Planning to visit Bahia South Coast and enjoy its breathtaking beaches? No worries, you’re in the right place 😉
At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles), Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world 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 in the South Coast of Bahia.
So if you’re a beach-goer and is planning to visit Brazil, you should definitely put Bahia South Coast on the top of your list.
Bahia South Coast
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): include the region that has most of Brazil’s cocoa production and preserved Atlantic Forest; highlights are the cities of Ilhéus, Itacaré and Una.
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.
2 – Let you hair down in Caraíva, a very simple, relaxing and graceful village, dotted with colorful houses, sandy streets, and lush vegetation.
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 Portugueses in 1549.
4 – Visit Trancoso, one of the most luxurious and glamorous villages in Brazil, that 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.
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.
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.
Costa das Baleias
7 – Go whale watching in Abrolhos, an archipelago formed by five islands that receives 80% of the humpback whales that migrates from Antarctica to Brazil every year to breed.
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.
Costa do Dendê
9 – Be in awe at Ponto do Mutá, in Barra Grande, one the most gorgeous beaches in Península de Maraú, and my one of my favorites in the South Coast of Bahia.
10 – Go snorkeling in one of the very few places in Brazil where you don’t need a boat to reach the corals reef.
11 – Get 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 São Paulo.
12 – Walk unpretentiously on the beach in Gamboa, a village close to Morro de São Paulo that’s known for its pink mud rich in sulphur that has medicinal properties and makes your skin very soft.
13 – Eat a lot of Moqueca! This exotic and extraordinary fish stew made with coconut and palm oil, it’s served with rice, pirão 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!
15 – The beaches in Boipeba are dotted with exuberant vegetation, and in some of them you can find natural pools and crystalline water, such as Moreré, one of the most beautiful beaches in Bahia, and in Brazil as well.
Costa do Cacau
16 – Drink some caipirinhas, the official Brazilian drink, made with lime, ice, and cachaça (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.
17 – Catch some waves in Itacaré, one of the greatest surf spots in Brazil. The city has hosted many surf competitions including some for the World Surf League.
18 – Get immersed in the culture of Bahia South Coast in Ilhéus.
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.
19 – Admire the view at Serra Grande’s view point. The city is on the shadow of Ilhéus and Itacaré, but it has an astonishing and deserted coastline and a visit to its beaches is totally worthwhile.
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!
Safe travels and enjoy Bahia 😉
Don’t forget to buy travel insurance, which can literally be your lifeline if something happens to you and if your luggage is lost or stolen.
I always use World Nomads Travel Insurance for independent travelers. It’s easy to buy, extend & claim online, even after you’ve left home.
Get your travel insurance here.
Planning a Trip to Bahia South Coast
Where is Bahia?
Bahia is located in the northeastern part of the Brazil on the Atlantic coast (check map here).
How to get to Bahia South Coast?
To Costa do Dendê (Palm Oil Coast): the main city in Costa do Dendê is Valença.
To get do 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, that 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).
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 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 Skyscannerwhich is the website that I use and trust.
Best time to visit Bahia?
The best time to visit Bahia is during the summer (form 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 there’s more rain fall.
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.
Barra Grande Hotels:
Porto Seguro 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
Don’t forget to save these pins 😉
- Book Your Flight Find deals on airlines on my favorite search engine: Skyscanner. Be sure to read my How to find cheap flights article.
- Rent A CarRental Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal.
- Book AccommodationBooking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. But Hotels.com and Hilton Hotels have very interesting reward programs. If you prefer to rent locals’ apartment, the best option is undoubtedly Airbnb. Here is US$ 30 credit towards your first booking.
- Protect Your Trip Don’t forget travel insurance! I always use World Nomads for short-term trips and SafetyWing for long-term ones. Find out why Travel Insurance: Much More Than a Precaution, a Necessity.
- Book Tours in Advance Book unforgettable experiences and skip-the-line tickets with GetYourGuide or Viator .
- Book Ground TransportationBookaWay offers a stress-free experience with secure payments and no hidden fees. You pay online and receive your itinerary by email.
- Luggage Solutions Rent your luggage with Cargo or if you need to drop off your own luggage and enjoy your time without dragging it all over a city, find a LuggageHero shop here.
- Get a Travel CardRevolut Card is a pre-paid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries. I’ve been using my Revolut Card for over a year and never paid foreign-transaction fees again. Get your Revolut Card with free shipping here.
- Packing Guide Check out my How to Pack a Carry-on Luggage For a Five-month Trip to help you start packing for your trip. Don’t forget your camera, chargers and other useful travel accessories.