Unlike other parts of the Bahian coast, Itacaré’s 15 pristine beaches are set off by dramatic hillsides carpeted in lush green vegetation. Many—such as the “urban” beaches of Resende, Tiririca, and do Costa—are only a few hundred meters walk from Itacaré’s center. Those closest to town—especially the nerve center that is Praia da Concha—can get pretty crowded in the summer, littered as they are with pousadas and bars playing trance-inducing electronic music.
However, the further away you get, the more wonderfully deserted the beaches become. In fact, hiking—often up and downhill through virgin forest—to the best of the these praias de fora (outer beaches) is part of the unique Itacaré experience. In a few cases, the trails leading to the loveliest beaches pass through private property and you’ll be charged a small access fee.
Itacaré has some of the finest waves in the Brazilian Northeast. Surfers will go gaga over Prainha (3 kilometers/2 miles) and its neighbors, Praia São José (6 kilometers/3.5 miles) and Praia Jeribucaçu, as well as the particularly beautiful Praia Havaizinho and Praia de Engenhoca (roughly 12 kilometers/7.5 miles) from town.
If you don’t want complete seclusion, Itacarezinho,15 kilometers (9 miles) away, and accessible by bus, has a sprinkling of beach barracas where you can kick back with a caipirinha and refresh yourself in the sparkling freshwater pool formed by the Tijuípe waterfall.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition