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Boipeba & Morro de São Paolo

Morro de São Paulo is located a few hours by boat from Salvador, on Tinharé which seems to be one among so many other islands in the Camamu archipelago. However, a single look at a map reveals that this site benefits from a strategic situation facing the ocean. It is not merely by chance. It was there that the Portuguese decided in 1531 (the date of its foundation) to establish a fort to protect the city that was then the capital of Brazil: Salvador de Bahia.

While Morro de São Paulo is a treasure by itself, the real favorite of the archipelago is the island of Boipeba! It has managed to preserve all the natural diversity of its flora: mangrove forests, Mata Atlântica, dunes and coral reefs. Boipeba is composed of four villages, A Velha Boipeba, São Sebastião, Moréé and Monte Alegre. It is one of those dream islands where harmony has definitely taken root.

Brazil, Boipeba - low tide beach, beached boat

Geography and climate

The islands of Tinharé and Boipeba are “placed” between two waters. The fresh water of the Rio do Inferno, (aptly named because it is indeed rather infernal for navigation) and the salt water of the ocean. This particularity influences the local cuisine, which includes both seafood from its eastern coast and fresh water “fruits” from its western shores.

Here we find much the same climate as in Salvador de Bahia which is 90 km away.

Boipeba - Brésil

Morro de São Paulo - Brésil

A few words about Morro de São Paulo and Ilha de Boipeda

Morro de São Paulo – Brazil

Brazil, Morro Sao Paulo - oceanMorro de São Paulo is a destination that is suitable for lovers of Latin festivals as well as lovers of tranquility and idleness. The region is recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve and this village has an undeniable charm: its fine sandy beaches, charming and well-kept streets and restaurants await all those who wish to enjoy a well-deserved meal after their return from an active day of leisure… Your hosts have long understood that banning access to motor vehicles was essential.

The island of Tinharé where the village is located is a key destination in the Bahia region with its many beaches divided into sectors: The first beach, the second beach, the third beach, the fourth beach, the fifth beach…The first beach is the closest to the village and its liveliness. The further away from Morro you go and try higher beach numbers, the more tranquility, calm and natural beauty you gain!

Whether it is for painting or dancing, Morro de São Paulo is also one of those places where life seems inseparable from the arts. How could it be otherwise with so much inspiring beauty? Find shelter, eat and drink in all these places where art is ever-present and your stay on the island will surely be even more memorable !

Ilha de Boipeba

Brazil Ilha Boipeba - abundant vegetation, oceanAll those who are looking for nature, ecology, sustainable development and a more intimate stay far from the usual flow of travellers will love Boipeba! Its environment has an extraordinary natural charm where calm prevails almost solemnly. The island has some of Brazil’s most beautiful and picturesque beaches. It is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve. Their crystal clear waters, white sand and infinite palm trees rival any beach in the Caribbean!

Other treasures are within reach. Some parts of the island are near intact primary forest conservation areas (Mata Atlântica). These are precious sites of rare beauty, ecosystems different from the mangrove forests that surround the island. You will find for example vitória-regia water lilies and bromeliads with their bright red flowers. Simply treading these trails with your feet in the water is an unusual experience. The intact fauna and flora, which constitute its wealth without a doubt make it a unique place in the world.

Our expert advice

Brazil Ilha Boipeba - Roda CapoeiraIf you choose to focus mainly on the state of Bahia, choose these islands as a seaside break. You can make it either lively thanks to the keen sense of the Brazilians for the celebration in Morro or more intimate and remote in Boipeba.
It is an ideal stopover between, for example, a “sporty” itinerary such as the Chapada Diamantina and a cultural break in Salvador de Bahia. Thus your trip will be perfectly balanced.

On one side, Morro de São Paulo, arts, flavors, charm, luxury! Whether it is for a short stop on the island or an extended stay, our experts will advise you on what this place has to offer. On the other hand, Boipeba gives you the opportunity to experience simplicity without neglecting comfort or even luxury. On this island there is room for everyone as long as everyone respects and preserves it. The Terra Nordeste agency will advise you on the most authentic and sublime sites of the island for octopus fishing in the reefs, crab hunting in the mangrove swamps or for a cooking class with the locals.

We advise the most active travelers to immerse themselves in Bahia’s culture through sport with Capoeira, this martial art that is practiced like dancing and where movements follow the rhythm of music !

Brazil, Boipeba Morro Sao paolo - boatOut of the five beaches of Tinharé Island we prefer the last two without hesitation.

  • The 4th beach is about 4 kilometres long and lined with coconut trees. It is more isolated than its predecessors and therefore less frequented. At low tide, the beach offers one of the island’s most popular attractions: the natural swimming pools. The large coral reef that borders it allows you to observe many species of fish when they are trapped at low tide.
  • The 5th beach is the beach furthest from the center. It is similar to the fourth beach although more difficult to access. Its location makes it almost exclusive to nearby resorts and hotels The path that leads to it is relatively long but if you come from the Morro de São Paulo village you can use a cart pulled by a mule as a means of transport !

Why should you visit Morro de São Paulo and Boipeba

IMorro de Sao Paolo :
  • Sophisticated Pousadas that combine local art and modernity. You will be delighted by the comfort and Brazilian tradition.
  • Experience a “Brazilian-style” beach life in a privileged setting
  • Enjoy Bahian dishes, mainly seafood-based
  • Enjoy natural pools, beautiful beaches and well-preserved flora.
  • The sunset of Morro de São Paulo is so magical that it is indescribable. Climb on the hill, sit back and enjoy a good caïpirinha de cocoa (enjoy responsibly) in hand and watch the King Star dive into the sea !

On the island of Boipeba:

  • Pousadas that blend into the lush surrounding nature, extremely comfortable in a spellbinding setting.
  • A paradise for lovers of leisure; the island itself is the refuge of those who do not need much to be happy: lying down in a hammock, contemplating the landscape of soothing beaches and letting time pass right by.
  • Hiking: an essential activity for those who want to discover this island in a more authentic way. Our guides know the flora and fauna as well as the local communities. A paradise to discover on foot, with a large number of ecosystems.
  • For those who prefer the ocean, Boipeba offers beautiful beaches with many snorkeling spots. At low tide, the reefs emerge over tens of meters and are a delight for fishermen: crabs, octopus and small colorful fish abound in their natural habitat.
  • It is also through its cuisine that the island of Boipeba will seduce you. Typical Bahian dishes will surprise you. They are based on coconut milk and Dendê oil such as the famous moqueca. Shrimps, fish or crabs, each of these seafood products are caught in situ and freshly cooked for the pleasure of the most refined palates!

To go further…

Read Jean-Paul Delfino’s description of Morro de São Paulo and Boipeda in our “Travel diaries” section: terra-nordeste.com/en/morro-de-sao-paolo-seen-by-jean-paul-delfino/