North of Cape Frio the Coast Range is much broken and less elevated, while the Serra do Espinhaco takes a more inland course and is separated from the coast by great gently-sloping, semi-barren terraces.
From the Sao Francisco to Cape Frio there are many short rivers rising on the slopes of the plateau and crossing the narrow coastal plain to the sea.
South of Cape Frio there are no large rivers along the coast because of the proximity of the Serra do Mar - the coastal plain being very narrow and in places disappearing altogether.
The sea-coast, bays and tide-water rivers are still fringed with mangrove, and on the sandy shores above Cape Frio grow large numbers of the exotic cocoa-nut palm.
There remains only the elevated valley of the Parahyba do Sul, lying between the so-called Serra das Vertentes of southern Minas Geraes and the Serra do Mar, and extending from the Serra da Bocaina, near the city of Sao Paulo, eastward to Cape Frio and the coastal plain north of that point.