Itacare - The Surf Capital of Bahia
Itacare is a Brazilian beach town made famous by hippies and surfers, who came to enjoy a winning combination of beautiful beaches backed by tropical rainforest and washed by Atlantic breakers.
As well as being on of the most renowned surf hang-outs in Brazil, Itacare has plenty of other activities in the Atlantic rainforest and rivers that run down the hills of the interior. The Surf Capital of Bahia has various breaks on the beaches south of town, with Havaizinho, Engenhoca and Jeribucaçu being the most famous. Surfers travel from all over Brazil and the world to catch the scenic waves here.
A little hiking is necessary to access these beaches, with trails running down from the main road through lush jungle, and these can be part of a wonderful day out around the beaches for those who prefer not to take a board. Rainforest waterfalls such as Tijuipe and Usina provide the perfect chance to freshen up in cool pools.
The Itacare area is also famous for its white-water rafting, with journeys down the Rio Contas having good quality rapids at Grade III and IV, as well as fantastic scenery in the lush rainforest. Canoe trips around the lower reaches of the Rio Contas are also possible, with mangroves and islands to explore around the estuary. A rainforest zipline adds to the adventure.
Boat trips out on the ocean are also possible, with some scuba diving, plus excursions around the offshore islands. Whale-watching trips are also possible here from July to October. Longer days out by boat can take you up to the Marau Peninsula, while some combination of vehicle and boat can be used to explore the peninsula itself and also the clear waters, falls and islands of the Baia de Camamu, reputedly the cleanest oceanic bay in Brazil.
All days out can finish back in Itacare, with a small but lively nightlife scene on the main streets, and final views of Bahia beaches possible from viewpoints in the hills as you drive away south to the airport in Ilheus.
Suitable Destination For: Those who like beaches, surf, rainforest excursions, white-water rafting and a laid-back Bahia atmosphere!
Best Time to Visit: The wet season of April to June has heavier rains, although people visit all year round.
Essential Sights & Activities: Beaches; Surf; Atlantic Rainforest Trails; Waterfalls; Tropical Sunsets; Boat Trips around the Rivers, Ocean and Bays of the region