Active beach holiday in Itacaré

Itacaré

Itacaré

Itacaré is an extremely popular beach destination located in southern Bahia. It was just an another tiny fisherman village, which due to tourism transformed itself to a small village with large number of restaurants, hotels, pousadas, shops and other facilities. Itacaré is located roughly 70 km north of Ilheus, the principal gateway to the attractions of the famous Cacao Coast. The closest airport is also located in Ilheus and a transfer from the city can easily be arranged, either on before hand or upon arrival.

Hiking the paths of Itacaré

Hiking the paths of Itacaré

Itacaré is a destination for an active holiday maker. It offers a large number of eco-tourism adventures out of which the most popular activities are surfing, hiking, raftig, rappeling and tree top walking. In the region of Itacaré the eco-activities are usually combined to the beaches and the most popular excursion is a hike that through the Atlantic rainforest vegetation takes you to the beaches of Jeribucaçu, Engenhoca and Havaizinho allowing you to visit the waterfall of Engenhoca as well. A light leisure walk to the beach of Prainha can easily be done either on your own or accompanied by a tour guide. By planning it in before hand you can also try out tree top walking before reaching the beach. If you are a surfer Itacaré is a paradise for you. Most of the beaches have raither strong waves, being Tiririca the most popular one when it comes to surfing.

Itacarezinho

Itacarezinho

For those who just want to relax and prefer a quality resort with top amenities, we recommend staying at Txai Resort located at the beach of Itacarezinho. It’s a long white sand beach with limited infrastructure and guaranteed rest. Even if you didn’t stay at Txai we do recommend you to visit Itacarezinho, which is located about 15 km of distance from the village. This beach is ideal for both long walk (3,5km) and a refreshing bath in the sea. It’s just a perfect escape from the raither growded and touristic beaches of Itacaré.

Prainha

Prainha

A full day excursion from Itacaré to Taipú de Fora and Barra Grande is also offered by the travel agencies. To be honest I don’t think it’s worth it or better say the peninsula of Maraú, where these two villages are located, is worth much more than just a quick one day visit. If possible, forget about the excursion and combine Itacaré with Barra Grande and Taipú de Fora by staying at least 3 nights in this lovely peninsula. I’m absolutely positive that you will not regret it!

Itacaré

Itacaré

When the night falls, Rua Pituba,  the main street of Itacaré is filled with both locals and tourists. There are a large number of restaurants for all tastes and budgets, choose the one the most fits for your needs and enjoy the relaxed atmospheare of this lively village. After having had your dinner it’s time to enjoy some local rhythms. The night of Itacaré starts late and goes on until the first rays of sun rise from the horizon and it’s time to start an another day full of activities.

Area view

Area view

Then, what  do I sincerely think about Itacaré? If you are looking for night life, activities, water sports and eco-tourism, then yes Itacaré is your place. But in case you prefer pristine beaches, hideaway bays and full relaxation consider spending most of your time for example in Barra Grande or Taipú de Fora and just extend your stay to Itacaré before leaving southern Bahia.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Maria Farinha – A good tourist class pousada with prime location, just a step of away from the main street and the beach of Concha. Very clean and well kept property.
  • Pousada Bambu – An another recommended pousada with excellent location and good value for money.
  • Txai Resort – For those who want to rest and relax, a luxurius Txai Beach Resort facing the untouched beach of Itacarezinho is the number one choice.
  • O Restaurante – An excellent restaurant serving typical Bahia meals. Highly recommended.
  • Restaurante Tia Deth – A very simple, but terribly traditional restaurant serving tipical home made dishes. Don’t miss it!
  • Mar e Mel – In case you want to have a drink or enjoy a light dinner while listening to local rhythms choose Mar e Mel as your destination.
Ribeira beach

Ribeira beach

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Chapada dos Guimarães: Hiking the highlands of Mato Grosso

Chapada dos Guimarães

Chapada dos Guimarães

Chapada dos Guimarães is located roughly 100 km northeast of Cuiabá, the state capital of Mato Grosso. These highlands of Brazil invite you to hike in the endless landscapes and bath under refreshing waterfalls. Once you reach Cuiabá the easiest way to reach Chapada dos Guimarães is by renting a car or contracting a private transfer. The road is in pretty good conditions and a second lane is currently under construction, making it pretty easy to reach the city of Chapada dos Guimarães. The city itself is pretty small, though the area of the National Park is raither extend and has several attractions, including waterfalls, caves, canyons, rivers and lagoons.

When planning a trip try to avoid  the first few months of the year, when the rainstorms tend to be heavier. Due to the location up in the highlands the winters (June-August) tend to be colder and the night time temperature may dropp close to zero degrees, something that may prevent you from enjoying a bath under the waterfalls. Therefore some of the very best moments to visit Chapada dos Guimarães are the months of May, September, October and November.

Veú de Noiva Waterfall

Veú de Noiva Waterfall

Get accommodated in the heart of the village and fill your days with excursions. One of the principal tours takes you to the numerous waterfalls of the national park, allowing you to have a refreshing bath under them. This full day excursion will also introduce you to the endless landscapes and rich vegetation of Chapada dos Guimarães National Park.  The tour includes also a visit to Veú de Noiva, the highest waterfall of the region with a breathtaking viewpoint next to it. Another interesting day trip takes you to the valley of Rio Claro surrounded by huge canyon walls. You will have a chance to admire the green landscapes of the valley, bath in the Rio Claro river and observe the sign language of indigenous tribes in the rocks.

Rio Claro Valley

Rio Claro Valley

Beside of these two principal tours organized in the national park, you will find a number of other attractions such as the waterfall of Martinha, located about 40km outside of the city. This waterfall is a popular bathing place among the locals, especially during the weekends. On your way back to town stop at the viewpoint and admire a spectacular sunset from the top of it. Chapada dos Guimarães is also a popular destination for adventure tourism. If you are into trekking, challenge yourself with the trail of São Jerónimo. Wonderful views from the top of it (836m) make it worth hiking. In Chapada dos Guimarães you will also have a chance to practise rappeling under a waterfall or light hiking for example in so called dinosaurus valley known for its’ strange rock formations.

Andorinha waterfall

Andorinha waterfall

At the moment there are few attractions that are closed due to either political reasons or lack of security. Among them are some of the principal sights of Chapada dos Guimarães like Cidade de Pedra (city of the rocks), the canyon of Paredão do Eco, cave of Aroe Jari and the Blue Lagoon (Lagoa Azul). When you travel to Chapada dos Guimarães check out the latest updates conserning these sights and set up of visit if possible, as the views from both Paredão do Eco and Cidade de Pedra are one in kind, while the cave and the lagoon are also certainly worth visiting.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Villa Guimarães – An outstanding tourist class pousada in the heart of the city. Spacious rooms, excellent buffet breakfast and hospitable owners. Great value for money!
  • Pousada Solar do Ingles – A lovely pousada surrounded by tropical gardens and decorated with the traditional English style. A great choice for a traveller looking for cozy, but stylish accommodation with number of details.
  • Restaurant Peixaria do Nelsinho – A fish restaurant with long traditions, remember to taste the smoked fish, the speciality of the house.
  • Restaurant Som da Oca – A simple restaurant in the city center with tasty food  and great value for money.
  • Restaurant Bistrô da Mata – A sophisticated restaurant in the middle of the nature with great views. An excellent place to enjoy both the atmospheare and the dinner.
Paredão do Eco

Paredão do Eco

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