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able after a 30- to 60-minute walk. There are no guesthouses in Pouso, you have to find accommodation at a local home, which can usually be arranged on an ask-around basis. I didn't linger here long and instead made the difficult, two-hour uphill trek to the exquisite Martim de Sá, and Seu Maneco's sanctuary. Sixty-year-old Maneco is the eldest son of Roque Caçador, a Caiçara fisherman who settled at the beach in the 1930s. Since then, his family has been living off the land and sea in this little

agreed to take me to the beach of Ponta Negra with his boat. Ponta Negra is a modest beach. There are no waves, so it’s great for swimming, with hills surrounding the sand strip. As with other beaches in Juatinga peninsula, fishermen and their families mostly inhabit it. There is no electricity and the only accommodation available is at the locals' homes. The next day, I was off to Praia do Sono, or "sleepy beach", after a three-hour walk along the shore, passing through two other deserted

There are no bedrooms and no electricity. There is a little store with essentials, but Seu Maneco doesn’t sell alcohol. "Here, we get drunk on nature," he says.

Photos by Taisa Sganzerla

inlet. But due to the restrictions of the ecological reserve, only 10 people are allowed to live there permanently. The rest of Maneco's extensive family lives in nearby beaches and towns. In 2012, Maneco won a court battle that secured his right to remain in the area, putting an end to a decade-old dispute with a prominent family from Rio de Janeiro. Some speculate that the family meant to lease the area for the construction of a resort. In Martim, a few small houses are sprawled amongst the trees, where Maneco lives with his family. Maneco charges $10 for camping on his grounds and for use of the communal bathrooms and open-air kitchen. There are no bedrooms and no electricity. There is a little store with essentials, but Seu Maneco doesn’t sell alcohol. "Here, we get drunk on nature," he says. It was hard to leave Martim de Sá and the company of Maneco's family, but there were other beaches to explore. For $20, one of Maneco's sons

beaches on the way. Earlier in the day, I had been told about Galhetas Waterfall, accessible through a 10-minute detour off the trek. It was a welcome sight after the hot hike in the tropical heat. Locals say there are countless other waterfalls and freshwater pools along the way, though a guide is needed to find most. Praia do Sono is probably the most visited among the beaches in Juatinga, since it's easily accessible from Paraty, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful than the more secluded ones. There are more accommodation and restaurant options here, and, most importantly, electricity. It'll still take some time before electricity arrives to the rest of the peninsula, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from discovering the beauty of Juatinga. But if it were up to Seu Maneco, electricity would never arrive. "Why do I even need electricity?” he says. “To watch television? I prefer watching the birds in my backyard."

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