I stayed with my fiance, mother & father in-law, and brother & sister in-law in a townhouse across the street from Praia Mole in mid-November. It was a GREAT location! We were able to spend lots of time at the beach! At first I didn't really know what to expect. As a land-locked Minnesotan, most of the beaches I have been to have been a part of tourist resorts. As a group, we were barely able to put enough Portuguese together to function. Yes, we are THAT family. This beach had amazing amenities that made it awesome though.
First of all, there is parking along the street and in pay lots. If you park a long the street, it is free but there is a man (that looks like a bum) that you may have to give some change to. He will watch your car and guide you as you park. Our friends that live in Floripa said this is customary at all of the beaches and to hand the people some money. Whatever. Maybe we got screwed out of some pocket change. There are several steps down to the beach from the parking areas. It's definitely not wheel chair friendly. Traffic was completely stopped up on Fridays and Sundays. I can't imagine that it is even possible to drive anywhere during the busy season. And forget the buses. They are completely jammed with people and move just as slow. Expect to walk great distances in this area.
When you get to the sandy beach, chairs and umbrellas are available to rent. I think they were about $3. We greatly enjoyed the motorized frozen drink carts! We are not used to the fresh fruit and delicious taste. They also had premium alcohol available. There were 3-4 restaurants, bars/clubs there. We did some dancing at the surf club but patronized the green family restaurant on the other side of the lifeguard stand more. It had a playground and free restrooms behind it. We found the snacks adequate and the non-alcoholic beverages nice and cool. There was a very friendly teenage girl working there that spoke English well.
I can imagine that things get crazy at this beach during peak season. Things were just picking up when we were there. It seemed like a great beach for the young, beautiful 20 somethings. We met lots of people and had a great time drinking and socializing. My mother and father in law did not enjoy themselves as much. :) There were a number of great hiking trails in the area though that kept them occupied. There is a nudist and gay-friendly beach to the north of Praia Mole beyond the rocks. We enjoyed Praia Mole more!
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