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

Stressless holiday in Jericoacoara, Ceará

Quite often I hear people wondering weather they should spend two weeks holiday in Fortaleza or in Canoa Quebrada or Jericoacoara in stead. I’m sure that as we all have our own style of travelling there are travellers who will be fully **Tyytyväinen** after having spent two weeks in Fortaleza, but to be absolutely honest I do think that if we made a little test the **suurinosa** of the travellers who be happier after having decided to include an another destination in their itinerary.
When we talk about Fortaleza, it’s good to remember that we talk about a huge city with more than XXX inhabitants. It’s the capital of the state of Ceará and also one of the biggest cities in the northeastern coast. So before you a two weeks holiday package in Fortaleza, think twice if you which to spend the holiday of your dreams in a city with crowded beaches, heavy traffic and not too many cultural or historical sights. The size of the city also brings the other side effects, such as crime level and prostitution which often end up surprising the travellers. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be worth stopping in Fortaleza for few days, but once that you have travelled as far as to Brazil makes sure you see the best of Ceará, which can be found just few hours drive away from the state capital.
In a previous blog post we already discussed about the wonders of Canoa Quebrada, so that’s why it’s time to bring up an another wonders destination in the coast of Ceará, Jericoacoara. The access to Jericoacoara is slightly trickier than to Canoa Quebrada, but once you reach this former fisherman village, you will quickly notice that it worth sitting approximately four hours in a car. There are basically two different options to reach Jericoacoara. A private 4×4 transfer from Fortaleza is the most comfortabel way to reach the village. An anothe option is to take a collective minibus until XXXX and then after an alternative open-air transportation with “jardinera” over the dunes.
If you think the transfer time to Jericoacoara or Canoa Quebrada is far too long and tiring  for you choose Cumbuco in stead. It’s located just about 40 minutes drive from Fortaleza and offers a fully different atmospheare.

Quite often I hear people wondering weather they should spend a two weeks holiday in Fortaleza or maybe in smaller places like Canoa Quebrada and Jericoacoara. We all have our way and our style to travel, one loves urban city life, other traveller prefers to escape from it. Therefore I’m positive that there are travellers who are fully satisfield after having spent a two weeks holiday in Fortaleza, but to be absolutely honest I do think that if we made a little test the majority of the travellers would be happier after having decided to combine Fortaleza with some other less urban brazilian destination.

Jericoacoara

Jericoacoara

When we talk about Fortaleza, it’s good to remember that we talk about a huge city with more than 2,5 millions of inhabitants. It’s the capital of the state of Ceará and also the 5th biggest city of the country. So before you bpook a two weeks holiday package in Fortaleza, think twice if you wish to spend the holiday of your dreams in a city with crowded beaches, heavy traffic and not too many cultural or historical sights. The size of the city also brings the other side effects, such as crime level and prostitution which in most of the cases ends up to be a surprise for the travellers. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be worth stopping in Fortaleza for few days, but once that you have travelled as far as to Brazil makes sure you see the best of Ceará, which can be found just few hours drive away from the state capital.

Paradise

Paradise

In our previous blog post we already discussed about the wonders of Canoa Quebrada, so that’s why it’s time to bring up an another wonderful destination in the coast of Ceará. It’s called Jericoacoara, or simply Jeri as locals prefer to call it. The access to Jericoacoara is slightly trickier than to Canoa Quebrada, but once you reach this former fisherman village, you will quickly notice that it worth sitting approximately four hours in a car. There are basically two different ways to reach Jericoacoara. A private 4×4 transfer from Fortaleza is the most comfortable way to reach the village. An another option is to take a collective minibus until Jijoca and then after an alternative open-air transportation “jardinera” over the dunes.

Lagoa Paraiso

Lagoa Paraiso

So as you already may have guessed Jericoacoara is surrounded by dunes and has no real roads nor asphalt. The streets are sandy, and beach buggies or 4×4 cars are basically the only motorized traffic circulating in the village. The charm of Jericoacoara turned it quickly as one of the most popular destinations in the state of Ceará. Nowadays you will find a large number of tourism services, such as pousadas, restaurants and tours, but still the easygoing atmospheare is always present in Jericoacoara. In the village itself the principal attraction is the beach. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the warm waves or the neverending sun in one of the many beach bars. Thanks to the strong winds of Ceará, Jericoacoara is an excellent place to practise both windsurf and kitesurf. It’s number one windsurf destination in Brazil and one of the best spots in the world as well. The beaches of the regions also fit for surfers, being the principal beach suitable for beginners and the beach of Malhada the best option for advanced surfers. For surfing the best period of the year is from December till April, when the waves get bigger and the wind is lighter.

Mangrove

Mangrove

There are a lot of things to do nearby Jericoacoara as well. Just a simple walk away (one hour per way) from the village and you will reache Pedra Furada, an arched rock, that has became a symbol of Jericoacoara. It’s a great place to take wonderful pictures with the sparkling sea or the sunset in the background. The beach buggy excursions to some of the many lagoons located in the middle of the dunes are a popular attraction in Jericoacoara, don’t miss them out. The most popular ones are Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Tatajuba and Lagoa do Paraiso. These fresh water lagoons are perfect places to enjoy a bath and some tasty shrimps or other local specialities in beautiful natural settings…or why don’t you just lay down in one of the over water hammocks available at Lagoa Tatajuba and Lagoa Paraiso. If you have a chance visit all the three lagoon, if not we would advise you to choose our personal favourite Lagoa do Paraiso. It offers nice infrastructure, excellent waters for a bath and amazingly beautiful landscapes mixturing dunes and green vegetation. In addition to the lagoons the buggy excursions often include some other activities like sandboarding in the dunes, visiting a cashew farm or searching for sea horses in a river surrounded by dead mangrove trees.

Sunset Jericoacoara

Sunset Jericoacoara

Just before the sunset, everybody in Jericoacoara heads on the top of the main dune to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the sea. This is something not to be missed. In the evening time you can also watch the capoeiristas practising this traditional fight dance on the beach. The night of Jericoacoara is as relaxed as the day, no need for formal dressing, your flip flops are as useful during the night as during the day. The only difference is that during the night time you will propably find a lot more people on the streets of the village. Days are for the excursions and other activities, but during the night time the streets of the village are lively again. The night of Jericoacoara offers something for each and every taste, and especially during the high season in many places you can listen to live music as well. There is absolutely no hurry to enjoy the night life of Jericoacoara, just like the days the nights are long as well…

If you are still wondering whether you should stay two weeks in Fortaleza or not, we have a third option for you. The longer transfer times to Jericoacoara or to Canoa Quebrada may have scared you out, in this case opt for Cumbuco in stead. This laid back holiday village, that offers a relaxing atmospheare is a located just about 30 minutes drive from Fortaleza. We will discuss more about Cumbuco in our future blog posts…in the meanwhile keep enjoying the brazilian hospitality!

Check out our blog post about Canoa Quebrada.

Our suggested itineraries including Jericoacoara:

Brazil Diversity recommends:

Desert beach, Ceará

Desert beach, Ceará

  • Pousada Masai Mara, Jericoacoara – A tiny, but charminh pousada in the heart of the village just a few steps from the beach.
  • Pousada Wind Jeri, Jericoacoara – Wind Jeri offers hgh standard suites and chalets for those looking for quality accommodation in Jericoacoara.
  • Restaurante Carcará, Jericoacoara – Delicious and well served brazilian meals with friendly service.
  • 0031 Dunelodge, Cumbuco – Pousada 0031 located just a stone throw’s from the heart of Cumbuco is one of the best choices in the area offering good quality apartment for 2-4 persons.
  • Marbello Ariau Hotel, Fortaleza – During your stay at Fortaleza try out something smaller than the huge multifloor hotels. Marbello Ariau is a pousada kind of hotel located at Fortaleza’s most popular beach Praia do Futuro.
  • Restaurante Tia Nair, Fortaleza – Delicious meals and easygoing atmospheare at the beach of Iracema.

Dunes, beaches and much more: Natal and Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte

Genipabú

Genipabú

The pleasant sunny weather and beautiful landscapes of Rio Grande do Norte makes it an ideal destination for a traveller looking for beach life and natural beauty. It’s hard to say which is the main attraction of this the state, is it the National Park of Genipabu, natural swimming pools of Maracajaú, the former fisherman village of Pipa or the distant beaches of Sagi? However there is no need to worry, because unlike many other Brazilian states the distances in the litoral of Rio Grande do Norte are not very long and during your stay you can easily discover all of the main sights participating on tours or moving around with a rental car.

Ponta Negra

Ponta Negra

Once you arrive to Natal as a tourist you will most probably to stay at the Ponta Negra area, which is dominated by the most popular beach of the city. Taking this into account, you better remember that Ponta Negra is located at the urban area of Natal and turns out to be very crowded beach, especially during the weekends. So don’t expect to find a virgin beach with white sand and palm trees. In Ponta Negra there are plenty of kiosks, people selling you everything from a slight snack to souveniers, making it to sound like a market place sometimes. But, don’t get me wrong, for Natal Ponta Negra is like Copacabana for Rio de Janeiro, a kind of living room where Brazilians spend their spare time when they are not travelling out of the town. During your stay in Natal and Ponta Negra, take a walk along the beach boulevard, enjoy the way of life and don’t forget to take a tour to Genipabú. Genipabú is the most important sight of Natal, when it comes to tourism. It’s a huge area of dunes situated in the urban city area. The access is allowed only for authorized buggy drivers who will take you up on the top the dunes, where you can enjoy beautiful views or even take a ride with the camels, like if you were in Sahara. After having visited Genipabú the tour takes you to the lagoons, where you can plunge into refreshing water and enjoy yourself.

Litoral south of Rio Grande do Norte

Litoral south of Rio Grande do Norte

If you travel to north of Natal, the most interesting sights are the natural swimming pools of Maracajaú. The protection of coral reefs keeps this part of the see calm making it a perfect place for snorkeling and under water life observation. On the other hand, if you travel south of Natal you will some reach some interesting places such as the lake of Lagoa de Arituba, a great place for a bath in non salted water, long white sand beach of Camuripim and last but not least Pipa, a former fisherman village, which has turned out to be one of the most popular destinations of the northeastern coast. Pipa, which is located approximately 85 km from Natal is suitable for all ages. It’s as popular among young surfers as among upper class couples willing to spend quality time along the beach. Surfers will find the waves of Praia do Amor irresistible and the beauty makes it worth visiting even though the beach is not good for bath due to the strong waves and tides. Despite of the popularity Pipa has conserved it’s charm and easygoing atmospheare. During the day time the village may seem even a little bit sleepy, because people have spread out in the numerous beaches of the area, but when the sun goes down the shops, bars and restaurants filling the tiny streets of Pipa come alive.

Beach of Sagi

Beach of Sagi

Don’t limit yourself in staying just at the beach in front of the village, in the vicinity there are too many breathtaking views definitely not worth skipping. One of the most beautiful beaches of the area, Praia do Madeiro is located very close to the village of Pipa.  To reach it you have to park your car on the road side and descend the steps located next to hotel Ponta do Madeiro. If you are lucky, here you may even see dolphins, which frequently visit this beach. For a beautiful sunset and a bath in a river, dont’ miss out the the beach of Tibau do Sul, just a short drive from Pipa to north. If you head south of Pipa, the beach of Cunhau is worth visiting. One the way there you will pass by the “falesias”, kind canyons of baked sand in beautiful formations. Once you reach Cunhau the landscapes are flatter and the beauty of the nature is dominated by the rivers meeting the sea. There may not be that many services available, just some bars serving drinks and meals, but that’s what makes it an ideal place to relax and forget the stress of everyday life. At the very southest end of Rio Grande do Norte, you will find Sagi, an another small fisherman village, which still today conserves the simple life. Sagi is a perfect place to enjoy the purity of the nature. Both Sagi and Cunhau can be reached driving down the main road, but taking a day trip along the beach by a beach buggy is definitely a more interesting experience allowing you to enjoy the views and the fresh air along the way.

Our suggested itineraries including Natal and Pipa

Sunset Tibau do Sul

Sunset Tibau do Sul

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Divi Divi, Ponta Negra – A nice and small tourist pousada close to the beach front.
  • Restaurante Camarões, Ponta Negra -Excellent sea food restaurant with plenty of shrimp meals in the menu.
  • Pousada Tartaruga, Pipa – Comfortable tourist class pousada in the heart of Pipa.
  • Villas da Pipa, Pipa – This is  your choice in case you are looking for full privacy. Accommodation in private villas with two suites, particular garden, barbecue and pool for each one. Your home abroad!
  • Pousada Toca da Coruja, Pipa – One of the best accommodation options in Pipa. Pousada Toca da Coruja offers quality, charm and comfort. Excellent choice for example for honeymooners!
  • Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Pipa – Ecological bungalows surrounded by the nature, just a short drive from Pipa to south.
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