The main attraction in Praia do Forte is the "Projeto Tamar" turtle sanctuary . The sanctuary has pools where you can see several varieties of turtle and various kinds of fish and is worth a visit. Entry fee is 7 reais. The town of Praia do Forte seems to exist mainly for tourists to buy turtle-themed items but it is an interesting area with a nearby ecological reserve and there are several pousadas and apartments that can be rented for longer periods.
Lighthouse from the beach at Praia do Forte
Praia do Forte is 1.5 - 2 hrs on a bus from Salvador.
You can get the bus from Calçada (near the bottom of the Lacerda lift) or from the rodoviária (bus station). The bus costs 6.5 reais (May 2006).
Salvador's airport is to the northeast of the town, giving easy access to Praia do Forte if you want to by-pass Salvador itself. Car rental is available from several companies. Buses leave from the airport at 10.30 and 14.30 for Praia do Forte.
From where the bus drops you off, you can walk anywhere in town. The path to the beach and to Projeto Tamar is lined with shops and restaurants.
Projeto Tamar is a successful environmental project designed to save the sea turtles in Praia do Forte. The project is located in a protected area of the Atlantic Forest.
A Turtle in a tank at Projeto Tamar
Projeto TAMAR. TAMAR stands for Tartarugas Marinhas (Sea Turtles). The Project is a non-profit organization with its main objective being to protect sea turtles from extinction on the Brazilian coastline. Praia do Forte is one of 22 bases of the project along the Brazilian coast, which have now released close to 10mn turtles into the Atlantic.
Shopping - There are many shops that sell bikinis, t-shirts and other turtle themed souvenirs.
The Beach - The beach is very nice. When the tide is out there are tide pools that are full of sea life. Farther down on the beach, past Projeto Tamar there is a great place for swimming. There are a lot of fish and you don't even need a snorkel and mask to see them. After seeing Projeto Tamar, spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach, swimming in the ocean or exploring the tide pools. It's not uncommon to see a whale surface past the breaking waves.
Sapiranga Ecological Reserve. Atlantic rainforest area just a couple of km from Praia do Forte. Lots of interesting plants and birds, but rather spoilt by the 4-wheeled motorbikes that are the latest invasive species.
Horse riding. Available on the beach and for trips to Sapiranga reserve.
Bicycle hire. Several good trails are available.
Surfing and paragliding.
Many of the hotels and pousadas in this area seem reluctant to quote their rates on their web sites. Use the booking service on the web site to get a quote.
Pousada Solar das Estrelas, Alameda das Estrelas 31, ☎ 36760274, .
Praia do Forte Hostel (Albergue), Rua da Aurora 3, ☎ (71)36761094 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Dormitory R$40: double R$100-140, extra for air conditioning..
Sobrado da Vila, . Good quality pousada in the middle of the village, with 25 rooms. Sun deck with small pool. R$320 a night for a double with breakfast.
Refugio da Vila, . Attractive pousada with excellent decor. 100m from the sea in the village.
Hotel Eco Atlantico, (On the southern edge of the village.), .
Praia do Forte Eco Resort, (500m before you get to the village of Praia do Forte), . Expensive resort but one of the nicest in Brazil. Lots of things to do, many with an ecological orientation. On the beach, lots of space and many nearby walks. Popular with birdwatchers. Excellent club for children up to 11. Vast quantities of food at breakfast and dinner buffets.US$370 for a double inc. breakfast, dinner and most activities. If you have flexibility try negotiating by phone when you arrive in Brazil.