Itacaré in the south of Bahia has small beaches and coves full of charm surrounded by hills covered by coconut trees and the Atlantic forest.
With rivers, waterfalls, mangroves and lots of virgin forest, this natural setting is perfect for hiking and adventure sports such as rafting, abseiling, hang-gliding, zip-lining, tree climbing…
When the Jesuit Luis Grã built a chapel consecrated to St Michael at the mouth of the River Contas, there was only one indigenous village there.
Due to its strategic position, the village grew and was elevated to the category of city, with the name of São Miguel da Barra do Rio de Contas, in 1731.
Legend has it that at that time the Rio de Contas served as a hiding place for pirate ships, some of which, full of treasure, would have sunk nearby.
ltacaré, named in 1932, was a town that developed around its harbour, through which the region’s agricultural produce flowed. With the roads, it fell into decline: the crisis was aggravated by the ruin of the cocoa farms, attacked by the “witches’ broom”.
The strong waves on most beaches attract a large number of surfers.
Many visitors come in search of rivers, waterfalls and trails for extreme sports. Boat trips along the Rio de Contas are a light option for those who don’t want an adrenaline rush.
From the colonial era, the Mother Church, dating from 1732, and the House of the Jesuits remain in Itacaré. The underground tunnel that connects them was used for escape in cases of Indian attacks.
Videos about Itacaré on the Cocoa Coast
Attractions around Itacaré
1. Tijuipe Waterfall
It is not high, but it is beautiful, with several waterfalls.
2. Véu da Noiva Waterfall
With 40m high, it is one of the largest in the region.
This village on the banks of the Rio de Contas is popular for extreme sports. The rapids of the Coiudo River, near the village, are not for beginners!
4. Noré Waterfall
The Noré waterfall, on the same river, is perfect for rappelling. Taboquinhas also has a 180m high zip line, suitable for those looking for an extra adrenaline rush.
Itacaré beaches are divided into two regions
- urban beaches – with access from the city centre
- rural beaches – with access from the BA-001 road
Both the urban and rural beaches offer a good diversity of scenery and marvellous strips of sand. Therefore, invest in tours of both regions.
There are beaches where you can drive right up to the sea and others where you’ll need to take a short trail to reach paradise.
And if you don’t have a car, you don’t have to worry: in Itacaré, you can get to the beach by bus, taxi, with a travel agency and also on foot, walking along some beautiful trails.
The important thing is to get to the sea! See more about how to get around in Itacaré.
Because it has a great variety of beaches and many of them are accessible only by trail, it is very difficult for Itacaré to be always crowded.
In fact, some of the more distant beaches almost always have deserted stretches. Even at the height of the high season, it will be possible to enjoy sunny days with the feeling of being the only connoisseur of that scenery.
It is important to say that, like much of the coastline of Bahia, Itacaré suffers a lot of influence from the tide.
This phenomenon means that the same beach, depending on the moon and time of day, has very different landscapes. Especially during the new and full moons, the tidal variation is very large.
On the same day, the sea can be very shallow and full of natural pools or surrounded by large waves, excellent for surfing. Therefore, be sure to visit the beaches at different times.
1. Urban beaches of Itacaré with access from the centre
With easy access from the Centre of Itacaré, the urban beaches are located within the city and can be visited by car, on foot, by taxi or even with one of the tours offered by tourist agencies.
Hearing the classification of “urban beaches” can give the impression that these are not very good beaches. In the case of Itacaré, this is not the case! Even among the urban beaches, there are some that look like desert paradises, where the environment is surrounded only by nature and a marvellous sea.
The first of Itacaré’s urban beaches is Praia da Coroa (or Coroinha), which marks the centre of the city and has a very busy waterfront.
This is the only beach in the city that is not suitable for swimming, as it also serves as a harbour and anchorage. To compensate, the visual, in the late afternoon, full of boats and people practising sports, is worthy of a good walk.
Still close to the centre of Itacaré, the Praia da Concha is the most popular among tourists. With a calm sea, ample infrastructure, many options of tours, inns, restaurants and kiosks, Concha is the right destination for those who do not give up services by the sea.
The Praia da Concha attracts many families and on the busiest days of the city it is, by far, the most disputed portion of sand. In low season and during the week, even Praia da Concha is quiet.
After Praia da Concha, the sequence of urban beaches that most appeals to tourists looking for more preserved settings, without kiosks or inns, begins.
Linked by the street called Caminho das Praias and separated by small stone cliffs, Praia do Resende, Praia da Tiririca, Praia do Costa and Praia da Ribeira form a beautiful set of paradises by the sea.
Getting around between them is very easy and it will be possible to walk both on the road and on the rocks.
Only 500 metres separate the first beach from the last, making this an ideal all-day walk. Just dedicate a few hours to each of the sandy strips and be happy.
The Praia do Resende is usually quieter and deserted, but it has some improvised kiosks that help you spend the day.
The Praia da Tiririca is very busy and attracts the surfing crowd for the good waves, besides being full of cool people and younger public.
The Praia do Costa does not offer kiosks and the currenty sea keeps families away, so it is almost always emptier than its neighbours.
The opposite happens at Praia da Ribeira, which has a calmer sea, a freshwater river running and still has some kiosks with high chairs to enjoy peacefully all day.
All are good choices! Browse through each of them to find your favourite.
2. Rural Beaches
Rural beaches of Itacaré with access by road
Itacaré has several beaches far from the centre and located in the middle of the preserved Atlantic Forest.
To reach the rural beaches, access is via the BA-001 road.
And, in some cases, it will still be necessary to take a short stretch of trail to reach the beach.
All the sandy areas known as rural beaches have a very preserved environment and paradisiacal scenery. It is difficult to define which is the most beautiful among them. When in doubt, try to go to all of them!
The ideal way to do these tours is by car, but you can also go to the beginning of some trails with the help of buses, taxis or tourist agencies.
The furthest beach from the centre is only 15 km away, so none of them are too far from the city.
Itacarezinho Beach is the first beach in Itacaré that tourists see on the road on their way to town.
There are more than 3 km of sandy strip that make any traveller happy.
Itacarezinho has a long deserted stretch, however, on the beach, there is a large resort and also a good restaurant that welcome tourists looking for cabins by the sea. The beach appeals to both those who want total isolation and those who prefer convenience.
This is the largest beach in Itacaré and one of the most famous sceneries of the city.
To visit Itacarezinho, choose between access through the Itacarezinho Restaurant (with paid parking and free for pedestrians) or take the Quatro Praias Trail, which arrives at Itacarezinho Beach.
Following the BA-001, towards Itacaré, it will be easy to find the car park that gives access to the Trilha das Quatro Praias.
This is one of the most famous walking routes in the city, with a total length of 4 km and visits to Praia da Engenhoca, Praia Havaizinho, Praia da Camboinha (or Gamboa) and, finally, Itacarezinho (the only one on the route also accessible by car). Walking the entire trail is wonderful! If you are not up to it, do at least the first three beaches and then drive to Itacarezinho. Praia da Engenhoca is the circuit’s favourite among surfers.
Havaizinho is the favourite of those looking for a good stretch of sand with calmer sea and kiosks.
Camboinha, of the three, is the smallest beach, the most deserted and the one that offers the least infrastructure. Beauty abounds in all of them and each appeals to a different audience.
The next stretch of sand, following the BA-001 towards Itacaré, is the Praia de Jeribucaçu.
With access by trail, Jeribucaçu has a complete look!
The beach is surrounded by closed vegetation, coconut trees, clear sand, a freshwater river that flows into the sea and offers both secluded corners and kiosk structure.
To get there, you will need to leave your car in private car parks near the beginning of the trail (located 4 km from the road) and head to the beach in half an hour of walking. The access, if compared to other beaches, is more difficult.
As a result, Jeribucaçu is hardly crowded.
Already very close to Itacaré, Prainha and Praia de São José are neighbours and form a good double for the day trip.
Most tourists who visit Prainha do not know, but the two beaches are connected by a short trail and, even better, easily accessible from inside the Villa de São José Condominium.
The most famous route to Prainha is a 40-minute trail from Praia da Ribeira. A much easier route, however, is possible inside the condominium.
In this case, it will only be a ten-minute walk to Prainha.
The ease comes at a price: you will need to pay for the day use of the Grauçá restaurant, on Praia de São José, to access by car and reach the beginning of the shortest trail to Prainha.
The cost will be R$ 80 per person, reverted in consumption and in a beautiful pool bath by the sea.
Both Prainha and Praia de São José offer spectacular scenery. Whether by trail or through the condominium, don’t miss the opportunity to go to both.
Best Beaches in Itacaré
The set of beaches in Itacaré enchants by the diversity of landscapes and experiences that range from sandy strips full of restaurants and kiosks to deserted beaches occupied only by the exuberance of the Atlantic Forest on the rocky shores.
Itacaré is the right destination for those who like seaside infrastructure and also for those who prefer the calm of the beaches without kiosks or inns in the surroundings.
1. Jeribucaçu Beach
One of the must-see beaches in Itacaré, Jeribucaçu is a favourite among surfers with its strong waves.
Chen you arrive by footpath, you can already see the small cove full of coconut trees almost in the sea.
For those who like fresh water, the river of the same name flows there and allows that refreshing bath to remove the salt from the body – and nearby there is still the Usina Waterfall.
There are few, but good, tents on the sand.
To get there, you have to take the road from Ilhéus and enter when the signposts point you 3 km inland. Then, another half hour walk through the forest.
Or it may be a good idea to hire tours there with travel agencies; taxis also take you to the beginning of the trail.
2. Itacarezinho Beach
Despite its diminutive name, Itacarezinho is one of the largest beaches in Itacaré with its 3.5 km long.
Located to the south of the city, you have to enter from BA 001 on a private road that leads to it – and on the way there is already a breathtaking viewpoint to make you want to get right to that scenery of the sea almost swallowing the endless coconut groves along the coast.
The sea is ideal for both surfing and snorkelling, with plenty of coral and even underwater caves for the more experienced.
In the northern canton there is also a waterfall to cool off in the fresh water.
The place is also a breeding ground for sea turtles, which visit this paradise between September and March to lay their eggs.
Those who go there also do not miss the chance to take a long walk along the beautiful coastline. There are bars and restaurants to cater for the public.
3. Engenhoca Beach
Do you want a small, secluded and practically deserted beach? Go to Engenhoca.
It is another surfers’ point in Itacaré, mainly for longboarding, but it does not receive many people.
A beautiful trail starts at km 12 of BA 001 and leads there, with incredible views on the way.
The structure is small, with few stalls offering food and drinks, but a luxury resort is under construction on the site.
4. Havaizinho Beach
The same trail that leads to Engenhoca can also reach Havaizinho Beach at a diversion on the way.
Full of rocks and reefs, it has a wide strip of sand at low tide, but short at high tide.
Despite the strong waves, it does not receive many surfers. It is one of the quietest corners of the region, a jewel still untouched and with little structure.
And with its incomparable beauty it is always considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Itacaré.
5. Resende Beach
Praia do Resende is another beach in Itacaré where coconut trees dominate the landscape and surfers are present in the water.
And with the advantage of being closer to the city centre, with access from a short trail on Caminho das Praias – the name of the main street.
Despite this, it is very quiet, with a lawn where many people enjoy lying down and natural pools in the right corner between the rocks.
There are a few kiosks for food and drink and many capoeiristas also appear there – for performances and classes, especially in summer.
6. Praia da Ribeira
Accessed also by Caminho das Praias, Ribeira Beach is definitely one of the most beautiful in Itacaré.
TThe beach is rustic, full of trees around its not very long strip of sand and a great sea for a swim.
And the Ribeira River, which flows there, forms some waterfalls and a small pool that makes bathers happy.
As it is close to the centre, it is more crowded on weekends, long holidays and in summer in general. For those who like adventure, the zip line that passes over the beach is a must.
And if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Praia da Ribeira, go to Prainha. Just follow the trail that leaves it through the Atlantic Forest for just over half an hour – amid streams and waterfalls.
And then you arrive at one of the most exuberant beaches not only of the Costa do Cacau or Bahia, but of all Brazil.
A good idea is to take the guided tour of the local tourist agencies, since there are forks and little signposting on the way.
The beach is a minimal cove with two hills at the ends and lots of green around – just seeing it to understand the incredible beauty of the place.
A good idea is to stay in neighbouring São José, which has some of the best hotels in Itacaré.
8. Praia da Concha
Contrary to the rustic and isolated atmosphere of Prainha, Praia da Concha is one of the best structured beaches in the region – and it doesn’t lack in beauty.
Some of the nicest pousadas in Itacaré are located there, for example, making it a great alternative to stay in.
The Rio de Contas meets the sea, which also has very calm waters – and all this makes it possible to see countless people paddling in kayaks and stand up paddles.
Very crowded on weekends and in high season, it still has as its highlight the viewpoint of Ponta do Xaréu, with the best sunset in town.
9. Siriaco Beach
Considered the most secluded spot on the coast of Itacaré, Praia do Siriaco is accessed from Ribeira beach after approximately 15 minutes of hiking. But, despite the short distance, it is best to look for a guide or a travel agency to go there.
Deserted and with a very small strip of sand, all the forest around the bay makes the look one of the most beautiful in the city.
There are many rocks on the edge of the sea and there is even a cave that reveals itself at low tide – inhabited by countless bats.
It is definitely an unforgettable adventure to go to the beach and enjoy the quiet of its isolation.
10. Tiririca Beach
Last on the list – but no less interesting – is Praia da Tiririca, the biggest surfing spot in town.
Close to the centre and with two coasts “hugging” the sea in its corners, making the waves always big. For these and others, it can be considered even the best point of the Bahian coast for surfing.
The beach is always full of surfers, including some stages of official championships.
For those who just want to enjoy the sun and the sea, Tiririca maintains the beauty of its neighbours and also has its little stream flowing there to guarantee fresh water.
There is a good structure of services, including inns, and it is worth the visit to admire the landscape.
11. Praia da Coroa (from Avenida or the Centre)
Urban, with reefs, dark and beaten sand, without waves.
This is where the city’s main waterfront is located, with many boats anchored and some historic mansions.
It is not recommended for swimming, but is more popular for sports such as football and volleyball due to the wide strip of sand at low tide.
Surfing in Itacaré
Itacaré is a great place for surfers; the city receives good waves practically all year round and at any time of the year big swells can come in.
Another factor that makes Itacaré a great destination for surfing is the fact that the waters of Itacaré are always at a pleasant temperature, ranging between 23 and 30ºC.
For those looking for a good day of surfing, the use of a neoprene waistcoat is highly recommended on windy days and of course, never forget the sunscreen.
Although Itacaré caters to surfers all year round, it is in winter that the biggest waves are usually formed, ranging from 1 to 3 metres in height.
In the summer, small waves usually form in the sea, but some swells characteristic of winter can paint on the beaches of Itacaré.
In autumn and winter, the characteristics are similar, with small and medium waves, with some good swells at the beginning of each season.
Surf – Best Beaches in Itacaré
One of the best surf spots in Itacaré, Hawaizinho is formed by three small beaches. Strong waves, reefs and coconut trees make this not only a great surfing beach, but also a beautiful place to admire.
After leaving the car in a paid car park, you have to walk for about 10 minutes along trails for about 10 minutes to reach the beach.
2. Engenhoca Beach
Besides being a great destination for surfers, this horseshoe-shaped beach also offers natural pools, coconut trees and hills covered by the Atlantic forest.
Located 15km from Itacaré, it requires a 20-minute hike past Havaizinho beach to find the half-metre to three-metre wave breaks.
3. Resende Beach
This small beach is just 1km from the centre and in addition to good waves also has white sand, coconut trees and natural pools. Frequented by surfers and bathers, it also has rustic tents serving snacks and refreshments.
4. Itacarezinho Beach
The trail that leads to this beach cuts through a private property and takes around 30 minutes.
Waves of half a metre to two metres attract a large majority of surfers, who are looking for good waves, in addition to having the structure of stalls to sell food and drinks and a freshwater waterfall.
5. Jeribucaçu Beach
Beach of rare beauty at the mouth of the Jeribucaçu River. As well as a 9km drive from the centre of Itacaré, a 40-minute walk to the beach is required… But it’s worth it; waves of up to 3 metres often form at Jeribucaçu Beach.
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6. Tiririca Beach
Itacaré’s favourite beach for surfers, strong waves of half a metre to 3 metres are constantly forming.
It is busy all year round and frequented by many local surfers.
Praia do Tiririca is also the most used beach for surfing championships in Itacaré.
Simple tents at the top of the hill offer options to cool off between waves.
Itacaré’s postcard and considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Bahia, waves of half to three metres become tubular on its best days.
Only one hut offers options for eating and drinking on this beach.
Don’t hesitate to hire a guide if you don’t know the trails that lead to the little beach; the walk takes about 40 minutes, it is necessary to pass through forks in the trail and includes a waterfall crossing.
Itacaré Tourism Guide on the Cocoa Coast