Stella Maris, Praia do Sal and Flamengo beaches, located “outside the city”, are known for their clear and super clean waters and endless coconut trees. Refuges. But if you want to conciliate tourism with a dip in the sea, this itinerary will be a map for the closest beaches to the most popular tourist spots in the city.
Senhor do Bonfim Church + Praia da Ribeira
This is one of those top 1 city itineraries: YOU HAVE TO GO!!! One of the places for which Bahian people have a big affection. The impressive Church is rich in details. A huge painting takes the whole ceiling and, on the altar, it contrasts with the mint, white and gold colors. On the side, there is the “requests and thanks room”. On the second floor, there is a museum that few visitors know about. If you are curious, come with us and learn more at this link.
Leave Bonfim walking along Ribeira’s edge. The sidewalk has been revitalized, the track, now a one-way, makes it easier to walk. The water is so calm that locals and tourists often put their chairs and tables into the sea and stay there until the full tide. From the sand, you can see Bonfim’s Church from another angle. On weekends, the beach gets very crowded, and there are often sound cars. If you want a quieter day, it’s better to go on weekdays.
Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat + Praia de Boa Viagem
Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat houses the Museum of Arms, with civil and military armaments, light and medium ones, some used by the Army in the past. It is considered one of the most exquisite military works of Colonial Brazil. It’s usually filled with tourists at sunset time. You can have a privileged view of All Saints Bay entrance from there: in one side, you can see Salvador, and on the other, Itaparica Island. Another place to see the sunset from a ringside seat is at Ponta de Humaitá Lighthouse, called the Valentines’ Lighthouse. The two tourist sites are in the same complex, very close to each other, you can walk from one to the other. Try to arrive before 5:00 pm.
Right next to it there is Praia do Meio, close to Praia de Boa Viagem. Choose a table on the sand and have fun trying to find out which buildings you know looking at the horizon: you can easily see the panoramic scenery of our coast from there. In addition to the calm sea, without waves, it is different from most beaches in the city by having beach stands, which is convenient for eating and drinking. It’s also good for kids, the fun part is to look for the little fish swimming. It’s simply charming!
Farol da Barra (Barra Lighthouse) + Porto da Barra
Did you know that Barra Lighthouse is part of Santo Antônio da Barra Fort? And that this typical work of Portuguese colonial architecture was built before the very city of Salvador was founded? Farol da Barra houses Bahia Nautical Museum, which has a historical collection formed by objects from different eras, some of them submerged for up to 300 years and which help to understand the relation between man and sea and between Bahia and the Lighthouse. We tell you everything in this link. It has all the information.
Next to it, at low tide, there is a beautiful stretch of sand and a wonderful dip in the sea. The cool thing is that you will get another view of the Lighthouse, from inside the water. After that, walk to Porto da Barra. This beach is between two Forts: Santa Maria and São Diego. If you are a sportsman, the place is perfect to practice SUP and the Hawaiian canoe. There are many of these sports companies around there. It is perfect to stay all day long and watch a memorable sunset. If you want to know more, click on this link.
Casa de Iemanjá (Mercado do peixe) + Praia da Paciência
A sacred place, where on February 2 happens the biggest party of Rio Vermelho neighborhood: Iemanjá party! The offerings are placed right there in that little house. The story says that in a year of fish shortage at the sea, a group of fishermen offered gifts to the mother of waters. In the following years, this ritual was repeated and the fishermen house, “Casa do Peso”, became a sacred place for the candomblé followers. In 1972, the place became Casa de Iemanjá, and the February 2 procession begins there. Throughout the year, the house remains a place to sell fresh fish. The doors are open for visitation in the morning and early afternoon.
At the end of the seashore towards Ondina, there is a super charming cove, basically attended by the residents. It’s close to everything in the neighborhood and has some pretty cool rock formations at the right side. There are good natural pools there to relax and chat. It has beach stand and umbrellas service. It’s better to go when there is some movement there: it is hidden, below the road level.
Praia do Buracão + Acarajé da Cira
In Salvador, acarajé is indeed a tourist spot, folks!!!! In Rio Vermelho you have several popular options. The season’s dear ones are Cira and Regina, two of the neighborhood classics. But you’re going to start this itinerary at the beach. Buracão beach is living the coolest moment in its sands history. It also has a higher frequency of locals than tourists. The sand strip is not extensive, the sea is not calm, but the people’s mood is what makes the difference: it seems like everyone knows each other. The place is known by the affectionate nickname of “praia do oi” (the “hi” beach). It has a wall full of graffiti and mosaics in mirrors. Even the access staircase was drawn. Click here and we’ll tell you everything about this little hidden part of Rio Vermelho.
The tip is to go to Buracão beach in the afternoon, after you’ve done everything in your day. Go there to relax. Then when you feel hungry, take the advice from the beginning of this text: surrender to the palm oil. One acarajé and a coke, please! Cira’s acarajé is the classic of the classics, with a big line of people every day, but worth the wait. It’s a delight. It is located in a square where several cultural events take place, Largo da Mariquita. So, if you’re lucky, there might be a great show going on, to end your day on a high note.
Senhor do Bonfim Church + Praia da Ribeira
Senhor do Bonfim Church
Address: Largo do Bonfim, no number, Bonfim, Salvador-BA.
Opening hours: Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday, from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. On the last and the first Friday of each month, from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Phone: (71) 3316-2196.
Praia da Ribeira (Ribeira Beach)
Address: Orla da Ribeira. Cidade Baixa, Salvador – BA, 40415-055
Best time: any day of the week in the morning [A5]
Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat + Praia do Meio
Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat (Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat Fort)
Opening hours: from Monday to Saturday, from 09:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Address: Ponta de Humaitá, Salvador – BA, 40301-155
Phone: (71) 3313 7339
Praia do Meio
Address: R. Eng. Manoel Inácio Bastos, 1 – Boa Viagem, Salvador – BA, 40414-150
Best time: during the week, in the morning.
Farol da Barra (Barra Lighthouse) + Porto da Barra Beach
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (every day in January and July).
Address: Largo do Farol da Barra, no number – Santo Antônio da Barra Fort – Barra – Salvador – Bahia 40140-650
Tourist – R$ 15,00 (normal)
Students, teachers and elderly people – R$ 7.50.
School groups – R$ 6.50 per student.
Residents – R$ 5,00
Gratuity – children under 7 years old and disabled people.
Porto da Barra Beach
Address: between Fort Santa Maria and Fort São Diego. Porto da Barra, Salvador – BA, 40130-000
Best time: any time of day, but the sunset is something you must see.
Casa de Iemanjá + Praia da Paciência
Casa de Iemanjá
Address: next to Sant’Ana Parish. R. Guedes Cabral, 143 – Rio Vermelho, Salvador – BA, 41950-620
Praia da Paciência
Address: Rio Vermelho, Salvador – BA, 40140-130
Best time: in the morning, preferably at low tide.
Praia do Buracão (Buracão Beach) + Acarajé da Cira
Address: R. Barro Vermelho, Rio Vermelho, Salvador-BA, 41940-360
Best Time: any day of the week, during the afternoon.
Acarajé da Cira
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday, from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Saturdays, from 2:00 pm to midnight.
Address: Largo da Mariquita – Rio Vermelho, Salvador – BA, 41940-426
Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim. Foto: Fábio Marconi