Cocoa Coast
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Local dialing code: (73)
End.: Praça Jorge Amado , s/n.º - Centro -
Bandeira da Bahia

Jorge Amado
(1912 – 2001)

Jorge Amado’s first novels, translated into 33 languages, were influenced by his belief in Marxist ideas and concentrated on the sufferings of workers on the cocoa plantations of his home state of Bahia, producing a succession of books which have received worldwide acclaim. Gabriela, Cravo e Canela (Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon) is perhaps the best known of Amado’s books. Dona Flor e seus Dois Maridos (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) has provided the scripts for films, plays, and television.

Ilhéus-Itabuna REGION: Ilhéus, Itabuna, Almadina, Arataca, Aurelino Leal,
Barra do Rocha, Barro Preto, Belmonte, Buerarema, Camacan, Canavieiras, Coaraci, Firmino Alves,
Floresta Azul, Gandu, Gongogi, Ibicaraí, Ibirapitanga, Ibirataia, Ipiaú, Itacaré, Itagibá, Itaju do Colônia, Itajuípe, Itamari, Itapé, Itapebi, Itapitanga, Jussari, Mascote, Nova Ibiá, Pau Brasil, Santa Cruz da Vitória, Santa Luzia, São José da Vitória, Teolândia, Ubaitaba, Ubatã, Una, Uruçuca, Wenceslau Guimarães


Canavieiras || Comandatuba Island || Ilhéus || Itacaré || Olivença || Una
Ilhéus ||TOP|| 470 km from Salvador
The Atlantic forest surronds Ilhéus which sits on aCARN019.jpg small hill overlooking its beautiful beach. It is just east of Itabuna near the mouth of the Cachoeira River on Ilhéus Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic. An excellent combination of ,good climate, beautiful landscape, rich history and good restaurants make Ilheus fascinating and hospitable.

An old Portuguese colonial settlement that was originally named São Jorge dos Ilhéus (1532), it was given city status in 1881. Visitors today find that much of the architecture is modern.

The still prosperous farming community evokes the days long ago when when cocoa was king and was exported from this port. Still today most of Brazil's cacao is grown in the region and and Ilhéus holds a busy port where cocoa butter, rubber, chemicals, piassava, and timber are exported.

While Ilhéus still remains the traditional center for Brazil’s cocoa cultivation and bean processing the planting of cocoa is no longer the main source of income.. In the eighties, a plague known as "Vassoura de Bruxa" (Witch's Broom) devastated the cocoa cultivation. Since then, the city has continued to prosper as the gateway to the cocoa coast for visitors who love its  hot climate, still-standing virgin tropical Atlantic forests, mangroves, lagoons, islands, rivers, and beaches. 

The colonial  town is best known worldwide as the setting for Jorge Amado’s most famous novels—“Gabriela, Cravo e Canela”—better known by its English name: “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon” that was translated into scores of languages, adapted to the cinema screen by Hollywood, and to the TV screen as a novela (dramatic series) by Brazil’s Globo TV network. Amado, the country’s best known novelist, was born in Ilhéus, where he wrote his first book, entitled “O País do Carnaval” (“The Country of Carnival”). Almost everywhere in this historic city (pop. 225,300) are hotels, restaurants and bars named after Amado’s most famous novel, or one of its characters.

Ilhéus is 462km (287 miles) south of Salvador, where the coastline is broken up by five rivers and a series of lagoons and bays. Besides several colonial buildings—churches and chapels—it has a rare domed and spiraled chapel, and a gothic cathedral constructed in the first half of the 20th century, both of which are architecturally note-worthy.


"Igreja Matriz de São Jorge dos Ilhéus" (São Jorge of the Islanders Mother Church) - located on the Street Conselheiro Dantas, it is the oldest church of the city. Inaugurated in 1556, it was built with stones. 

"Museu do Cacau" (Cocoa Museum) - Eustáquio Bastos st., downtown. Founded in 1982, the museum allows a detailed vision from the rising to the development of the cocoa cycle. 

"Casa de Jorge Amado" (Jorge Amado House) - 21, Jorge Amado st., it was built in the beginning of the 20's by Jorge Amado's father. With great rooms and staircases, there the writer Jorge Amado lived part of his life. 

"Mirante da Piedade" (Observatory of Mercy) - From there, it is possible to see the islets, (which are the reason of the name of the city), the actual port, a part of the coast of the municipal district and the mouth of the rivers "Cachoeira", "Engenho" and "Fundão". 

"Fazenda Primavera" (Farm Spring) - located on the Ilhéus-Itabuna highway, on Km 20, this cocoa farm is open to the visitation and it has a documentation collection and centennial pieces, some from the time of the Empire. 

"Centro de Persquisas do Cacau" (Cocoa Research Center) - Located on Ilhéus-Itabuna highway. It offers to the visitors the opportunity to accompany the techniques and processes of the cocoa

Visit a cocoa Farm:  see how the coca is harvested, processed, and transported by the half ton in dugout canoes.  The rainforest, which provides the required shade for the fragile cacao tree, offers a rich variety of floroa and fauna. Most farms are as they were a century ago, with barracks, stable and drying house

Ilheus has 100 kilometres of white sandy beaches, excellent urban facilities, and an annual average temperature of 24ºC

Beaches (praias) near & at Ilhéus:

The city’s main leisure activities are little changed from that of Amado’s time: hanging out in the bars and squares, and heading off to the beaches. It has 15 beautiful beaches (among 60 in the region), the longest of which, and most popular, is Praia Norte (North Beach) that is 50-km (31-mile) long, lined with lots of tropical woods and coconut trees, a fine sandy beach where the sea is green. It’s ideal for surfing and to fish for carapeba (mojarra ), tainha (mullet), robalo (snook), and pescada (floun-der).

Off its Cristo Beach, on a point where the sea and Pontal Bay meet, it’s ideal for sailing and other water sports. Fishing is good on the Jairi and Sul Beaches, the latter of which is excellent for surfing,

Norte - surfing, fishing, green-colored waters, coconut trees, dense forest nearby
São Miguel - swimming, coconut trees, kiosks, fish village, near mouth of Almada River
Marciano - swimming, reefs and big rocks at its extremities
Malhado - fronts an oil refinery, not recommended for swimming
Avenida in Ilhéus - waterfront park with ball courts, cycling circuit, open-air thea-ter, stretch right of São Sebastião Cathedral not recommend for swimming
Cristo - sailing, canoeing, jet skiing, hobby-cat, near mouths of Cachoeira and Santana Rivers
Concha - swimming, views of Pontal Bay and Avenida Beach, at foot of Pernam-buco Hill
Sul - site of fishing & surfing competitions, coral reefs, big waves, coconut trees, summer homes
Milionários - swimming, calm waters, coconut trees, fronts waterfront mansions, restrooms and showers
Cururupe - swimming, big waves; historic site of a battle in 1559 see 

Ilhéus by

Ilhéus  traveler tips & tales by    

Ilheus events

Ouro Branco History: Ilhéus was a sleepy town until cacao was introduced into the region from Belém, in 1881. At the time, Brazil's many uncompetitive sugar estates, which had not followed the lead of other countries and introduced new production techniques to increase sugar output, were reeling from a drop in world sugar prices. Simultaneously, the slave system was finally coming to an end, with many slaves escaping and others being freed. With the sugar plantations in the doldrums, impoverished agricultural workers from the Northeast—black and white—flocked to the hills surrounding Ilhéus to farm the new boom crop: cacao, the ouro branco (white gold) of Brazil.
Sudden, lawless and violent, the scramble for the white cacao fruit displayed all the characteristics of a gold rush. When the dust settled, the land and power belonged to a few ruthless coronéis (rural landowners). The landless were left to work, and usually live, on the fazendas where they were subjected to a harsh and paternalistic labor system.
Author Jorge Amado, who grew up on a cacao plantation, told this story in his book Terras do Sem Fim (published in English as The Violent Land.) adopted from Lonely Planet 1996 at


Bahia > Southern Bahian coast > Ilhéus
The town is on the coast 400km south of Salvador, where the local coastline is broken up by five rivers and a series of lagoons, bays and waterways. Much of it is modern but it's still an attractive place, with the heart of Ilhéus perched on a small hill that overlooks one of the largest and finest-looking beaches in Bahia

  •  in the neighbourhood of Jardim Atlântico. The hotel is located on the best part of the South Beach: with white sands, turquoise blue sea, coconut trees and tranquility: combined with Italian service, simplicity and refinement.
  • Praia do Sul
    Ilhéus - Bahia - Brasil  Telefax: (0 XX  73) 632-1080
    on the beach in a residencial area 5 km from the center and 2 km from the airport Deutsch & English spoken
    Ilhéus - Bahia - Fone/Fax : (73) 632-7022
  • Pousada Praia do Canto
    Fone: 73-231-7654 Fax: 71-353-1690
    Av. Medeiros Neto, 70 - Malhado 
  • Pousada Santa Cruz
    Fone: 73-632-8770 Fax: 73-634-1106
    Rua Chile, 183 - Pontal 
  • Pousada Veneza
    Fone: 73-632-2722/5987 Fax: 73-632-2722
    Rua C - 71 - Lot. Jardim Paraíso - Praia do Sul 

Vasp and Nordeste Linhas Aéreas have flights every day leaving from Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and São Paulo. The airport is 4km away (tel 073/231-7629), connected to town by taxi ($8) and hourly buses.
 [F] Aeroporto de Ilhéus/Bahia-Jorge Amado (IOS) Cocoa Coast
By Land

The main access by land is through BR-101.
From Salvador - The shortest route, of about 320km, is through the ferry-boat (Ilha de Itaparica),BA-001 and BR-101, or using BR-324 until BR-101 at the exit to Feira de Santana. Going through BR-101 there are two options to get to Ilhéus: get into Uruçuca and then take BA-261 until Ilhéus. Or use BR-101 until Itabuna.
From the South - There are two options: use BR-116 until Vitória da Conquista, them take BR-415 and go to Ilhéus. Or take BR-101 until Itabuna, then BR-415 until Ilhéus.
Going by bus, Buses to Ilhéus from Salvador take around six hours with several each day mostly at night. The Rodoviária is on Praça Cairu, a little way from the centre of Ilhéus, but buses outside marked "Centro" or "Olivença" take you into town. You can choose among several companies: Águia Branca, Sulba, Novo Horizonte, São Geraldo, Central Bahia, Rio Doce, Cidade Sol and Rota connect Ilhéus to the main cities of Bahia and of Brazil.
By Sea
There is a port that receives ships from all over the world.
tourist information post
at the Rodoviária, with good town maps, and an Ilhéustur office in the centre on Praça do Teatro (Mon-Sat 9am-6pm)

Itacaré ||TOP||
Download Itacaré, located 72km (45 miles) north of Ilhéus on state highway BA-001, and 266km (165 miles) south of Salvador. Itacare is also considered a paradise for surfing. An enchanting tropical paradise is never far away in Itacare with many waterfalls and an especially rich Atlantic Rainforest experience. Some of the waterfalls you can reach by canoe or boat, others are just walking distance from the resort, and some others, can be found on the road to the hotel.

Itacare was a cocoa trade port in the 19th century, however for most of the 20th century Itacare was only reached with much difficulty along a narrow dirt road. The place was removed from time for most of its residents. In 1998 the asphalt highway that ties  Itacaré to Ilheus was completed and dozens of small posadas opened to help share the spectacular natural scenery with an international clientele. 

The Atlantic Rainforest is considered to be one of the largest ecosystems for its number of fauna and flora. Itacaré is part of the Environmental Protection Area of Itacaré/Serra Grande. Small shell-shaped beaches, the mouth of Contas river, the Ecological Reserve of Prainha, the mangrove swamp and the areas of Mata Atlântica are the ecological attractions of the town.

The beaches in the north, on the left side of Contas river's mouth are, mostly, reached only by boats.

There’s quite a scene in Itacaré with nearly 100 places to stay all nicely detailed online at Camping in the area is an attractive alternative, since these beaches are ideal for such outdoor living. The Itacare village is small despite the population of 20,000 and preserves some of the old houses, but there is a growing number of restaurants, bars, and little craft shops.

SURF CITY: Its geographical position makes possible the formation of the biggest waves in Bahia. Itacaré is called the surf-city among surfers.

The best surfing conditions in Bahia are found on three of 11 beautiful, rather deserted, beaches —Prainha, São José and Tiririca. The waves are strong and high along loose white sands, lined with coconut trees. Easy access to all beaches in this area is by good coastline trails, leading from Ribeira Beach
Beaches (praias) near  Itacaré:

Piracanga - swimming, normal waves
Aibim - swimming, small bay, coconut trees
Pontal - swimming, big waves, coconut trees
Concha - swimming, coral reefs, fishing boat pier, lighthouse ruins
Resende - very good for surfing, coconut trees
Tiririca - very good for surfing, big waves, coconut trees, hills Ecosurf championship is held here every year
Costa - swimming, big waves, coconut trees
Ribeira - swimming, coral reefs, calm waters; parking lot, restrooms, kiosks
Prainha - very good for surfing, high waves, deserted
São José - excellent for surfing, high waves
Jeribucaçu - swimming, cut by river with clear waters, mangroves, deserted, very beautiful


 Pousada Arcádia:
Pousada Colibry:
Pousada Sage Point


An excellent searchable database of over 100 places to stay and a complete guide to Itacare in 4 languages. One of Bahia's best visitor's web sites 
Itacaré receives good waves all year around but Bahia's best surfing sestination offers so much more

 [F] Annual Events -Itacare

Porto Seguro to Salvador, Brazil, by Bike, Bus, and Boat
... 27 August 2001   A couple young Midwesterners and their local guide who find they like Itacare the best - 46k - Cached - Similar pages

GETTING THERE: Itacaré  is  on the Brazilian Northeast coast, 65 km north of Ilhéus and 400 km south of Salvador - Bahia. By air: The airport of Ilheus (IOS), is 64km from the the town of Itacare

Olivença: ||TOP||
 In Olivença itself the main attraction is the Balneário , public swimming baths built around supposedly healthy mineral water from the Rio Tororomba, which flows through the place. The healing powers of the waters may be in its power of suggestion, but the baths complex is very pleasant, with an artificial waterfall, and bar and restaurant attached

Half an hour out of town, heading towards Ilheus is the beautiful beach at Cururupe , where Governor Mem de Sá trapped the Tupiniquim Indians in 1567 between his troops and the sea. It was called the "Battle of the Swimmers", after the Indians' desperate attempts to escape by water, but it was more of a massacre than a battle, and the tribe was almost wiped out. Today there are a series of bars and some holiday homes, peaceful groves of palm trees and no hint of the place's dark past.


Beaches (praias) near & at Near Olivença:
Surfing is good  at three  beaches: ‘Back Door’, Batuba and Cai n’Água—all three with 2.5 meter (8.2 foot) waves (too rough for swimming)
Back Door - good for surfing, sunning, big waves, not recommend for swimming due to dangerous waves
Batuba - good for surfing, sunning, big waves, not recommend for swimming due to dangerous currents, reefs and rocky beach, coconut trees
Cai n’Água (or Milagres) - good for surfing, not for swimming since it has similar conditions to those at Batuba, fronts summer homes, coconut trees
Jairi - fishing, swimming, calm waves, deserted, rental cabanas, near mouth of Jairi River
Canabrava - swimming, small waves, sea shells, coconut trees, fronts summer homes, rental chalets

Una ||TOP|| (30 miles south of Ilhéus)
Beaches, rivers, the eco-park, mudbaths and the rapids on Una river are among the leading attractions in Una. Just off the coast is Comandatuba Island, assessable by a 5-min. boat trip, where the Transamérica Resort is located.


 EcoParque, with the canopy walkway is adjacent to the public reserve, EcoParque (tel. (073)-634-2179)


BIRDING TRIP REPORT & MAP:  "After breakfast (Cana Brava resort between Una and Ilheus) to parking place (along coastal road) for visit to Ecoparque, with the intention to walk towards the Ecoparque and/or the biological reserve. While parking the car, a van with workers for the reserve entered this track, and we got a lift to the Ecoparque, where we did the obvious trail. Late afternoon at resort, for a taste of their cocktails.

Ecoparque Mico Leão de Una

 Una Ecopark is an environmental protection area is nearly 30 kilometers long and almost 15 kilometers wide,  it hosts more different species of plants per square meter than any other place in the world. Canopy walks with monkeys are one of its animal highlights. Situated in a private reserve with a rubber plantation that also offers tours.
The visit should be programmed in advance.
Afterwards, c
onsider swimming in the refreshing waters of Maruim river.

Countless species of animals, and over 400 varieties of trees live in the 7,022 hectares of Atlantic rain forest. Created in 1980, in an attempt to save the mico-leão-da-cara-dourada (golden lion-faced monkey), which at the time numbered some 100. These small animals, natives of Southern Bahian forests, were nearly destroyed by fires, woods clearing and hunting. Besides the monkeys, the reservation is also the home for jaguatiricas (spotted leopards), iraras (tayra weasels), quatis (coati raccoons), pumas, and gaviões-morcegueiros (bat falcons).  Visits to the reservation for scientific purposes are through the regional office of IBAMA the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency Phone: (71) 240-7322 Permission to visit the reserve is obtainable from the director,  (tel. (073)-236-2166.

Una river's rapids
 From Una, go to Colônia de Una. after about 2 km on dirt road you get to the rapids.

Pedras de Una village
Consider a boat ride along Una and Maruim rivers towards the beaches from here. If the boatmen are not available it is still a nice area for water sports. About 7 km on dirt road from Una

There's three beautiful long beaches lined with coco-nut trees—Acuípe, Itapororoca (or Pedras) and Comandatuba—the first two good for fishing, the last one ideal for nautical sports, such as sailing, water skiing and canoeing.

Acuípe - swimming, fishing, small waves, farming region
Itapororoca (or Pedras) - fishing, small waves, almost deserted
Ilha Comandatuba - sailing, surfing, swimming, boating—all at the Doce River channel off the island, site of the Transamérica Comandatuba resort

Leaving from Ilhéus, take BA-001 to the south. There are buses on every two hours from Ilhéus to Una.
Leaving from Salvador, take BR-101 until Uruçuca. At this point, take BA-001 until Una. There are buses from Salvador to Canavieiras with stop in Una.


Comandatuba Island ||TOP||
find the Transamérica Comandatuba Resort with its own airport

64km (40 miles)on state highway BA-001. down the coast from Ilhéus
 Rich with history, containing a small peace of land separated from the rest of the continent, a marvelous spot for nautical activities preserved for thousands of years.
The only Resort to offer to its customers the services of a Spa L'Occitane, well-being and relaxation now available at the Les Bains de Provence. The Transamérica Ilha de Comandatuba Hotel also owns a private airport, located about ten minutes far from the hotel.

Established in a fabulous scene of 21 kilometers (13 mi.) of beach, surrounded by centenarians coconut trees and tropical gardens, the Transamérica Ilha de Comandatuba Hotel is the ideal place to relax and enjoy all options of leisure: from nautical sports to the Comandatuba Ocean Course - an 18-hole golf course of international category.

Transamérica Resorts in Brazil (3) in english & espanol

Once a port for whalers and pirates, there are also many places where you can explore this lifestyle and period of history. But perhaps the main attraction is the miles of unspoiled and uncrowned beaches, as well as some of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. 

In the village, there are many inns and restaurants, as well as handicraft shops and a tapestry school. See São Sebastião church for folkloric presentations & handicraft of the region

Taking a boat you can get to the Comandatuba beach and to the Fantasy island. Comandatuba beach offers mudbaths.

GETTING THERE: Leave Una towards Canavieiras. Turn left after 16 km, then drive another 3km.
By Air
There is an airport at the Transamérica Comandatuba hotel, situated on the Comandatuba village, 15 km far from Una.

Canavieiras  the city of crabs ||TOP||
111km (69 miles) on state highway BA-001. down the coast from Ilhéus)
Historic District: On the left bank of the Pardo river you will find old mansions from XVIII and XIX centuries and many good restaurants amidst handicraft stores. The City used Salvador's Pellegrino district as a model for restoration and visitor infrastructure investment. At Porto Grande, also in the Historic District you can take a boat ride on Pardo river
and see the mangroves,  Garças Island and the Peixe-Boi Island and even stop for a mudbath.
Seven islands, 17km of beaches, coconut groves, Mata Atlântica and mangrove - that are the habitat of herons, swallows, parrots, seagulls and other animals - form the scenery of Canasvieiras.

 Ilha de Atalaia (Atalaia Island) is the main attraction  in Canavieiras with its monazitic sand. The fishing of the "robalo", a kind of fish very famous for its meat. Visit the Atalaia village and its urban beaches, take a walk and try the typical food of the region.
 of  Ilhéus 
 of  Porto  Seguro
 of  BR-101
 of  Itabuna
 of  Salvador
 of  Vitória
 of  Belo Horizonte
 of  Rio de Janeiro

click for zoom map of Canavieiras

The abundance of crabs, oysters, shrimps, lobsters and fish turns Canavieiras into a gastronomic paradise

Barra do Poxim
Trekking to Barra Velha through the Norte beach, in Oiticica.
How to get there: Take BA-001 - Road Canavieiras/Una, turn right after 13 km. Then walk 4 km on a dirt road that crosses the Cotovelo farm until you get to the Salgado river. You have to cross the river on a boat, or a ferry and then walk another 6 km on dirt road.

Vida Farm
Esoteric place, excellent for meditation and spiritual guidance. Serves lunch to drop in visitors otherwise reservations suggested. The farm serves only dishes made with white meat.
How to get there: BA-001 - Road Canavieiras - Una. Turn right after 32 km.

Beaches (praias)

seven beautiful beaches lined with coconut trees. Fishing is good at Barra Velha and Patipe beaches, the latter of which also has good conditions for sailing and canoeing. There is a restau-rant in the village.
Norte - swimming, big waves, deserted, forestDownload
Barra Velha - swimming
Barra do Albino - swimming, calm sea, shallow waters
Patipe - canoeing, wind surfing, swimming
Costa - swimming, calm waves, Pardo River cuts the beach giving impression its an island
Atalaia - swimming, calm waves
do Sul - swimming, calm waves, deserted, mangrove nearby offers the best in angling and entertainment for the billfishing enthusiast from our newly redecorated guest house located in a quiet residential area of the city of Canavieiras
"Canavieiras' carnival week in February is full fledged celebration"
Av. Cel. Augusto Carvalho, 35 Canavieiras - BA - Brazil
Phone:0055-(73)-284-1262 Fax:0055-(73)-284-2068

Places to Stay Download

Aratama Posada
Built on a area a little over one acre in size, you will find complete rooms with bathroom, private porch, AC,  ceiling fan, refrigerator and TV. The cafe and the bar are located on the central leisure area with a large veranda opening to beautiful gardens, swimming pool and a playground.
Hosts Alex & Ivon lived in San Francisco California for twenty years where they were stars in San Francisco Carnaval which helps sponsor
FAROL DA ILHA Inn of Leisure Av. Beira Mar S/N- Praia da Costa - Ilha de Atalaia 45.860-000 Canavieiras Bahia Brasil RESERVE: 73 284 1182 Pousada in colonial style. 15 suites with private varanda

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