Praia do Forte is Bahia’s premier beach vacation destination - however there’s plenty of great alternatives a little further North along the coastline from Salvador.
Visited: June 4-6, 2008
Praia do Forte is a tasteful, small, cobble-street resort-like town about an hour North of Salvador. The town is full of small pousadas and resorts - there must be 50 places to stay. There’s very few budget options here - all of the pousadas seem to cost R$60 or R$70 per night (low season) - the best option I found was Pousada Montreux (R$65) where we stayed. There’s also various more luxury hotels in Praia do Forte, such as the Praia do Forte Eco Resort.
We went exploring the coast to the North of Praia do Forte - the Linha Verde road runs North all the way to Mangue Seco, with turn offs to various beaches and villages en route.
First stop to the North is Imbassai. This riverside village is a great alternative to neighbouring Praia do Forte. The beaches here are lovely, there’s a dozen decent pousadas and various good looking restaurants to choose from. If I come back to this part of Brazil, I’d choose to stay in Imbassai as it’s better value for money, and less touristy than Praia do Forte.
This is a relatively unheard off place, set a little back from the beach. There’s maybe five pousadas in Diogo, plus a few camping options and a handful of remarkably excellent looking restaurants. The beach is a ten minute walk from town, through the sand dunes. Diogo is an interesting, even less touristy alternative to Praia do Forte and Imbassai. Nearby is a small fishing village and nudist beach at Santo Antonio, which is between Imbassai and Diogo. Further to the North along the Linha Verde road is Porto Sauipe and Costa do Sauipe, tacky package holiday resort towns.
Subauma & Baixio
A short drive further North along Brazil’s Linha Verde is Sabauma, which has maybe four basic pousadas in town. This is pretty off the beaten track. The beach is long and fine, but off shore rocks mean it’s not ideal for a dip in the sea.
Not particularly impressed by Subauma, we travelled a little further North to Baixio, which is prettier with a long coconut palmed coastline, and again has a handful of basic pousadas.
Sitio do Conde
Further North, long beaches continue along Bahia’s coastline. Villages are less visited, but there are a few pousadas and hotels in places such as Sitio do Conde, Barra do Itariri, Pocas and Siribinha. Sitio do Conde’s beaches aren’t great, but it is the better base to explore this area of unspoilt, coconut palm baced beaches.
Unfortunately we didn;t make it quite as far as Mangue Seco. The small village is the last stop on the Linha Verde, and on the border of Bahia state. Access is by boat, the nearby sand dunes have stunning views and Mangue Seco is said to be one of the most beautiful parts of Bahia’s coastline. There’s various cheap pousadas in the village.
For further travel advice see also our guide to Salvador & it’s surroundings, our guide to Brazil & it’s beaches, plus articles on Salvador and Morro de Sao Paulo, an alternative beach destination near Salvador .