Capital of the state of Bahia, in the north of Brazil, Salvador is a tourist town full of great surprises waiting to be explored by curious tourists. If you are planning a trip to Brazil, you must come here: a city of almost 3 million inhabitants, one of the oldest in the country, founded in 1549 and the first capital of the country for a long time. Salvador de Bahia lives mainly on its incredible landscapes that attract tourists 365 days a year. In addition to a visit to the old town, Salvador offers the knowledge-hungry tourist a new, lower town, and a higher part, connected to the rest of the city by a beautiful panoramic lift from which you take simply unforgettable photos. Let yourself be seduced by the beauty of the city's basilicas, such as the Basilica de Salvador, the Igreja de Sao Francisco and the 17th century Igreja do Convento do Carmo, characterised by the presence of a convent.
If you want to spend a day of culture between beach trips, take a trip to the Museu de Arte de Bahia, which houses a beautiful collection of canvases and an immense library. Then continue on to the Museu Abelardo Rodriguez, full of pieces of art, and check out the historic building that contains the Museu de Arte Sacra, one of the most admired in Brazil. If nature attracts you, take a tour of Salvador de Bahia's immense parks and be enchanted by the variety of flora and fauna they host. Go to the Jardim Zoologico, a park that is home to many animal species and therefore ideal for a trip with children. Mark the Parque Metropolitano de Pituau, complete with its lake and bike path, and the picturesque Parque Metropolitano de Abaete, where musical events and live performances are held every weekend, on your list of places to visit too.
Salvador de Bahia is loved by tourists from all over the world and especially by Italians, who immediately catch its essence and feel almost at home. Celebrated for its colonial architecture and priceless historical heritage, the city soon became famous as one of the Brazil's most important seaside resorts. And that's exactly what we're talking about today: the best beaches in Salvador de Bahia, with its warm temperatures, the favourable climate of the tropical belt, frequent (but short-lived) rainfall and minimum temperatures that never drop below 15 degrees C.
Here, then, is a thorough list of Salvador de Bahia's most beautiful beaches, perfect for enjoying well-deserved relaxation in Brazil’s typical maritime landscape, typically characterised by large palaces that stand close to the sea. Like staying in Rio de Janeiro, but the water is even more amazing!
- Praia do Forte
- Stella Maris Beach
- Praia do Porto da Barra
- Ondina beach
- Praia de Itapua
- Flamengo beach
- Praia Boipeba
- The beaches of Morro de Sao Paulo
- Maraù Peninsula
- Praia do Cristo
- Praia Sao Tomè de Paripe
- Praia da Paciencia
- Praia do MAM
- Praia Rio Vermelho
- Amaralina Beach
- Pituba Beach
- Imbassaì Beach
- Praia do Mangue Seco
- Buracao beach
Praia do Forte
Praia do Forte is one of Brazil's most beautiful and exciting beaches, and the perfect destination for those who arrive in Salvador de Bahia in search of fine sand, turquoise sea and sky as far as the eye can see. Located in the district of Mata de Sao Joo, Praia do Forte is a coastal strip of land about 60 kilometres north of Salvador, on the Coconut Tree Coast. Those who arrive here must do so just before the sun comes up, so that they can enjoy the sunrise in one of the most exclusive locations in the city. The sound of the sea and the breeze between the palm trees will soothe you until the sun is high in the sky, inviting you to the first of many dips you will have during the day.
Passing through Praia do Forte, stop at the Projeto Tamar, a non-governmental association that is committed to protecting sea turtles. The property is open all year round: from July to September, the biologists who work there are in charge of taking care of the nests. During the summer, however, you can admire the hatching of the eggs and the race of these little creatures towards the first swim in the sea. Also, take a short trip to the Farcia D'Avila lighthouse, built in 1971.
If you arrive in Salvador de Bahia between July and October, you'll find information on how to buy a ticket for one of the many boat tours along the coasts of Praia do Forte. This is the perfect place, in fact, to admire the humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, in Portuguese: baleias jubarte).
Praia do Forte, or "beach of the fort", takes its name from an ancient fort that, unfortunately, is no longer standing. If you want to learn more about the history of this extraordinary location, you can visit Garcia D'Avila Castle, built in 1551 on a hill a couple of kilometres from the shoreline. Also known as Casa Da Torre, this incredible building is one of the few with mediaeval features that stands in the whole of America, so you shouldn't miss it.
Golf lovers will find their perfect spot: In Praia do Forte, in fact, is home to Iberostar Praia do Forte Golf Club. Those who love sports but are looking for a hike should try one of the walking, cycling or horseback tours at the Reserva de Sapiranga, a rainforest reserve with seven different routes to experiment with, with the chance to take a dip in the Pojuca River. Still hungry for business? The beaches offer canoeing, navigation courses and, of course, a chance to go snorkelling in one of El Salvador's most beautiful seas. Praia do Forte is reached from Salvador by bus line (Linha Verde) and a journey of about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can stay in one of the facilities in the area.
Stella Maris Beach
10 minutes from the airport is Stella Maris Beach, a lovely golden sand beach with an ocean that entices you to dive in at any hour of the day. There are plenty of resorts and various holiday homes here, and this often makes it difficult to find a place in high season. But those who manage to arrive early can grab some of the best places and enjoy incredible views.
The beach is very quiet and located in a very safe neighbourhood: Stella Maris is the perfect destination for the whole family and offers a great centre of facilities and comforts for all those who do not disdain the comforts but do not want to stay in the city. Stella Maris Beach is a very long stretch of ocean coast where bathing is a pleasure: at low tide, natural pools of hot water are formed to swim in. Ideal not only for the diehards of relaxation and sunbathing, but also for surfers and fans of jogging on the sand – especially when the sea is a bit choppy.
Praia do Porto da Barra
Praia do Porto da Barra is a beautiful beach in Salvador de Bahia where you can swim in the turquoise and beautiful waters of the ocean all year round. Overlooking the Bay of All Saints, this always-crowded strip of coastline is the perfect destination for those who dream of relaxing on the beach in a dreamy architectural setting.
This city beach has been one of the 50 best beaches in the world since 2014, and attracts a mix of tourists, families and locals with its somewhat commercial charm. Come to swim in its crystal clear waters and stay for the restaurants that offer wonderful food at every hour of the day. The beach forms a gentle curve, and the golden sand plunges into the water where you can find refreshment from the hot sun in the company of other tourists. Some underwater reefs create a quiet area where you can go bathing protected from the danger of ocean currents.
In Praia Porto de Barra you can rent your parasol and lounge chair, or sit in a corner of the beach directly on your towel. If you're hungry, all you have to do is choose one of the many bars – many of which remain open until the first light of dawn. If you feel like immersing yourself in the local culture, you need to pop into the clubs at the far ends of the beach.
To the south you will find Forte Santa Maria, built in 1614 and decorated with the friezes of the Brazilian Empire. On the north side of the coast, on the other hand, stands the splendid Igreja Santo Antonio da Barra (1595), which offers an extraordinary view all around Praia do Porto. Praia do Porto da Barra is about 15 minutes from the centre of Salvador de Bahia, and can be reached by renting a car or via the bus service that departs regularly from Praia da Sé. The area is much loved at all times of the year, so it is easy to find tourists regardless of the high or low season. Many tour guides will suggest Farol da Barra Beach as a less frequented alternative option.
Particularly popular with "baianos" and tourists, Ondina beach is a clean and relatively quiet alternative to the city's busiest beaches, such as Port from Barra. It is located between Rio Vermelho and Barra Beach. In addition to being well equipped for the whole family, Ondina beach is your place of reference if you decide to visit Salvador de Bahia during the period of the Carnival.
Music, shows, celebrations and many other attractions await you in one of the wildest events in the world. After all, if there is a party that the baianos are proud of, it is Carnival. Unlike the others in Brazil, Salvador's is characterised by blocks, i.e. lorries equipped with loudspeakers that shoot loud music followed by dancing crowds, in performances that can go on even for 5-6 hours. Those wishing to participate in the Carnival must purchase access to a block to secure a place in the crowd. Ondina beach is easily reached by bus from Salvador de Bahia.
Praia de Itapua
Itapua' means "round stone" in the Tupi language. The Itapu neighbourhood is surrounded by a beautiful walk in the shade of the coconut palms, and the beach has been completely redeveloped over the years to resemble the tropical paradise that it was once supposed to be.
From the golden sands where walking is a pleasure you can also admire the famous statue of the Mermaid of Itapu. This is the place where, during Carnival in Salvador, the Baianas dressed in traditional clothes carry ceramic pots filled with flowers and scented water to wash the steps of the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição de Itapuã.
The beach, much loved by tourists and locals, extends north of the city of Salvador close to All Saints Bay. The coral formation that protects it makes the waters calm, ideal for a swim with the whole family. Some of the rock formations in the water create natural pools of warm water, perfect for relaxing in the sun at the hottest time of day. Alternatively, you can rent equipment for surfing and other water sports and enjoy a day of activity.
Itapu has always been a meeting point for some of the most influential people in Salvador de Bahia and, in general, the world. Rua da Mùsica, also known as Rua K, passes not too far from Itapu and has hosted some music and sports personalities. It wasn't always like this, however. Originally the area was occupied by fishermen, who occasionally come back here to sell fresh fish.
You can visit the lighthouse and admire the old mosaics on the walls of the houses, as well as the occasional sand castles of the famous artist Bel Borba. The beach is well equipped and served by parasol rental facilities, restaurants and bars where you can buy fresh drinks, coconut water and many other local delicacies.
Flamengo Beach is located on the border with thecity of Lauro de Freitas, near Salvador de Bahia airport. Despite being very popular with tourists and locals, the presence of small sand dunes, coconut palms and rocks creates a seclusive and almost intimate atmosphere, perfect for an afternoon at the beach in complete relaxation.
Each year, the great ocean waves of Flamengo Beach attract thousands of kitesurfers, surfers and scuba divers searching for treasure. The area is well equipped to parasol and sunbed rental, and near the beach there are also several hotels, restaurants and holiday homes for a really comfortable stay. There is also a service area where you can rent some tents. The beach is also frequented by many street vendors eager to sell ice lollies, coconut and other summer delights to cool off on your afternoon.
A little further from Salvador's noisy life we find Boipeba Island, in the Tinharé archipelago of the municipality of Cairu, in the southern part of the state of Bahia.
Surrounded by the ocean on one side, the Estuary of the Rio Inferno on the other, it stands out from all the other beaches mentioned so far for the wild beauty of the location surrounding it. It is therefore no coincidence that the area has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a biosphere reserve.
Boipeba is the perfect place for travellers looking for a quiet stay and immersed in unspoiled nature, with peace, relaxation and very few tourists. This is where you have to come if you want to switch off for a while, taking a healthy break from technology and usual habits. Enjoy the shade of palm trees, the golden beach, hiking, boating and canoeing and, of course, Brazil's golden beach.
Boipeba is a word that comes from the Tupi language and means "flat snake", in reference to the sea turtle. Among the colonised areas of Bahia, Boipeba was one of the first. In 1537, the Jesuits founded the Aldeia and Residancia de Boipeba here, and the island is home to the villages of Velha Boipeba, Sao Sebastiao (Cova da Onca), Moreré and Monte Alegre. You can reach Boipeba by river or sea, and circulation is only allowed on foot or with a tractor.
This feature, of course, favours a certain type of tourism, helping the island to preserve its somewhat wild charm. Here, in fact, we find the dense forest of Mata Atlantica, between coconut palms and coral reef: an incredible sight! And speaking of coral reefs, those who come here must take a dip in the sea, protected by this natural structure and therefore calmer, but not for this any less incredible. Boipeba is the perfect location to go snorkelling and admire a huge variety of fish, shellfish, corals, sea urchins, starfish and, of course, the turtles that have given the name to the island. Humpback whales can also be seen at the right times of the year.
The beaches of Morro de Sao Paulo
Welcome to the beaches of Morro de Sao Paulo. These beaches are called in numerical order: first, second, third, fourth and Praia do Encanto, also called the fifth beach. These wonderful locations don’t just offer a place to immerse yourself in the seaside life of Bahia, but also attractions and unique features that are all different from each other, thus attracting tourists from all over the world. Golden sands, crystal clear waters and, in the background – total enchantment – the beauty of the Atlantic rainforest.
The first beach Morro de Sao Paulo is the main sports location in the area. The second beach is the most exclusive place and full of parties, where clubs and discos entertain guests until the first light of dawn. Those who love tranquillity and serenity should instead stay between the third and fourth beach, calm, unspoiled and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.
Praia Morro de Sao Paulo is also dotted with smaller and less frequented strips of coast line, perfect for contact with nature even if you decide to arrive in Salvador in the heart of the high season. Don't miss Ponta da Pedra, Porto de Cima, Prainha do Forte and Praia da Gamboa do Morro. With the exception of Gamboa, which offers infrastructures and accommodation, the other beaches do not offer services to tourists and therefore remain much more natural and genuine. The fifth beach is Praia do Encanto, and is surrounded by beautiful mangroves that create an atmosphere worthy of being photographed.
When the low tide heralds the start of another day, the Maraù Peninsula is illuminated by a special light. Welcome to Salvador de Bahia's south coast, where diving into the natural pools is an authentic and unforgettable pleasure. A few kilometres away you can admire the boats docking in Barra Grande, where the pier welcomes travellers seeking peace of mind in the setting of the Costa do Dende. Bahia, and Maraù in particular, are famous for their romantic scenarios, and this is where you should organise a full-blown love escape to seal the promise of your life.
Maraù offers natural pools carved into the rock, a sea of crystal, coconut palms, deserted strips of sand and sunsets worthy of such name. 270 kilometres from the traffic of Salvador, Maraù is and remains one of the havens almost completely ignored by mass tourism – and therefore still not frequented. To get to some of the locations, such as Taipu de Fora, you need to rent a boat, but it's worth it! The landscape that awaits you on arrival is simply without comparison.
Praia do Cristo
La Praia do Cristo, near the coast of Barra and Ondina, is a perfect location for a day at the beach with the whole family. The name comes from a statue of Christ that stands atop a small hill near the coast. Although not very popular, this beach retains a unique city charm. Featuring rocks and natural pools, it's the perfect place for a bit of unpretentious relaxation. In Praia do Cristo there are no tents or kiosks, but the Centro Espanhol, Idaho, a leisure centre with great views of the beach, is built here.
Praia Sao Tomé de Paripe
In Salvador's urban neighbourhoods, we find Praia Sao Tomé de Paripe, which immediately strikes for its rough beauty. The water here is calm and warm and comes straight from All Saints Bay. The place is very welcoming and well organised, complete with street hawkers and large parking lots for make you feel at home.
The beach is surrounded by bars and restaurants and, especially on weekends, it becomes a popular attraction for the Baianos. Praia Sao Tomé de Paripe is located in the south of Salvador de Bahia. In addition to being an ideal place for the whole family, including children, to relax, the facilities offer a range of services for those looking for an extra thrill. Here you can have windsurfing, water skiing and kayaking lessons. There is also a small port from which boats depart bound for Ilha dos Frades and Ilha de Maré. If you come here, you also pass through Tubaro Beach, which passes by the monastery of Salvador.
Praia da Paciencia
A delightful, small beach almost entirely occupied by the locals, because few people are aware of the existence of Praia da Paciencia. The water quality is similar to that of other city beaches and is very convenient as it is really easy to reach, even by public transport.
In addition to the extraordinary rock formations with which it is dotted, the beach is perfect for a nice swim in hot water and for a conversation with the locals. In addition to a parasol and lounge chair rental service, the area is surrounded by walks that unfold through the city, to try especially during Carnival period.
Praia do MAM
Crystal clear waters, stunning views of All Saints Bay and artwork. Because going to Praia do MAM should unfold through this simple caption! Those who continue to the bottom of Contour Avenue, after Bahia Marina, reach the calm waters of MAM Beach, Museum of Modern Art of Bahia, an area beloved by tourists and locals for its strip of golden sandy coastline directly in the museum! The beach is therefore at the same time an area of well-being and reception and an art installation inside the Sculpture Park, which opened in the 1990s. This was the first location dedicated to outdoor art installations in the whole of Brazil, and it is no coincidence that it arises in the vicinity of one of the most beautiful landscapes of Salvador.
The area retains two original works by Carybé, made shortly before his death. One of these welcomes you at the entrance to the beach. MAM is dotted with works of art and drawings that refer to the rural life of El Salvador of days gone by. In addition to Carybé's work, the beach also houses the works of 20 Brazilian artists including Emanuel Arasjo, Ivens Machado, José Resende, Mario Cravo, Mestre Didi, Tunga, Juarez Paraso and Siron Franco. Although part of the museum structure, the beach is accessible to everyone and is often very crowded.
Praia Rio Vermelho
Pituba District: Take a trip to Pituba beach, one of the most densely populated centres of El Salvador located about 10 kilometres from the centre. Very popular with residents, this beach tends to be extremely busy and to take on that characteristic aspect that should not be ignored when planning a tour of the city. Those who want to take a dip should go to some other beach, potentially clearer and cleaner.
Praia do Mangue Seco
Along the Linha Verde we find the Praia do Mangue Seco, an expanse of white sand and enchanted dunes amongst mangroves, coconut palms and small little clubs for refreshments. Over 30 kilometres of beautiful coastline reachable only by sea or buggy. Those who come here can decide to rent a hammock and enjoy relaxation on the beachside.
Those who want to stop must do so through one of the organised trips that also take you around for the village and the Costa Azul. Small structures and cabanas to enjoy the arrival of sunset in total relaxation and tranquillity. Stop for dinner and taste a local delicacy: the moqueca de aratu, a particular crustacean that lives and proliferates amongst the local mangroves and is the main ingredient of this really interesting dish.
Buracao is a popular location for residents of Salvador de Bahia. The strip of sand, although not vast, opens onto a sparkling sea that is ideal for the most adventurous water sports. We move on to Buracao not so much for the beauty of the location as for its characteristic environment where everyone who walks on the beach seems to know each other!
Come here and be captivated by the beauty of graffiti and mirrored mosaics: rent a parasol and enjoy the local, slightly festive atmosphere. Especially in winter, the tide covers much of the beach and leaves only some of the rocks surrounding the area visible, creating an almost magical location. Buracao is also served by the Blue Beach Bar, a perfect place to enjoy a drink and delicacies of the place.
Discover Salvador de Bahia with Costa Cruises
Take advantage of a Costa Cruise to admire the most beautiful beaches of Salvador de Bahia, such as Praia do Forte and Praia Stella Maris. Brazil's most beautiful natural landscapes, magnificent beaches, lots of relaxation and fun await you!