I think everyone would agree that Brazil has the most wonderful islands and beaches. But the most beautiful ones are usually hidden from the mass tourism. Sometimes because of their hard to reach location and sometimes because the local people want to keep their pearls for themselves.
Nevertheless today is your lucky day, because I am about to take you on a cruise to one of the most beautiful island in the state of Bahia, Boipeba. That is if you don’t mind a little adventure and your idea of an awesome vacation is not staying in a five star hotel and spending your days by the pool with caipirinha in your hand.
Setting into the unknown
Finding island of Boipeba which is located very close to the famous Morro de Săo Paulo which is the usual tourist destination is not very easy, but it was worth to travel there and I don’t regret any minute spent there! I departed from city of Salvador which is a capitol of Bahia. I took a ferry boat to Bom Despacho which is at island of Itaparica and from there a bus to Valença (about 100 km). In Valença I took a fast boat which is I think the most convenient way of transport, as the catamaran takes much longer and it’s not as fun.
Finally, the magical island of Boipeba was lying there in front of my eyes. I could see from a far that this is exactly what I needed after spending one week in a loud and crowded Salvador. Boipeba was calm, but so beautiful and rich. It reminded me of those backgrounds we put on our screens or the posters we hang on a wall and dream next to them. But Biopeba was real and I was there.
Small and rough, like a pearl
Boipeba is a part of Cairú municipality, the only archipelago municipality in Brazil with 26 islands in total. It is not a very big island but its richness in biodiversity and all the precious ecosystems makes it truly a paradise island. You can literally walk for kilometers along the white sandy beaches and not meet a single person. Just you, the palm trees, and abandoned fishing boats.
Of course if you don’t like to spend all day alone, there are lots of amazing restaurants, pousadas, bars and meeting points where you can definitely feel the vibe of the true Boipeba. Local people are really open, as tourism did not ruin the genuine nature of the island yet. I immediately got accepted as a family member in my amazing hostel, run by a dutch couple who after coming here as travelers, just decided this is their new home. Well, to tell you honestly, who wouldn’t!
Capoeira, is it a dance or a fight?
Of course traveling around Bahia, you can not have a city or a village without a local capoeira group. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that emerged back in the time of slavery, but is still practiced today. And for me as a capoeira instructor it was only natural to look and join a capoeira class. The master was called Mestre Zé Pequeno, but believe me, he was not small at all (pequeno in portuguese means small). The class was amazing, but unfortunately my warrior spirit was a bit too high and I have injured my right leg, which was then an unpleasant memory, and the only unpleasant one about Boipeba.
TOP 10 lists of beaches
The next day I decided to visit the most famous beach on the other side of Boipeba. Brazilians have this funny habit of making TOP 10 lists. Everywhere you go in Brazil and ask the locals which beach would they recommend, you will surely get the TOP 10 list. Well, they obviously have the luxury as every village is surrounded with heavenly beaches. And here at Boipeba, the first place belongs to the praia de Moreré. I went there with a carioca that I’ve met in a hostel. Cariocas are residents from Rio and her name was actually Flavia. She is the one who convinced me to get up early in the morning and start walking.
The walk was long and tiresome as I still had my injured foot from capoeira which was now bigger than my shoes and the color was turning purple, but after coming there I was struck by the beauty of the place. I mean honestly, I would be happy to stop on any of the hundred beaches we have passed, but as we were determined to see praia do Moreré, that is where we’ve stopped. We arrived rather late and the sun was up, heating the white sand so hard that there was no chance you would walk barefoot on the sand and not get burned. So we just decided to have a refreshing coconut! Because you can! Straight from the nearest palm tree.
Walk on the water, but refresh with a cerveja
By now you probably already know, I am a fan of the sea, sun and sand beaches. So let me tell you one thing that surprised me the most in Bahia. The water was so warm I couldn’t even refresh myself after sunbathing at the beach. And to be able to swim, you had to first walk at least fifty or hundred meters to reach a decent depth. So after returning back from the walk on the water, I just refreshed myself with a cold beer which is called cerveja in Portuguese.
An adventure in the mangroves
The next day we set on a boat trip with a local guide, who was actually one of the members of the oldest fisher family on the island. He took us into the deep kingdom of mangroves. It was really an amazing experience. I felt as a true Amazon warrior surrounded with mangroves and fish and crabs all over the bush. We rowed around, searching for the right paths, we were thought how to catch a crab and to bring dinner to the plate and discovering history of Boipeba island through the stories of our guide. If you will be visiting Boipeba, be sure to spend at least one afternoon exploring the unique ecosystem which is now unfortunately under threat, because of development and tourism.
Something for the high end guests
As I said before Boipeba is not yet struck with massive tourism, but it doesn’t mean you don’t get to stay in the most beautiful pousadas with an almost private beach just in front of your yard and enjoying freshly caught fish on your porch with a sunset decorating your background. The prices are not too high, but the view is worth a million dollars! I decided that if I every get married, Boipeba is the place where my honeymoon is happening!