Valle de la Utopía, an unspoilt beach retreat near Florianópolis

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Valle de la Utopía, an unspoilt beach retreat near Florianópolis
Source: Embratur
May 09, 2022

Between the beaches of Pinheira and Guarda do Embaú, in the Palhoça region you can visit a destination that offers a unique experience

The capital of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Brazil, due to the combination of beaches (there are 100!) and urban and hotel infrastructure that earned it the nickname "Ilha dos à Magic." Much closer to the favorite island of two Argentines is the "Valley of Utopia", a former hippie village that now welcomes travelers seeking nature in its purest state.

The trip will be brief: 55 kilometers from Floripa by bus (the ticket costs between 33 and 40 reais per person) or by car, along a poorly signposted route, you will arrive at Praia da Pinheira. The trip lasts about 90 minutes and, from there, goodbye to the comforts of a traditional tourist center: no covered garage, no umbrellas, tents or kiosks; There are also no signposted paths to the beach. From the point of arrival, it remains a half-hour walk through beautiful meadows, rocky beds and deserted beaches, to the Utopia Valley.

The reason for the laid-back style is that the site is located in a national park (known in Brazil as the Conservation Area), called Parque Estadual Serra do Tabuleiro (PAEST), the largest in the state of Santa Catarina, created in 1975 with the aim of protecting the region's biodiversity and the freshwater springs that supply the cities of Greater Florianópolis and the south of the state. The Park occupies about 1% of Santa Catarina's territory. 

Between the beaches of Pinheira and Guarda do Embaú, in the region of Palhoça, you can access the valley, a bay that has a mystical reputation for its rugged landscape, semi-deserted beaches and lack of infrastructure for visitors. According to the inhabitants of the region, before being part of a protected area - in the 1960s and 1970s - the place was a magnet for the hippie tribe of the time, and became famous as a cosmic refuge, ideal for meditation. 

Vale da Utopia has the beaches of Prainha and Praia do Maço, transparent and with no buildings in sight. The tour includes trekking through the surrounding hills, cows grazing, birds, colorful butterflies and the sighting of other gems of the coast of Cartarin, such as the islands of Papagaio, Três Irmãs, Moleques do Sul and Ilha dos Corais. 

Prainha, darling of surfers, is accessible with medium complexity, is uninhabited and small, with about 200 meters wide. Maço, smaller, is 50 meters long, with a narrow and very rocky strip of sand. In the landscape, the stone towers built by visitors stand out. The "rock balancing" -says the locals- is a local tradition, a kind of Jenga game with stones, which is part of the meditation routines of the place. 

“We are excited that they will consider it a second home and that even more tourists will come to visit their favorite destinations and discover the unexpected. Here you will find a virgin refuge, connected with nature and enjoying incredible landscapes.” says Silvio Nascimento, president of Embratur. 


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