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Itacaré

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Cocoa Coast : Itacaré
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Itacaré is in Bahia, in Northeast Brazil. It is an up-and-coming vacation spot with amazing beaches, surf, capoeira and plenty of culture.

Get in[edit]

By Plane

For most international tourists the entry to Brazil will be through São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Salvador international airports. There are daily flights operated from domestic airlines TAM and BRA to Ilhéus which is the closest airport to Itacaré.

By Bus

From Ilheus (which has an airport) take a bus north - the ride takes less than two hours. From Salvador, you can take a ferry from Sao Joaquin to Bom Despacho (50 min, 4 Reais) and then a bus to Itacaré. Cidade Sol has almost hourly departures but only two times with aircon. This company also seems to make many local stops along the way taking about 5.5 hours. Aguia Branca takes 5 hours but only has two departures per day, both with aircon, at 9 am and 2 pm. As of March 2013, both companies charge roughly 37 Reais. The bus station is directly behind the ferry port in Bom Despacho, just follow the crowd. There is also a bus that goes directly from Salvador to Itacaré, but it takes a lot longer than the ferry-bus combination (as it goes all around the bay of Salvador), is more expensive and only goes once or twice a week. Upon arrival to Itacaré, make a right out of the bus station and its a very short walk to the tourist area.

Get around[edit]

Walking and biking are the most common ways to get around Itacaré. Taxis and mototaxis are also options. Most tours and attractions outside of town offer transportation. If you need to get to some of the further away beaches like Engenhoca or Jeribucaçu, you'll need to head to the Rodoviária/Bus Station, a big green building located one block east of the main drag downtown, near Smart supermarket.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Emporio Mel do Sol, Rua Lodônio Almeida, 168. Located on the Passarela, this health food store sells a wide range of products, by weight, for great prices. If you are looking for an ingredient or spice and are having trouble finding it, this is the place to look.
  • Feira Livre, located at the end of Rua do Campo in centro. If you're having trouble ask "onde tá a feira?", everyone knows it. A very cheap fruit and vegetable market every Saturday from sunrise until around 11AM. Full of vendors from around the region, it is the best option in town for produce (much higher quality and lower prices than the supermarkets). You can always find a fruit or vegetable you've never seen before, and most vendors are happy to let you try.

See[edit][add listing]

Capoeira[edit]

  • Luanda, Filhos de Zumbi and Tribo do Porto are three capoeira groups in Itacaré. You don't want to miss their shows. Their training sessions are open to visitors.

Beaches[edit]

  • Praia Concha, Not the best beach in town but it is the closest. Located north of downtown, or at the east end of the orla, it is the calmest ocean beach. It stretches from Ponto do Xaréu to the lighthouse, and is generally packed with tourists and umbrella shaded beach chairs. The water is considered by many to be dirty, as it is an outlet for a local river which is the recipient of untreated wastewater from local neighborhoods. Most people who go here do so for the proximity, or for the small, tranquil waves, and lack of current.
  • Praia do Resende, The first of four small beaches along the road leading out of Pituba, Resende (pronounced heh-SEN-jee) is a great little beach with moderate waves and squeaky sand. There is also a large grassy area with shade. You'll often find people slacklining there, and yoga classes are offered daily at 4PM, no mat needed. There are two small shacks that sell tapioca, açaí, and coconuts. To get there just follow the one road leading east out of Pituba.
  • Praia da Tiririca, The next beach after Resende, Tiririca is a great local surf spot that attracts crowds. As a result, there is more infrastructure and a few guesthouses and restaurants, along with the beach chairs and umbrellas that follow. Tiririca is accessible by road, or by an easy 5 minute hike over the rocks from Resende.
  • Praia da Costa, The third stop along the beach road, Costa is a white sand beach with lots of coconut trees and very little infrastructure as it is known for dangerous currents. It is a great place to relax, but be careful if you swim. Only enter if you are a strong swimmer, and stick to the middle. Costa is accessible by road, or as a 10 minute, lightly strenuous hike over the rocks from Tiririca.
  • Praia da Ribeira, The final beach accessible via the beach road, and the start of the "prainha" hike, Ribeira starts out filled with umbrellas and tables, but opens into a deep and beautiful beach with moderate waves and current. Get here early on the weekends to secure a place in the shade. Food and drinks are available.
  • Prainha, The most famous and highly rated beach in Itacaré, prainha is accessible either by boat, or a 45-60 min hike through Atlantic rainforest. The trail has lots of forks, and is not well marked, so it is recommended first timers go with a local guide. This will also make robberies a lot less likely, they are a fairly common occurrence, especially in the period around Carnival. Make sure to bring food and water.
  • Praia Engenhoca, 19km from Itacaré and best known as a surf spot, this very long and gorgeous beach is reachable by bus or car, followed by a 25 minute hike through the jungle. The trailhead is the same as the one for Havaizinho. On the hike in, there's a small waterfall worth stopping at. The beach also has a murky freshwater river nearby that you can swim in, or use to wash the sand off before returning to the trail. Tapioca, drinks, and açaí are available at small stands at the entrance to the beach, but there's no other infrastructure. Enter the ocean in the middle instead of the sides as there are rocks and a very strong current. There's very little shade here, so prepare accordingly.
  • Praia Itacarezinho, 20km from Itacaré, and the most popular of the faraway beaches, you can arrive by bus or car. From the road, it is a 15 min, 800m hike to the sea. The beach is 5km long giving you plenty of options for where to lay out your towel. The sea is rough, but there is a stretch in the center, frequented by tourists from a local resort, where the currents are more calm.
  • Praia Havaizinho, 19km from Itacaré, Havaizinho feels like a deserted island, or a private beach. You can arrive by bus or car, followed by a 12 min hike from the road. The trailhead is the same one that leads to Engenhoca. The shore is so small that you can walk from one end to the other in under 100 steps. Waves are smooth and gentle.


Other[edit]

  • Ponto do Xaréu, One of the few spots in town to catch a sunset. Located just east of the orla, and just west of Praia Concha, it is popular around sundown for groups to gather and watch the sun go down. This is a favored spot for local percussion groups as well.

Do[edit][add listing]

Chocolate Tour[edit]

  • Vila Rosa, Located on a beautiful farm about 30km away in Taboquinhas, this historic chocolate plantation gives tours showing the chocolate making process from fruit to bean to bar. The tour costs 50 reais if you get there on your own, or 80 reais with their transport (you'll save a bit if you go by bus, but the bus back has a spotty schedule and you may have to wait in a remote area). Tours include day use of their pools and kayaks. Tours run at 11AM and 2PM 7 days a week, but may be closed on holidays. Reservations are best made one day in advance at the Vila Rosa chocolate store in Pituba. WhatsApp: 73 99975.0954

Surfing[edit]

Itacaré is best known for its surfing beaches. The following beaches are recommended for surfing: Pontal, Boca da Barra, Corais, Tiririca, Prainha, Jeribucaçu, Engenhoca and Itacarezinho. There are plenty of options for surf schools, private instructors, and board rental. Ask around in town.

  • EasyDrop, [2]. Professional surf school with intensive video review of your daytime sessions in the evenings. An instructor, Brancao, also teaches percussion lessons for 20 R$ per hour-lesson, per-person - limited availability.

Volunteer[edit]

  • ETIV do Brasil, [3] A local NGO & Non-Profit Organization that offers meaningful volunteer opportunities in Itacaré with projects in Youth Development, Environmental Conservation, Teaching English, Swimming Classes, and Women's Empowerment. They also offer housing options, Portuguese, Samba and Capoeira classes to volunteers as well as Eco-Adventure tours in and around Itacaré.
  • SOS Itacare movement, [4]. An effort to protect local beach access for the public.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Casarão Amarelo, Avenida Castro Alves, Centro [5]. Another great restaurant in town, dishing out wonderful plates of coconut curry shrimp and other, less-exotic fare. At ~25-35 Reais / plate, it's another "don't miss".
  • Mar e Mel, Praia da Concha [6]. Good food and live music. Typical dishes & exotic drinks.
  • Ze Senzala Located in the middle of the Orla, it is one of the better spots for fresh and healthy options. They sell food by the kilo, a medium plate of food generally costs around 12 Reais, a large plate around 18.
  • Aqua, Rua Pedro Longo, Pituba. Located on the main road in Pituba, Aqua is high-end dining for a really reasonable price. If you're sick of prato feitos, but still want to keep it local, Aqua serves top-notch Brazilian food with an international influence. A full meal costs between 22-30 reais. The owner is a super friendly Brazilian guy who speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.
  • Casa Rosa Açaí, Passarela da Vila, Centro. The best açaí in Itacaré. They serve other typical Brazilian snacks (pão de queijo, coxinha), but their açaí is the real draw here. They also have a highly rated guesthouse around back
  • Casa de Taipa - Rua Pedro Longo, Pituba. Located on the end of Pituba closer to Resende, and open daily, Casa de Taipa serves food by the kilo (17.53 reais per 400g). At this price it is quite a bit more expensive than Senzala, but the food is also generally tastier.
  • Na Grelha Hamburgueria - Rua Lodônio Almeida, 07, Passarela. Located above the Passarela in the "ZigZag", this spot has a really great burger and fries at a reasonable price. Dinner only, Tuesday-Saturday 6PM-11PM.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Café-Bar Easy Drop, Rua João Coutinho, Centro. Drinks and live music.
  • Tapiocaria Bem Bahia, Rua Lodonio de Almeida, Centro.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Itacare is filled with guest houses (pousadas) there's one for each budget and each style of traveler.

  • Pousada Solarium, Loteamento Concha do Mar, quadra B nº32, Praia da Concha, (73) 3251 3031, ([email protected]), [7]. Solarium in Latim means "a place for sunbath", wich describe perfectly this accommodation.
  • Aldeia do Mar Chalés, Rua- D Quadra- E Lote- 08, Praia da Concha, (73) 3251 2230, ([email protected]), [8]. Perfect for wants a thrilling experience, built in 15,000m² is a hideaway in the Atlantic Forest.
  • Pousada Maria Farinha, Rua Louro Amarelo, 240, Conchas II, (73) 3251 3515, ([email protected]), [9]. Maria Farinha is sort of crab very common in Itacaré, this accommodation has confortable rooms and delicious homemade breakfast with bread, cakes and jam.
  • Pousada Pedra Torta, Rua B, Bairro Conchas do Mar, (73) 3251 3278, ([email protected]), [10]. Opened in 2003, Pousada Pedra Torta has a rustic architecture with heaps of confort creating a pleasant environment.
  • Pousada Atlantica, Rua C-Quadra D, Lotes 3-4-5, Loteamento Conchas do Mar, Phone:(73) 3251 2070 Fax:(73) 3251 3042, ([email protected]), [11]. At this pousada (b&b) the guest can fell how friendly is Bahia people.
  • Villa Ecoporan Pousada Charme, Rua Jacarandá, Condomínio Conchas do Mar II, (73) 3251 2470, ([email protected]), [12]. Built in a green area, this accommodation it is a great place to spend your leisure time.
  • Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center, Rodovia Ilhéus Itacaré, km 52 - Vila Camboinha, +55 73 99988-5785, ([email protected]), [13]. Surrounded by landscaped gardens and Atlantic forest, retreats include ayahuasca ceremonies, spiritual workshops, yoga classes, comfortable accommodation with modern amenities, and a vegan and vegetarian diet.
  • Pousada Coqueiro Verde, Praia da Concha [14]. Comfortable and stylish pousada. The website has photos of Itacare, a beach guide and a short town history section.
  • Ilha Verde Rua Ataíde Setúbal, 234, Centro. A pousada where they serve a wonderful breakfast for only 5 Reais. Here Lua teaches Yoga for 50 Reais per month with three lessons/week.
  • Albergue O Pharol, Praça Santos DuMont, 07, Centro. Affordable pousada with 12 collective and 2 private rooms.
  • Che Lagarto Itacaré, Rua Pedro Longo, 58 - Itacaré, +55 (73) 3251 3019, [1]. Located on the coast of Bahia, Che Lagarto Hostel Itacaré is a great choice if you are looking to stay in a fun environment with young people, go surfing, exploring waterfalls and trails and make new friends.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Barra Grande is a tranquil village located on the tip of Peninsula of Maraú. Beautiful beaches, snorkeling, and access to hard to reach places like Taipu de Fora. With your own vehicle (4x4 is necessary, especially in rainy season) you can get there via a horrible road in about 2 hours. Otherwise, go with a tour company, or catch a bus to Camamu (1 hour) and then a boat to Barra Grande (30 min for fast boats that hold 6 people, 90 minutes for the slow boats, listed prices for tourists are 30 brl but these are negotiable down to between 15-25).
  • Morro de São Paulo is a car-free village on the northern tip of the Tinharé island in Bahia. Loads of gorgeous beaches and snorkeling. Great for a few days visit, but access is only by boat or plane. Take a bus to Valença (3 hours, 30 reais) and then a ferry to Morro de SP (15 reais, 45 min for fast boat, 7.5 reais, 90 min for slow boat)


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