Cumuruxatiba is a district of the municipality of Prado, in the state of Bahia, in Brazil.
Cumuruxatiba is a small fishing village in the Costa das Baleias and in the south of Bahia, with a difficult name and even more difficult access, kept as a secret by those who have been there.
Cumuruxatiba has beaches that look like they’re straight out of a tourist catalogue and its own clock, capable of making the time go by just so you can enjoy everything without haste.
Recently, Cumuruxatiba has been discovered by Brazilian and foreign tourists in search of gentle life, warm waters and kilometre-long beaches.
The beaches of Píer and Praia do Rio do Peixe stand out, with a freshwater dam, cliffs, monazite sand beaches and a wooden pier that extends one kilometre into the sea.
The hustle and bustle of the Bahian coastline will be left behind as your car moves away from Porto Seguro, where the nearest airport is located.
From there you will have almost 240 kilometres to travel, the last 30 on dirt roads, until you reach Cumuruxatiba, a small district of Prado.
If on the one hand the road won’t be easy, on the other hand you’ll be guaranteed beaches free of street vendors and people who like to leave the car stereo on full blast (which, by the way, is forbidden there). Instead, you’ll have more than enough space on the sand.
Even in high season, which runs from the end of December to carnival.
If you are travelling during this period, try to book well in advance. Resorts, of course, do not exist on that stretch. Inns usually reach their maximum occupancy and locals start renting out part of their houses to visitors – many of them from Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo.
Cumuru (for the intimate) is part of the Whale Coast, a place frequented, from July to August, by humpbacks.
18 kilometres from the centre of Cumuru, Barra do Caí, for example, was the landing place of the Portuguese in 1500 (read more on the next page).
The Monte Pascoal is also close to the village – boat tours pass through there – and baptises a national park. Created in 1961, the preservation area has 22,500 hectares, which include original stretches of Atlantic forest and an indigenous reserve.
It was the Pataxós, in fact, who were responsible for baptising the region. In the language of the natives, the word Cumuruxatiba is used to describe the difference between high and low tides throughout the day.
It is precisely this movement that reveals attractions such as the reef bottom of the central beach or the wide strip of sand between the beaches of Peixe Pequeno and Peixe Grande.
Videos about Cumuruxatiba in Bahia
See also Guia de Turismo de Prado BA
Cumuruxatiba is International
Descendants of pataxós and fishing families today share the village with Argentines, Swiss, Italians and Angolans, who have chosen Cumuruxatiba as their home and opened restaurants and inns there.
That’s why it’s possible, for example, to savour Swiss dishes at Hans’ inn. Or try muamba, an African recipe that resembles a moqueca, at the Mama África restaurant, run by Angolan chef Dolores.
Because of its location, southern Bahia is also influenced by Minas and Espírito Santo. The Bahian accent is not as pronounced, nor is the food too spicy.
Nor will you find acarajé stalls or hear axé. But there is a lot of receptivity and kindness, a common article in these parts.
The first contact with the landscapes of the village can be done by bicycle. Use the bikes available at your hostel or rent one in the centre.
For much of the year, the sandy beachfront will be almost deserted. And you’ll be a privileged spectator of the waves lapping over coral reefs or crashing on golden cliffs.
Despite the calm and Cumuru’s only cobbled street, inns and shops without much pretension, for some residents the change has been great in recent times.
“I miss the time when there was not so much party here,” says Ana Célia, a handful of sweets, who makes the best milk pudding in the region.
Tourist Attractions of Cumuruxatiba
One of the companies that make boat trips and whale watching is Aquamar Ecoturismo. Rua Beira Mar, 7, telephone: (73) 3573-1360.
Cumuru Magical Tour offers land and sea tours. Phones: (73) 8815-0240 and (73) 8833-9448.
2. Humpback whale show on the high seas
Outside the most popular period for travellers who are looking for sea and sun, heavy visitors arrive on the coast of Cumuruxatiba.
At this time of year, the giant whales leave the icy waters of the South Pole to mate and give birth to their young.
No guidebook will guarantee that you’ll spot them before you set off on your excursions, but trust me: you won’t go home without seeing at least one of these animals.
The chicks are the most curious and like to approach the boats.
The adults, which can measure up to 16 metres and weigh 40 tonnes, love to show off. They spout water out of their vents, show off their backs, and leave the tips of their tails sticking out of the water, inviting you to take photos.
But you’d better be quick not to miss the scene. Just in case. The tour lasts about three hours in the open sea.
If you are one of those who do not feel very well in boats, it is better not to risk it. Take a seasickness remedy 40 minutes before boarding – don’t wait until you have symptoms, otherwise the remedy won’t work, so you can enjoy everything with peace of mind.
3. CUMURUXATIBA BEACHES
1. Ponta do Corumbau Beach
About 50 kilometres from Cumuru, the small fishing village is still quiet, even with the arrival of hotels and inns.
The access, by dirt road, is difficult, but the landscape is worth the effort.
The privileged setting, where the Corumbau River meets the sea and forms a long sandy point, looks like something out of a film.
The main beach has a wide, white strip of sand that forms a beautiful contrast with the greenish sea.
The deserted beaches of Cumuruxatiba are framed, in large part, by cliffs and coconut trees – this is the case of the beautiful Barra do Caí.
On the stretch that gives its name to the village, the scenery is surrounded by woods with almond trees and comfortable kiosks.
The beach is one of the wildest and most deserted in southern Bahia, with white sands, blue sea, coconut trees and natural pools perfect for snorkelling.
It is 57 kilometres from Cumuruxatiba and is accessible by car (dirt road) or boat (two hours).
2. Tauá Beach
Accessible from Barra do Caí, the fine sand beach is lined with cliffs and coconut trees. It is 23 kilometres from Cumuruxatiba.
3. Barra do Cahy
The deserted beach is considered one of the most beautiful in Cumuruxatiba, with cliffs, coconut trees and a small river that flows into the sea. It is 18 kilometres from the village.
4. Calambrião Beach
Framed by cliffs and with monazite sands, Calambrião is accessible on foot, by the beach, being necessary to cross private property. It is six kilometres from the village.
5. Imbassuaba Beach
Cliffs and cliffs surround the beach, accessible on foot after a five-kilometre walk.
6. Moreira Beach
The beach is accessed through a farm, three kilometres from Cumuruxatiba.
Deserted, it offers coconut trees and clear sand.
7. Rio do Peixe Beach
The beach is divided into two – Peixe Grande and Peixe Pequeno – by the river that cuts through the area. Filled with charming inns, it is two kilometres from the village, being accessible by the beach or the road.
8. Cumuruxatiba Beach
The beach that gives the village its name is dotted with kiosks and, because it is long, it is perfect for walking.
The reefs attract snorkellers. An old wooden pier adds to the rustic atmosphere. It is the starting point for schooner trips around the region.
9. Dois Irmãos Beach
The weak waves attract fans of windsurfing and kayaking. It is two kilometres from Cumuruxatiba.
10. Areia Preta Beach
The dark sandy cove is surrounded by cliffs and is two kilometres from the village.
11. Japara Beach
The scenery of the beach, nine kilometres from Cumuru, is formed by cliffs, coconut groves and mangroves. It is popular for fishing and diving.
How to get there
There are daily flights from São Paulo to Porto Seguro, the nearest airport.
To Cumuruxatiba, the 240 km journey (of which 30 km are dirt roads) needs to be done by car or bus. Some inns offer the service.
There are local lines that run from Porto Seguro to Prado and from Prado to Cumuruxatiba. But you need to check the timetables, which are restricted.
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Tourism and Travel Guide of Cumuruxatiba in Bahia