Itacaré was once a haunt for cocoa farmers. It went into oblivion in the 60's when a relentless plague led to the decay of the farms. It was only rediscovered 40 years later, with the inauguration of a new road. The tarmac has replaced the precarious dirt road, hitherto seen only by surfers that in the 70’s paved and maintained the anonymity of the abandoned piece of paradise.
With the easy access also came the hype, the perks - comfortable lodgings, sophisticated resorts, international restaurants, Internet cafes, shops... - and the constant movement of tourists.
Itacaré was reborn under the ecotourism blessings and has been growing in an orderly manner, preserving rivers, waterfalls and deserted beaches framed by hills covered with Atlantic Forest - a very different scenario of the main postcards of Bahia, with dunes and cliffs.
In order to keep everything in its proper place, the city will not give up on the tracks, the only way to reach the most enchanting sceneries, as ‘Prainha’ and ‘Havaizinho’. Kayaks, canoes, bikes and jeeps are also welcome to practice exciting sports or venture out amid spectacular scenery.
There is no such thing as escaping the nature of Itacaré. Beaches, rivers or the Atlantic Forest are always framing the tours and sports activities practiced in the region. Even at night the scene is based on nature - some ‘forró’ houses are by the sea and the most crowded parties take place in the beach sands.
Good waves, hills covered by the Atlantic forest, accessed through trails and little movement. These are the characteristics common to the most beautiful beaches of Itacaré: Prainha, Havaizinho, Engenhoca and Jeribucaçu. If you are not willing to face a good walk, the options are the central beaches - Concha and Ribeira have good infrastructure and are busy, while Tiririca (also with great waves) and Resende have a bucolic atmosphere.
Discovered by surfers, Itacaré today offers much more than good waves. The region is formed by forests, rivers, waterfalls and swamps, which make it one of the hottest ecotourism destinations in the country, encouraging the practice of adventures like rafting, rappelling, kayaking, mountain-biking, hiking... The beautiful scenery - sea and Atlantic forest - are common to all activities, which should always be practiced in the company of guides.
Rafting is probably the most famous adventure of Itacaré. It is practiced in the most famous river of the region, the river Contas. The descent lasts two hours and takes place in the most exciting part of the river - three kilometres of rapids between canyons.
The night life in Itacaré (in the summer) starts early and ends only when the day gives signs that it will lighten up. The forró music can be appreciated on specific weekdays and every weekend from 9 pm to midnight. In the city center, the Pedro Longo street (Pituba) has bars that crowd late at night. And, on the coastline of Coroinha (in the Historic Center), the Café e Boteco Vila offers drinks, foosball tournaments and live music from Thursday to Saturday.
A trip to Itacaré is suitable for couples, families or groups of friends who are looking for beaches and contact with nature. To make the most of the region it is necessary to make trails (easy / medium, 40 minutes in general). It can be visited all year, there are over 300 days of sunshine with an average annual temperature of 27 degrees and water temperature of 23-25 degrees.
A little bit further south you can find Serra Grande, a city built on top of a green hill overlooking the Atlantic Forest and the clear, blue sea. Through the highest part of the city known as the "Mirante da Serra", you can let your mind wander away enjoying beautiful sunsets and having a cool drink on site. There are 22 km of white sand and coconut trees there for you to enjoy without any disturbance. Spend a day relaxing in front of the sea, where you can surf or simply stroll in what seems to be an endless beach. For those who are tired of salt water and waves, Serra Grande offers a quiet environment where there is fresh water. Near the city centre there is a large lake surrounded by a green lawn and trees that create a sense of a more private space. Admission is free.