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Charming villages, beaches cut by rivulets, wind-blown coconut trees. The beauty of the stretch of coast between Salvador and the border with Sergipe is irresistible.

The area is easily accessible on the well-maintained BA-099 state highway, which runs for 230 kilometers (143 miles) along the coast. The first 84 kilometers (52 miles) of the BA-099 are known as the Estrada do Coco (Coconut Highway).

Past Praia do Forte the next 146 kilometers (91 miles) of highway is known as the Linha Verde (Green Line) in recognition of its environmentally-friendly construction.

Many Salvador residents have summer homes in the area, which includes the townships of Mata de São João, Camaҫari (an important petrochemical center), and Conde. Although the north coast is a relatively short drive from the capital, making day trips possible, the natural scenery makes a longer stay worthwhile.

 

North Cost of Bahia

North Cost of Bahia

Map of Bahia North Coast

Map of Coconut Coast Bahia

Videos and information about Coconut Coast Bahia

ESTRADA DO COCO

AREMBEPE

In the 1970s Arembepe was a favorite haunt of Raul Seixas, Janis Joplin, and hordes of young people. Today it still serves as an alternative to more conventional tourist destinations.

The village clings to it~ hippie roots amid dunes, sandbars, and natural pools, only a short walk from the sea. Buildings today are brick but their roofs are still thatched and a community of approximately fifty still lives without electricity or running water.

In the town center locals sell crafts in the market. Projeto Tamar is based in Arembepe and allows visitors to observe the work being done to protect marine turtles for free and without too many other tourists around (a similar opportunity is available in neighboring Praia do Forte, but it is not free). There are two nice beaches near Arembepe: Barra do Jacuípe, which is an ideal destination for water sports, and Itacimirim, where the Pojuca River enters the sea.

Arembepe is 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Salvador.

PRAIA DO FORTE

A base for exploration of Bahia’s north coast, the town of Praia do Forte, 91 kilometers (57 miles) from Salvador maintains fishing village traditions side-by-side with the sophistica ted craft and clothing stores that have sprung up to cater to tourists. Neither cars nor apartment buildings are allowed in the town center.

The bars and restaurants create a lively atmosphere, particularly on weekends. The Praia do Forte EcoResort is a favorite among watersports enthusiasts, particularly windsurfers.

The resort’s 14 kilo meters (9 miles) of clear coastal waters also attract snorkelers. Praia do Forte is nationally known as the headquarters for Brazil’s largest sea turtle protection program, Projeto Tamar.

The project has been working to protect turtles along 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) of Brazilian coastline since 1980. The headquarters complex includes a visitors center where tourists can view turtles and incubating eggs, watch an educational video, browse the gift store, and relax in the bar and restaurant.

Between December and February, the Tamar team organizes night trips to observe turtles laying eggs in the sand (Avenida Farol Garcia d`Avila, Praia do Forte).

Another popular activity in Praia do Forte is whale-watching. Trips supervised by biologists from the Instituto Baleia Jubarte (Humpback Whale Institute) are available July through October.

The trips can be arranged by Centrotur. Part of the proceeds from these trips benefit the Institute, which runs a research base, visitors center, and souvenir shop in Praia do Forte.

The Reserva de Preservaҫão Arnbiental Sapiranga (Estrada do Coco, km 52, Praia do Forte) , an environmental organization run by the Fundaҫão Garcia d’Avila Foundation , maintains a variety of trails for hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders. Some routes are accessible to jeeps and quadricycles, both of which can be rented here. It is also possible to swim in the rapids of the Pojuca River, surrounded by Atlantic forest.

Observing local wildlife, including the marmoset, the three-toed sloth, and the blue-fronted Amazon parrot, is much more interesting when accompanied by guides from the community. Local agencies provide hotels in the area with lists of available guides.

In addition to ecological excursions, it is interesting to visit the old Castelo Garcia d’Avila , also known as Casa do Torre, the “ towered house“ (Rua do Castelo, accessed by 2.5 km of the dirt road.

What remains of the castle has been beautifully restored and rises majestically from the top of a small hill at the end of a steep but fairly obvious dirt path. The castle, built between 1551 and 1564, is one of the earliest stone buildings in Brazil and is the only Portuguese building in the country with the characteristics of a medieval military fortress.

It served as the residence of royal dignitary Garcia d’Avila and his descendents for ten generations and used to be the heart of a sizeable sesmaria (a tract of land awarded by the Portuguese Crown).

The medieval atmosphere inside the castle is palpable thanks to poor lighting and the thick stone walls. A three- year effort restored the castle’s lovely chapel to its present state, which is thought to look very much as it did 1551. There is a small archaeological museum in the castle that di splays colonial objects found during excavations.

LINHA VERDE

IMBASSAI

Imbassai, 75 kilometers (47 miles) north of Salvador, is a small village with dirt roads and charming accommodation s. A local highlight is adjacent Imbassai beach. The Barroso River meets the sea here, and vacationers congregate at this point to enjoy both fresh and salt water and sit on kiosk chairs.

The beach is accessed by bridges that span the river. Tourists staying in Imbassai can also visit the Cachoeira de Dona Zilda waterfall or take a boat trip on the river; hotels will provide interested guests with logistical details.

Neighboring Praia de Santo Antonio beach is a 5-kilometer (3-mile) hike along the shore (anyone approaching from Costa do Sauipe to the south walks only half this distance). The easiest way to reach the beach, however, is by the paved road that leads to the village of Vila do Diogo, just 1 km from the beach.

COSTA DO SAUÍPE

The largest tourist complex in the Northeast is on Praia do Porto Sauípe, a beach 105 kilometers (65 miles) north from Salvador. It is comprised of five large hotels and six mid-sized guesthouses. Leisure options are numerous and include horseback riding, a golf course, tennis courts, and a water sports center.

The pools and private beach can be used by non-guests, if they pay a day-use fee. The beach, however, is very stony and leaves much to be desired: the dunes of nearby Imbassaí and Santo Antonio are more attractive.

MASSARANDUPIÓ

Protected by dunes and coconut groves, Massarandupió, 123 kilometers (76 miles) fi’om Salvador, is one of the many nudist beach in Bahia.

To access the beach, drivers must navigate a pothole-ridden 10-kilometer (6-mile) dirt road near Porto Sauípe that marks the beginning of the coastline highway called the Linha Verde. Men are not allowed without a female companion.

SITIO DO CONDE

Sitio do Conde is a major tourist area north of Costa do Sauípe, nearly 202 kilometers (126 miles) from Salvador.

Visitors will find themselves with no shortage of accommodations and restaurants to choose from two rivers, the Itariri and the Itapicuru, define the limits of the most pleasant stretches of Sitio do Conde’s tranquil beaches.

In Barra do Itariri, 13 kilometers (8 miles) to the south, visitors are forced to make a “ difficult“ choice between swimming in fresh water in the river, or in salt water, in the sea, a dilemma that also confronts visitors to the north of Barra do Itariri among the dunes of Barra do Itapicuru.

Near the fishing village of Siribinha, 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of Sitio do Conde, thrill seekers slide down the 30-meters (100-foot) Cavalo Ruҫo dune into the Piranji River.

MANGUE SECO

On the banks of the Rio Real, the river that separates the states of Bahia and Sergipe, the northernmost beach of the Linha Verde highway lies hidden 77 kilometers (48 miles) north of Sitio do Conde and 246 kilometers (153 miles) north of Salvador.

Between the river and the sea dunes stretch up to 30 meters (100 feet) toward the sky. To best enjoy Mangue Seco’s peace and tranquility, take SE-318 highway to Pontal, which is over the state border in Sergipe, and then rent a boat there for a 15 minute ride in the direction of the sea.

Visitors can also rent a buggy in Mangue Seco and use it to explore the mouth of the Rio Real, the village of Coqueiro, and Costa Azul beach.

Brazil Travel Guide – Coconut Coast travel Guide and tourism information such as accommodation, festivals, transport, maps, activities and attractions in Bahia, Brazil

 
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