It was my second time in Bahia, and again, I felt that everything is more colorful, that all the colors are shining brighter, that the energy is even more positive, the people even more open-hearted. Everything seems to be more intense there. I love it!
This time I started traveling in the south of Bahia and straightaway, I ended up in one of my favorite places of the journey: Caraíva. It is quite a hassle to get there from Porto Seguro. As it had been raining, the gravel road was in bad conditions and it took 4 hours to get the beautiful and unique village of Caraíva. As the van costs only 9 Reais more from the “Balsa” in Arraial d´ajuda, it is totally worth taking the van instead of the bus. There are no cars allowed, you have to cross the river with a boat and there you are: Sandy “streets”, no asphalt, no cars, no internet except you are in a place with wifi… You feel like set back in time. If you need to transport heavy goods, horse carts are used. Amazing. Such a laidback, charming place. The little one-storied buildings are painted in all kinds of colors, there are cute restaurants along the riverbank and diverse shops. And you have the choice between the ocean and the river. Where these two meet, everybody gets together at the end of the day to enjoy the beautiful sunset. It seems like everybody in Caraíva is making music and every night there is great live music in at least one of the places. On Monday you have to check out the “Toca do Seri”, Tuesday is Samba-time and from Thursday until Sunday, you can hit the dance floor at the famous Forró parties. Apart from that, there is always a great live act in the “Beco da lua”. After one day in Caraíva you already know everybody, the atmosphere is really familiar. Apparently, in the high season, it gets really crowded, when I was there in August, it was just perfect. On the one hand, there was always something going on, on the other hand, it was really chilled. And I have never walked so much on the beach. 13 km to the south is the Caribbean beach Corumbau, 9 km to the north the famous “Praia do Espelho”. Not only the landscape along the beaches but also the beaches itself are totally worth the walk. I definitely lost my heart to Caraíva.
After Caraíva I traveled up north. I only passed quickly in Trancoso, and stayed a couple of days in Arraial D´Ajuda, a place I really liked. Still small, but way bigger than Caraíva. In Caraíva you really feel like in a bubble, separated from the real world. The historic center of Porto Seguro is nice, but for me, it was enough to spend half of a day there, because: Itacaré was waiting.
Itacaré is a small surfer town with a relaxed welcoming vibe. I was expecting a little city, but the center consists of only one street and at night, there is even less going on then in Caraíva. Well, in the off-season! In summer it gets crowded. Nevertheless, I had an awesome time there. Probably, because Itacaré has a special vibe and everywhere you get to know new people, stop to talk, everything flows. Apart from that, there are always waves and the beaches a beautiful, wild, different from the ones I had seen in the south. Instead of long sandy beaches, you can find bays, every single one is different. A lot of them have to be discovered by hiking. There are a lot of hikes to explore the coast. I do not know if I was lucky or if every single place in Bahia has an amazing sunset. Itacaré unites everybody at sunset time at the Ponta do Xaréu. For my soul, sunsets are one of the most beautiful things that exist. Watching the sunset, the colors, this warm light – wow! Gratidão!
Ilha de Boipeba
After three days in Barra Grande, where it was mainly raining, I went to Ilha de Boipeba, an amazing island with incredible beaches. I know, one might think, beaches over beaches, isn`t it all the same. No, even if it is hard to believe, they are all different. Not only in terms of nature, water, amount of palm trees, but also the energy, the vibe, if it is a completely natural beach or if there are small “barracas” where you can buy drinks or food. Again, I was walking so many kilometers per day. I started to love those long walks along the beach. It is kind of meditative as well, walking for hours in a certain rhythm. One magic moment of my journey I had here in Moreré: Lying at the beach, the natural pools in front of me, the sound of the sea further away than usual, the wind blowing through the palm tree leaves – it was so peaceful! Completely connected to nature, inner peace and gratitude. This island has a special, awesome energy! And if you believe it or not, in Barra da Boipeba you can have an awesome sunset 😀 Sitting on the beach or taking a swim in the calm water, where the ocean and the river meet, playing guitar and making music while watching the sunset… that is called living the dream! Living my dream, at least.
Everybody told me that Chapada is a very special place, with special energy, very powerful. And what should I say, it is! The reason: The soil is full of crystals. First, I went to Lençóis, a colonial, alternative, friendly and colorful little town, famous Forrós and live music everywhere. There are so many treks to do, so many waterfalls to see, rockpools, rivers, mountains. After weeks on the coast, I was happy to be in the mountains, dive into a very different nature. Away from the sea to crystal clear waters. Even though the water of the rivers is black -from the roots and leaves falling into it and the iron of the rocks – the water is super clean and especially purifying and healing. Standing under a waterfall, letting the water run from the top of the head down the whole body, taking all negative thoughts, feelings, and energy away… I can understand why a lot of people came to Chapada and stayed.
After Lençóis I went to Vale do Capão, here I really connected with nature. Capão is roots, quiet, not touristy. I stayed at a campground, without Wifi, disconnected from the rest of the world. Sleeping under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of nature. I got grounded, I was in peace! And of course, also here, there was so much so explore! Several waterfalls, treks, natural pools. A must-do is the waterfall Fumaça, for example.
Chapada was my last stop in Bahia. In Salvador and Morro de São Paulo I was two years ago. To round this up, just a few words about those two places: Salvador is a huge city, with a lot of poverty and favelas, but at the same time you can find a lot of beautiful places. I was there, when the city was celebrating São João. The whole historic center, Pelourinho, was decorated with colorful little flags, there was so much party going on. Everybody was on the streets, the air filled up with happyness. I loved it. And also Morro de São Paulo was worth a visit as it offers a lot of beautiful beaches!
To sum up, if you go to Brazil, go to Bahia! Bahia offers spectacular beaches, awesome nature, heartwarming people, great food and a lot of Forró and music!
- Caraíva: Canoa Hostel e Suites : I absolutely loved it! Recommend it to everone!
- Trancoso: Quiron Hostel : For a night it was alright, nothing special.
- Arraial d´Ajuda: Adios Amigos Hostel Alto Mar : Great staff, chilled atmosphere, would always go back.
- Itacaré:Casarão Verde Hostel : Super beautiful colonial house, with a nice garden. The dorms a huge. When I was there, we were 3 people in the 18 bed-doorm. In summer it might too many people in one room. Before, I stayed 2 nights in Hostel As Margaridas, but the owner is so strange is you have the feeling you are not allowed to touch anything.
- Barra Grande: Shangri-la Hostel . Simple, cozy hostel!
- Boipeba: Abaquar Hostel : Great atmosphere, great hostel. Still, as my room was next to the kitchen, it was very noisy.
- Lençóis:Casa MangaMel : Apart from the Canoa Hostel my favorite hostel. Awesome vibe, really artistic and alterative. But the owner has changed two weeks later, I do not know how the hostel atmosphere changes now.
- Vale do Capão:Camping Filhos da Floresta : Lovely people, kind of a community life, there are workshops and a lot of meals, where everbody is helping happening.