a quiet corner of the beach, Ogan serves contemporary food in a beautiful setting with great beach views.

California native Corrin Wilkinson is the chef behind Cantinetta, an attractive mix of emporium, restaurant, and deli known for its cakes and sweets which go really well with coffee by the Santo Grão.

How to Get There:

You can reach Camburi either by taking either the Imigrantes or the Mogi-Bertioga and then SP-55. Litoranea has buses running along the beach to São Sebastião from the Tietê bus station in São Paulo and the drivers will take requests for stops at the Camburi exit. From nearby beaches, you can take the São Sebastião beach bus.

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