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

Alter do Chão: Caribbean of the Amazonas, Pará

Beaches of Alter do Chão

Beaches of Alter do Chão

It’s not long time ago that the newspaper La Guardian chose Alter do Chão as the most beautiful Brazilian beach. What makes this choice so particular is the fact of Alter do Chão is in fact located almost 1400 km from the coast. So how can it be that the most beautiful Brazilian beach is located in inlands? Anyone visiting Alter do Chão during the second half of the year can make their own conclusion, but there is not doubt that these river side beaches are incredible and totally comparable with any other beaches when it comes to the beauty. Thanks to the clear waters Tapajós river, this region is often called as the Caribbean of Amazonas. However Alter do Chão is not just a beach destination, in fact it’s raither a destination of eco-tourism, which allows you to combine eco-adventures with relaxing holiday on one of these fabulous beaches.

Rainforest vegetation

Rainforest vegetation

Alter do Chão is a tiny village located in the edge of Tapajós River, approximately 35 km from Santarem. It’s a very popular holiday destination in the region and during the recent years both national and international tourists have found it. Alter do Chão has quite an easy access, at least once you have reached Santarem either by plane or by fluvial access. After having arrived to Santarem, you can either take a transfer organized by your hotel/pousada, or reach Alter do Chão by renting a car. Even though many of the streets are not asphalted, driving in the region is not complicating at all. Once you start planning your holiday in Alter do Chão, there are few points you should pay attention to. If your intention is to enjoy one of those incredible beautiful beaches you have to visit Alter do Chão during the dry season. This means the last six months of the year when the beaches appear. In case you are looking for eco-tourism adventures and different beauties of the nature, other seasons can be considered as well.

Rainforest vegetation

One of the most famous beaches of the area is called Ilha do Amor (Island of love). It’s literally a kind of island with white sand beaches located in front of the village. During the low tide it can be reached on foot, otherwise you will need to take a rowboat accross the river. If possible we would recommend you to enjoy Ilha do Amor during the weekdays, when it’s less crowded. Other popular beaches located in the region are a little further away. Either you have to hire a tour or a car in order to reach them. One of the closest is the beach of Ponta da Pedra, which can be reached also via fluvial access. This naturally beautiful beach is worth visiting and it’s also an excellent for swimming and sunbathing. Other interesting beaches are Pindobal and little bit further away Cajutuba, which is in beauty is totally comparable to Ilha do Amor . The last beach with basic infrastructure is Aramanai. It’s a distant, but very peaceful beach with lovely little guesthouse surrounded by rainforest vegetation and serving also delicious homemade food.

Canal of Jari

Canal of Jari

Visiting the Canal of Jari is one of the eco-tourism adventures organized in the area. This tour takes you to the other side of the Tapajós river, where you will clearly observe how the brownish waters of the Amazon river get mixed with the clear blue waters of Tapajós river. The first stop of this day trip takes you to the beach of Ponta da Pedra, where a lunch can be enjoyed as well. The next stop is on the other side of the river, where the flora and the fauna of the canal can be observed. Please note that crossing the river is not a simple journey. The winds tend to be heavy and you better be prepared to get wet before reaching the final destination. While discovering the Canal of Jari, you will see many different species of birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths, lizards and if you are lucky also the pink dolphins, typical of the Amazonian region. The families living around the Canal of Jari are a beautiful example of living in full harmony with the surrounding nature. Like we have pointed out earlier as well, eco-tourism is not the same as observing animals. When we talk about the wild life, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see some specific species. Searching them and observing the entire eco-system is part of the eco-tourism and each time you visit any of these rural areas you will certainly find something you never even expected. In the region of Alter do Chão, there is also an opportunity for guided visits to the rainforest areas. Please note that simply due to the safety reasons these areas are not recommendable to be discovered on your own, but always a with professional guide who can also provide you a large quantity of information during the tour.

Sloth

Sloth

Culturally the region has also an interesting history. During the rubber fever two important factories were established in the cities of Belterra and Fordlandia. In Belterra the typical North American style houses built in the years of glory can still be seen, but the welfare of the good old days is gone and for example Fordlandia is today basically an abandoned city. As an overall summary visiting the region of Alter do Chão and Santarem is an interesting experience, which allows you, not only to enjoy the nature but also perceive how is the way of life in these rural areas of the Amazon basin.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Hotel BeloAlter, Alter do Chão – This cozy hotel offers excellent quality of accommodation surroundend by large tropical gardens. You can stay in a traditional room or choose an alternative option of staying at ecological “three house” with all the modern facilities. BeloAlter is located short walk or a quick drive away from the heart of the village. This is where the Prince Charles stayed during his visit to Alter do Chão..
  • Pousada Aramanai – A very small and simple, but extremely hospitable pousada with prime located in front of the Aramanai beach. A choice for those who prefer the nature and the tranquility out of modern facilities.
  • Hotel Sandis, Santarem – If for some reason you will stay over night in Santarem Hotel Sandis is a good and centrally located tourist class choice.
Cajutuba

Cajutuba

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