Say goodbye to the capital: Praia do Forte, in the municipality of Mata de São João, is a 90-minute trip from Salvador. On the way, you’ll find Praia de Guarajuba, where Bar do Carlinhos has been serving dishes filled with flavors of the sea, like shrimp, octopus, and lobster moqueca, for more than 30 years.
Bar do Carlinhos: Loteamento Canto do Mar, Praia de Guarajuba, Camaçari
1 p.m. - History in the summer
Castelo Garcia d’Ávila was the first big Portuguese structure in Brazil. The ruins after which the region is named are more than 500 years old, lending a historical aspect to this summer destination.
Castelo Garcia d’Ávila: Rua do Castelo
Tamar Project: Avenida do Farol, s/nº
4 p.m. - Native species
Praia do Forte is the largest among the 60 bases of the Tamar Project, whose objective is to raise awareness about endangered species, especially sea turtles. The spawning takes place here and, with any luck, by the end of the afternoon, you’ll be able to witness the moment when experts release the young into the sea.
DAY 2 • Imbassaí, Vila do Diogo e Santo Antônio
9 a.m. - The encounter of the waters
Taking the 15-minute trip to Imbassaí, one of the beaches up north, is more comfortable (and fun) in a buggy. In the village, you can take a boat ride in the river that flows to the ocean or visit Lujimbeer, a craft brewery.
Lujimbeer: Rua P
12 p.m. - Resting in the sun
Next stop: Vila do Diogo. Get away from the heat under the tree at Sombra da Mangueira, a restaurant whose main dish is moqueca with cheese.
2 p.m. - Peace and quiet
Also in the village, Praia de Santo Antônio can be seen behind small dunes. With a free afternoon, you’ll have enough time to bathe in one of the natural pools there or sit on a rock to watch the waves.
Sombra da Mangueira: Rodovia BA-099
DAY 3 • Back at Praia do Forte
Igreja São Francisco de Assis: Praça São Francisco
9 a.m. - Exploring the city center
Walking the streets of Praia do Forte you’ll arrive at Igreja São Francisco de Assis. A picturesque scene: the white and blue walls of the church contrast with the ships of all colors resting on the sand. In the surroundings, Centro de Artesanato offers everything from bracelets made out of seashells to sarongs.
Centro de Artesanato: R. dos Benvindos
12 p.m. - Staple food
The small clay structure that’s home to Casa de Farinha is unmistakable. Inside, an enormous pot heats the gum made by local communities, that take weekly turns to prepare tapiocas and other sweets – the tamarind candy is made from the fruit of the tree in front of the establishment.
Casa de Farinha: Alameda do Sol
3 p.m. - Diving headfirst
Even the most unexperienced scuba diver will feel like a brave explorer in the natural pools of Praia do Forte. During high tide, its shallow waters are temporarily filled with crabs, blowfish, and multicolored fish.
“The Tamar Project interacts with the communities: it uses its wide knowledge to create projects for the families”
“Imbassaí offers an experience of introspection: you, the sea, the coconut trees, and nothing else”
“Classic tapioca is made with coconut filling, but there are many other options: once a customer ordered carne de sol and guava paste filling!”
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Special thanks: Hotel Via dos Corais and Grou Turismo