Bahia South Coast in 20 Striking Pictures

Planning to visit the Bahia South Coast and enjoy its breathtaking beaches? No worries, you’re in the right place 😉

At 8.5 million square kilometres (3.2 million square miles), Brazil is the fifth largest country globally and the largest in Latin America.

It’s composed of 26 states and the federal district. Among those states, there is a very special one that many people consider to be the heart of Brazil. Bahia.

Why? Firstly, the Portuguese, who discovered Brazil, first landed in Bahia; secondly, Bahia’s capital, Salvador, was the first Brazilian capital; and thirdly, Bahia not only has a very unique and exquisite cuisine but is also the birthplace of many talented and famous people like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Amado, Wagner Moura (Pablo Escobar on the Netflix show Narcos), Pericles Rosa, etc… Ok, ok, the last one is not that famous just talented 😉

My beloved home state has the longest Brazilian coastline at over 1200 km (745 mi), and some of the best and most beautiful beaches in Brazil are located on the South Coast of Bahia.

So if you’re a beach-goer and are planning to visit Brazil, you should put Bahia South Coast on the top of your list.

Boipeba Bahia South Coast
Praia de Moreré on Ilha de Boipeba is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil.

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The South Coast of Bahia

Bahia South Coast is 866 km (538 mi) long and divided into four different areas:

  • Costa do Descobrimento (Discovery Coast): the area where the first explorers landed in Brazil; highlights are the cities of Porto Seguro and Santa Cruz Cabrália.
  • Costa das Baleias (Whales Coast): famous for being the largest natural refuge of humpback whales in Brazil.
  • Costa do Dendê (Palm Oil Coast): has some of the most popular destinations in Bahia, such as Morro de São Paulo and Ilha de Boipeba.
  • Costa do Cacau (Cocoa Coast): includes the region that has most of Brazil’s cocoa production and preserved Atlantic Forest; highlights are the cities of Ilhéus, Itacaré and Una.
Map of the coast of Bahia, Brazil
Map of Bahia Coast. Photo Credit: Viagem de Férias

Bahia South Coast in 20 Striking Pictures

Costa do Descobrimento

1 – Visit the breathtaking Praia do Espelho (Mirror Beach), which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches not only in the Bahia South Coast but also in the whole of Brazil.

Praia do Espelho, Porto Seguro, Bahia South Coast, Brazil
Praia do Espelho and its calm and warm blue waters.

2 – Let your hair down in Caraíva, a very simple, relaxing and graceful village, dotted with colorful houses, sandy streets, and lush vegetation.

Caraíva, Bahia, Brazil
I fell in love at first sight with Caraíva, a township of Porto Seguro.

3 – Renew your faith at Igreja Nossa Senhora D’Ajuda (Our Lady Help Church), the first catholic sanctuary in Brazil, that has a statue of the saint brought by the Portuguese in 1549.

Igreja Nossa Senhora D'Ajuda (Our Lady Help Church), Arraial D'Ajuda, Porto Seguro
The beautiful baroque church is located in the heart of Arraial D’ajuda.

4 – Visit Trancoso, one of Brazil’s most luxurious and glamorous villages, which has stolen the hearts of Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Neymar and Anderson Cooper, amongst others.

This township of Porto Seguro has many superb houses, stunning beaches and excellent restaurants.

Trancoso, Porto Seguro, Bahia South Coast, Brazil
Trancoso is one of the hottest spots in Brazil to spend the New Year.

5 – Discover that in Porto Seguro, the city where the Portuguese arrived in the 1500’, there are many things to do to please every traveler, including a visit to its charming city center, considered to be one of the first villages in Brazil.

Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Pena and an old prison located at Porto Seguro’s historic center

6 – Meet the indigenous people of Bahia South Coast at Coroa Vermelha, in Santa Cruz Cabrália, the place where the first mass service in Brazil was held.

Coroa Vermelha, Santa Cruz Cabrália, Bahia, Brazil
Banuk, an indigenous from the Pataxó tribe, and I at Mercado Indígena in Coroa Vermelha, Santa Cruz Cabrália.

Costa das Baleias

7 – Go whale watching in Abrolhos, an archipelago formed by five islands that receive 80% of the humpback whales that migrate from Antarctica to Brazil every year to breed.

Whale Watching in Abrolhos, Bahia, Brazil
A humpback whale jumping in the warm waters of Abrolhos in Caravelas. Photo Credit© : Blog Pé na Estrada.

8 – Take an off-the-beaten-path and visit Corumbau, a small fisherman village located in the city of Prado in the Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves, a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Ponta do Corumbau, Prado, Bahia, Brazil
Ponta do Corumbau is visible only at low Tide. Photo Credit©: Blog Pé na Estrada

Costa do Dendê

9 – Be in awe at Ponto do Mutá, in Barra Grande, one the most gorgeous beaches in Península de Maraú, and one of my favorites on the South Coast of Bahia.

Barra Grande, Península de Maraú, Brazil
Barra Grande, Península de Maraú, Brazil

10 – Go snorkeling in one of the very few places in Brazil where you don’t need a boat to reach the coral reef.

Bahia South Coast
Taipu de Fora is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil.

11 РGet some adrenaline rushing into your veins on the highest zip-line in South America, measuring 70m (230 ft) high and 300m (984 ft) long, in Morro de Ṣo Paulo.

Morro de Sao Paulo Bahia South Coast
And the beaches in Morro de São Paulo are also extraordinary.

12 РWalk unpretentiously on the beach in Gamboa, a village close to Morro de Ṣo Paulo known for its pink mud rich in sulphur that has medicinal properties and makes your skin very soft.

Gamboa is only a short minute ride from Morro de São Paulo
Gamboa is only a short minute ride from Morro de São Paulo.

13 РEat a lot of Moqueca! This exotic and extraordinary fish stew made with coconut and palm oil, is served with rice, piṛo and farofa (both made with cassava flour), and is one of the best Brazilian dishes.

It tastes even better when you are having it by the beaches of Bahia South Coast. Believe me!

Moqueca, a typical food in Bahia, Brazil
You’re going to love my favorite Brazilian dish.

14 – Be amazed by the beauty and simplicity of Boipeba, selected as the second-best island in South America, and the best in Brazil, by Trip Advisor in 2013.

Cueira Beach, Boipeba Island, Bahia
Cueira Beach is so amazing, isn’t it?

15 РThe beaches in Boipeba are dotted with exuberant vegetation, and in some of them you can find natural pools and crystalline water, such as Morer̩, one of the most beautiful beaches in Bahia, and in Brazil as well.

Natural pools formed in Praia de Moreré, Ilha de Boipeba, Bahia, Brazil.
Natural pools formed in Praia de Moreré, Ilha de Boipeba, Bahia, Brazil.

Costa do Cacau

16 РDrink some caipirinhas, the official Brazilian drink, made with lime, ice, and cacha̤a (Brazilian alcohol made with sugar cane).

In Brazil, there is a great variety of caipirinhas made with different fruits. And in Bahia South Coast, you can have a cocoa caipirinha served straight in the fruit.

Caipirinha, the classic Brazilian drink.
Caipirinha, the classic Brazilian drink.

17 РCatch some waves in Itacar̩, one of the greatest surf spots in Brazil. The city has hosted many surf competitions including some for the World Surf League.

This is Itacaré: stunning beaches, warm water and great surf. Prainha beach.

Don’t miss:

18 РGet immersed in the culture of Bahia South Coast in Ilh̩us.

The city center has many lavish buildings and houses and was the inspiration and scenario for some famous novels written by Jorge Amado, one of the most renowned Brazilian authors of all time.

Catedral de São Sebastião, one of the most beautiful churches in Bahia South Coast.
Catedral de São Sebastião, one of the most beautiful churches in Bahia South Coast.

19 – Admire the view from Serra Grande’s viewpoint. The city is in the shadow of Ilhéus and Itacaré, but it has an astonishing and deserted coastline and a visit to its beaches is totally worthwhile.

Serra Grande's View Point, Bahia South Coast, Brazil
Serra Grande’s View Point, Bahia South Coast, Brazil

20 – Get a more exclusive holiday at Resort Transamerica Comandatuba, a five-star hotel with a private airport located at the paradisiacal Ilha de Comandatuba, an island of 8 million m², 25.000 coconut trees and 21km of beaches. And it’s all for its guests!

Photo Courtesy: Hotel Transamerica.
Photo Courtesy: Hotel Transamerica.

Safe travels and enjoy Bahia 😉

I always recommend that you buy travel insurance! It can literally be your lifeline if something happens to you, or your luggage is lost or stolen.

Bahia South Coast in 20 Striking Pictures 1

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Planning a Trip to Bahia South Coast

Where is Bahia?

Bahia is located in the northeastern part of Brazil on the Atlantic coast (check the map here).

How to get to the South Coast of Bahia?

To Costa do Dendê (Palm Oil Coast):

The main city in Costa do Dendê is Valença.

To get to Morro de São Paulo and Ilha de Boipeba you can fly to Salvador and then take a ferry to Morro de São Paulo, plus a car or speed boat to Boipeba. Another option is to drive from Salvador to Valença and then take a speed boat to Morro or Boipeba.

To go to Península de Maraú, which is located 200 km (124 mi) from Salvador and 150 km (93mi) from Ilhéus, you can take a ferry from Salvador to Camamu, then a speed boat to Península de Maraú; another option is to drive towards Camamu then take one of those two roads: BA 001 or BR-030 (unpaved road).

There are also buses departing from Ilhéus, Itabuna, Salvador and Feira de Santana to Camamu and Valença with the companies Águia Branca and Cidade Sol.

To Costa do Cacau (Cocoa Coast)

The easiest way is to fly to Aeroporto Jorge Amado in Ilhéus, then drive or get a transfer to Itacaré, Serra Grande or Una.

To Costa do Descobrimento (Discovery Coast)

The easiest way is to fly to Aeroporto Internacional de Porto Seguro and then rent a car to visit the villages and cities nearby.

To Costa da Baleias (Whales Coast)

You can go from Porto Seguro or take a flight to Teixeira de Freitas from Belo Horizonte with Azul Airlines only.

You can book your flights with Skyscanner which is the website that I use and trust.

Best time to visit Bahia?

The best time to visit Bahia is during the summer (from December to March) when there are more people, more fun and more festivals.

You can also go during the low season: after carnival until April and from September to November.

You should avoid visiting Bahia from May to August because there’s more rainfall.

Where to stay in Bahia South Coast?

Morro de São Paulo Hotels:

Budget: The Hostel Morro and Pousada dos Pássaros.
Great Cost/Benefit: Hotel Vila Guaiamu, Pousada Bahia Bella and Bangalô dos Sonhos.
Luxury: Villa dos Corais, Pousada Minha Louca Paixão and Vila dos Orixás Boutique Hotel.

Boipeba Hotels:

Budget: Abaquar Hostel and Pousada Sossego.
Great Cost/Benefit: O Céu de Boipeba and Vila da Barra Apartamentos.
Luxury: Pousada Mangabeiras

Hotels in Barra Grande:

Budget: Ganga Zumba Hostel & Suítes and Pousada das Roseiras.
Great Cost/Benefit: Pousada Galeão Santa Anna and Taipabas Hotel
Luxury: Pousada Encanto da Lua and Peninsula Beach Club Hotel

Itacaré Hotels:

Budget: Casa Blanka 2010 and Che Lagarto Hostel
Great Cost/Benefit: Pousada Vila do Dengo and Pousada Recanto do Dendê
Luxury: Vila Barracuda Boutique Hotel, Ecoporan Hotel and Txai Resort

Ilhéus Hotels:

Budget: Ilhéus Hostel and Hotel Ilhéus
Great Cost/Benefit: Pousada dos Hibiscus and Hotel Praia do Sol
Luxury: Cana Brava All Inclusive Resort and Jardim Atlântico Beach Resort

Hotels in Porto Seguro:

Budget: Pousada Brisa do Mar and Hotel Costa Verde
Great Cost/Benefit: Hotel Solar do Imperador, Quinta do Sol and Capoeira Village
Luxury: Resort Villaggio Arcobaleno

Trancoso Hotels:

Budget: Casa de Férias Diniglei, Casa da Cosmira and  Pousada Mar Azul
Great Cost/Benefit: Pousada Recanto do Sol, Pousada Jardim das Margaridas and Pousada Hospedaria do Quadrado
Luxury: Pousada Capim Santo, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa and Pousada Estrela D’Água

Hotels in Prado/Alcobaça and Caravelas:

Great Cost/Benefit: Pousada Verdes Mares, Pousada Novo Prado and Hotel Marina Porto Abrolhos

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