The best beach in Brazil – Taipu de Fora
This place is amazing. If you are looking for peace and tranquility, and to walk for miles on an unspoiled beach shadowed by coconut trees where you can have a chilled holiday, then this place is for you. An early rise before 6am is well worth it for the beautiful sunrise, as this little town faces the South Atlantic Ocean on the coast in the state of Bahia.
It was only by chance that I found this gem of a beach town during my travels around Brazil. I had been in a town not so far away named Itacare, a popular place for surfers, backpackers and tourists. Itacare was great (and will be covered in another post), but I was looking for something even quieter to move on to so that I could focus on finishing my website and blog. As if by chance, I met a couple, Bea and Renato, who were also staying at the same pousada (Brazilian name for a small hotel) and they told me about Taipu de Fora and that they had a pousada there. A few days later, I booked up and travelled to Taipu de Fora.
This tiny beach town lies on the ‘Peninsula de Marau’ on the Bahia coast, south of Salvador. There is a direct route by road but the last 45km is basically a dirt track which is not the most comfortable ride with many potholes and almost impassable in wet conditions unless you have a 4×4. Most of the locals like it this way as it makes the place less reachable and therefore it has been able to keep its chilled atmosphere and quiet life. Few cars circulate the area and most people get around the sandy roads by quad bike. There is no bank or cash machine anywhere near so be sure to bring cash, although most places do accept card.
A more comfortable way to travel there is to take a speed boat from Camamu to Barra Grande, which lies at the tip of the Peninsula and then a taxi/pickup truck to Taipu de Fora 10 minutes away. It is also less expensive as the taxi drivers do add a large tariff for the wear and tear of their cars for travelling the long bumpy dirt roads. I took the taxi both ways and it was fun, although I did need to close my eyes a few times as cars going both ways fight for the right to drive on the less rugged terrain.
The beach at Taipu de Fora is the most popular in the area mainly due to the inviting natural swimming pools that appear during low tide each day. Whilst the Peninsula goes on further in each direction, the Taipu beach is 7km long and covered with golden sand and spread with giant coconut trees. There is coral surrounding the beach which reaches the surface during low tide and therefore blocks the waves from reaching the beach. It makes it a safe environment for swimming and even better for snorkeling. There are many species of tropical fish only metres from the beach and the visibility is usually excellent. The calm water also makes it popular for stand up paddle. Then only 50m away is a wonderful surfing beach suitable for beginners and pros depending on which part of the bay you go to. I enjoyed getting on the board again and catching some waves after many years absence.
Pousada Bambu Dourada in situated in an excellent location very near to the main street (when I say main street, I mean a sandy little road with a small supermarket, a couple of shops and a couple of restaurants). This boutique hotel oozes the love and attention that art lovers Bea and Renato have put into it, and you immediately feel at home with their warmth. I particularly enjoyed listening to Renato’s music collection as I lay in the hammock writing my journal, and the morning yoga class that Bea would teach. As well as Portuguese and German, they both speak English very well which was pleasing for me as most places in this area only speak Portuguese (we are in Brazil after all).
The walk north along the coast is spectacular, with the beautiful water of the Atlantic on your right and a coastline packed with palm trees on your left. It took me around 2 hours to reach Barra Grande after stopping for a swim a few times to cool down from the midday sun. Being Scottish I made the mistake of not bringing a hat or enough sunscreen and returned pretty red! However, that was all worth it as the sunset from the beach at Barra Grande is spectacular.
When you visit here, make sure to bring lots to read and expect a nice relaxed holiday, although you could rent a quad bike and explore the nearby lagoons and beaches, or take a boat trip. I found it to be very safe, even at the deserted beach at night whilst observing the myriad of stars. It also has a real spiritual feel, and I was pleasantly surprised to meet some very intriguing people in this tiny town.
It is mostly Brazilian tourists who visit at this time and not many Europeans or Americans have found this paradise yet, but many of them who do have not left. I can understand why they decided to buy some land, build a pousada and make this their new home in Paradise. It just might be something I also do.
Peace and Good Vibes.