A Paradise Called Itacaré

In Brazil, Travel Guides
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Of a indigenous origin and surrounded by natural beauty variety, the brazilian city enchants its people and foreigners who leave everything to live in paradise.

By Laís Queiroz

Imagine this scenario: a coastline formed by the succession of white sand beaches, surrounded by coconut trees, surrounded by the Atlantic Forest preserved and still hides beautiful waterfalls and a unique ecosystem. It could be another classic scene The Blue Lagoon, but it is Itacaré, a city in south of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

Originally inhabited by Indians who lived by fishing and subsistence farming, the Indians began to be threatened in 1530 when Portugal began colonization of Itacaré with the captaincy and the presence of the Jesuits in charge of marking territory.

The name of the city has some meanings that are still being discovered. “round stone” and “precious stone” were the first to translate Itacaré. However, a recent study by the Federal University of Bahia concluded that “Itaca” means “noisy river” and “Re” means different, coming to the conclusion that, in fact, Itacaré means “river of a different noise.”

New discoveries trace the history of the place, but there are traditions that do not change. Walking through the streets surely find children and adults who sell chocolate and cocoa drinks made. That’s because until the mid-70s, Itacaré had as its main source of income cocoa cultivation. The main economic activity, however, suffered a significant deterioration and impoverishment after the attack of a pest in crops.

Itacaré

But this did not discourage the population in the difficult time and find another alternative livelihood, he began to explore what today is only growing and attracting curious about the place: sustainable tourism.

Considered a paradise for visitors, Itacaré not only pleased by the beautiful nature, but is also one of the most frequented by Brazilian surfers who go in search of good waves places. Composed of 15 beaches, Jeribucaçu, Engenhoca and Prainha are one of the favorites. More hidden and difficult to access, it is necessary to enter the jungle to finally reach them. The road is not always easy, but the more difficult it is usually also the most rewarding.

 

Part of the trail until Prainha

Arriving at Prainha

After the beach, everyone is going to see another spectacle of nature: the sunset. In Itacaré, the show has a special place in the Mirador do Xaréu, where residents and tourists gather, sit on the rocks and simply admire.

Tourists admire the sunset in Mirante do Xareu

Old colonial town, Itacaré still preserves the past some houses typical architecture, so now given to restaurants, hotels and cafes. The tranquility of its people is also reflected in the nightlife. Although very agitated rhythms that define Itacaré are reggae and forró, typical Brazilian dance. Candoblé capoeira and traditional cultural expressions are also preserved in the city.

People are humble and always willing to help. What is disturbing prune the number of children who work tirelessly on the beaches, serving tourists. This is a Brazilian reality worsens in tourist routes. At the same time, what you see are happy children who help their parents in the summer, more profitable to keep the family time.

Brazilian paradise, now is also paradise for foreigners. Swedish, Swiss, Spanish, British, Italians, Chileans, Argentines and Israelis, are just some of what I found there. Some really fall in love and decide to stay. This, incidentally, is not a very difficult decision.

Beaches

Resende

You don’t need to walk far to have an idea of ​​the beaches that await you in Itacaré. 1 km from the city center is Resende, incredible natural beauty of the beach surrounded by palm trees. It is visited by surfers and also by bathers seeking a small beach, but charming. Not much structure, a few kiosks, but enough for you to rent a chair and umbrella at the price of R $ 15 and relax, taking a delicious coconut water, or beer and experience the famous Bahia’s tapioca.

Tiririca

It is next to Resende and considered one of the best beaches in Brazil for surfing. So swimmers should be careful with the boards time to bathe! The structure is a little better, with restaurants, hotels and kiosks.

Prainha

If you prefer a more private beach and rich in beauty and tranquility, this beach is Prainha. But we must be willing to get to her as the journey takes around 30 minutes and the access is only by a path through the dense forest. To get, just go on Tiririca beach that the trail starts to appear. But beware: you need to hire a guide or go with someone who knows the way, since you can get lost on the trail. There is no structure, so light snack and water and more fit. I guarantee that all the effort will be worth it.

Itacaré has over 12 beaches to explore. Therefore, it is necessary to organize well and choose the ones that most match your style. The recommended is is at least 7 days to meet at least five of them. This paradise need much time to be explored. More information beaches and how to get here.

natural swimming pool on Engenhoca's beach.

natural swimming pool on Engenhoca’s beach.

Sunset

After spending the day at the beach, you can not miss nightfall in the city’s best spot to watch the sunset. Is on the lookout Ponta do Xaréu, an open space by the sea where people sit on the rocks and just watch the spectacle of nature. The observation deck is located next to the beach of the Concha, there are 500 meters to the right of Itacaré edge.

Where to eat

Like any tourist town, no shortage is option to eat in town. From restaurants per kilo with the traditional Brazilian barbecue, to the most exquisite. During the time I was in the city I experienced some and here are the my favorites:

Restaurant Flor de Sal

Located at the end of the Village Walkway, the restaurant specializes in Italian food. The pastas are freshly made and the menu is varied with choices of meat and seafood. Average of R $ 60 per plate.

Mediterrâneo

Another very typical Italian with excellent menu and atmosphere that leads to a piece of Italy. This is because the site owner is of Italian origin. The service is good and price is also affordable. The restaurant is on the street Pituba.

À Brasileira

If you want a Brazilian menu and exquisite at the same time, this place is the restaurant A Brasileira, located in Pituba. The fort of the place are the seafood, especially lobster, as well as risottos, pastas, meats and fine wines. The strength of the house is the dish Shrimp Crispy and Chef Lobster. Dishes from R $ 54.

Where to stay

For those who want to enjoy Itacaré and still come away with more friends you have to stay at Banana’s Hostel. Peter and Debs are English and owners of the place is a paradise within paradise. The hostel is great, has a lot of green area and very kind people. Most of them are foreigners from all over the world. At breakfast you will still have the pleasure of knowing Cléo, super friendly and helpful employee. On Wednesdays the hostel also usually present musical shows. The hostel is located at the most city’s move, Pituba. More information here.

Tips

Itacaré has tropical temperatures range between 25 ° C and 30 ° C, but During the summer (December the February) can get to 40 ° C. The sun shines all year and rains are more in winter Frequent (May to August) .

More information on the web page of the City here.

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