A Schooner Trip Around the Bay
An excellent way to spend a day here is to take the schooner trip...
Schooners leave from the Terminal Marítimo, on the water behind the Mercado Modelo, at 9 a.m. They cross to the Ilha dos Frades (Monk Island, so called because two monks, according to local legend, were killed by the island's Tupinambá Indians when they went to convert the Indians to Christianity) at the north end of the bay, a voyage of around an hour and a half. There is live samba on board the boat, several guys playing, simple, real, good, and drinks -- water (3 reais for a small bottle), soft drinks, beer (4 reais for a small bottle) -- and snacks are available.
The beach at Ilha dos Frades is lovely, absolutely clean and hassle-free. The barracas (beach cabanas) serve drinks and petiscos (snack food) at reasonable prices. Although picturesque, the island (as so much in Bahia) was involved in the slave trade, serving as a landing point for Africans destined for the sugarcane plantations of the Recôncavo.
After an hour and a half or so the schooner reembarks for the island of Itaparica across the water, a voyage of around half an hour or so, where lunch is served buffet style, all you can eat, good food, in the open air, on the beach, under tiled canopies to protect from the sun.
There is no pier here so a skiff ferries passengers from the schooner to the beach (and back), and the last few meters are waded in (and out).
Departure for return is at 3:30 p.m., with arrival back at the Terminal Marítimo around 5:15 p.m.
Approaching by schooner
The beach at Guadalupe from on high
The beach at Guadalupe
A Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe
Beaches, Villages, Towns, and Etc. Within Range of Salvador
Running up and down the coast, and inland into the heart of Bahia, are a number of beautiful and interesting places. So, I'm going to divide this page into 1), places organized by geographical position with respect to Salvador, and 2), places within the Recôncavo (the fertile, crescent-shaped region surrounding the Baia de Todos os Santos). I'm also including places across the bay.
The buses referred to leave from the Rodoviária (bus station), easily reachable by city bus or taxi. Tickets can be bought at either the Rodoviária itself, or at various and sometimes more convenient in-town agents.
To the North of Salvador
Running north from the Farol (lighthouse) de Itapoan are hundreds of kilometers of wonderful beaches. These beaches are accessible via the Linha Verde (Green Line), a (toll) road (kept in excellent condition) running parallel to the coast, with access roads leading off to the coast itself.
The road runs along dunes of snow-white sand, and the coast itself is an almost unbroken line of coconut palms. The communities along this coast range from primitive fishing villages to sophisticated Praia do Forte.
Buraquinho: Just north of Lauro de Freitas, which is just north of Salvador, Buraquinho is located where the river Joanes flows into the sea. A charming area of beach houses and well-built barracas. There is a seaside beach, and a surf-protected riverside beach (salt water) perfect for kids.
Busca Vida: Just north of Buraquinho. No barracas here, the beach is lined by private homes.
Jauá: Just north of Busca Vida.
Arembepe: The so-called Aldeia dos Hippies (Hippie Village). Bus company Santa Maria - Catuense (450-4004). Ticket price (one-way) is R$4.26, and the journey takes one hour. Buses leave at 5:40 a.m., 8:50 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., seven days a week.
Jacuipe: Next stop north, Jacuipe is a village at the mouth of the Jacuipe River.
Praia do Forte: A fishing village which has become a well-developed resort. On the route of bus company Santa Maria - Catuense. The journey takes one hour and forty minutes. Buses leave at 5:40 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., seven days a week.
Imbassaí: On the route of bus company RD Turismo. The journey takes an hour-and-a-half. Buses leave at 6:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m, and 5:45 p.m., seven days a week. They are comercial, which means no air conditioning.
Diogo: Several kilometers north of Imbassaí. A very small and primitive village, with a pristine beach accessible only via a lovely trek over dunes of snow-white sand.
Service with a smile! On the beach in Diogo!
To the South of Salvador
Morro de São Paulo: Boats to Morro de São Paulo leave from the Terminal Marítimo, the building on the water behind the Mercado Modelo. Tickets can be purchased at the L.R. Turismo window in the lobby.
Another choice is to go by air. Aerostar (3204-1335 or 3377-4406) has flights from the Salvador Airport to a landing strip near Morro de São Paulo's Third Beach. The trip is twenty minutes in duration, with planes leaving daily (including weekends) at 8:00 a.m and 12:30 p.m. Depending on demand, aircraft seating five, nine, or nineteen passengers are used.
Boipeba: A jewel, certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth; exuberant nature -- jungle and beach -- leavened with civilized comforts.
The beach at Boipeba
The beach at Morerê, on the Atlantic side of the island of Boipeba
The back window in the kitchen at Pousada Santa Clara, on Boipeba
On the way out for evening fishing on the bay of Camamú
Looking inland across the peninsula from the lighthouse at Taipus de Fora
The Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon)