Praia do Forte - Bahia, Brasil
It's finally time to visit Brazil!
After some research, the chosen location was 70 km north of Salvador da Bahia, more precisely in the Praia do Forte area, at the Iberostar Bahia hotel.
This time the flight was with TAP and nothing to point out... very quiet with plenty of room for the legs, individual monitors, and a wide range of movies choice. Everything great!
After a long flight of about 10 hours, when we were about to land, we can have an aerial view of the great extension occupied by the slums... . Undoubtedly an incredible sight for someone, like me, who was making my debut in this country.
I won't say much about the hotel, as in terms of infrastructure it is similar to the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus (in Bayahibe, D.R.). The fauna and flora here are fantastic, being the ideal place to observe small curious monkeys that are always looking for food, turtles, whales, etc. (depending on the time of year).
For anyone like me who loves good coconut water, this is the ideal place, otherwise, this coastal area would not be called the Coconut Coast... Every morning the hotel is stocked with fresh coconuts for customers to enjoy. I had to make the sacrifice and take the belly out of miseries... LOL
- These were my companions who visited us every day. On the main road that connects Salvador to the hotel, there are passages purposely made just for them. This a good example of how nature is respected here.
Local crafts are made from the coconut on the hotel's beach.
Regarding the beach next to the hotel, I can say that the water did not surprise me, being from the pure Atlantic Ocean. There are areas with waves and others with flat seas. The water temperature is quite warm (maybe close to 27ºC/28ºC).
Since we were close to Praia do Forte, we took several walks toward this village. These walks were always done by the sea, taking advantage of the natural pools that reminded me of the Caribbean.
In addition, Praia do Forte is an ideal place to buy some souvenirs from handicrafts to paintings or even the famous Havaianas at crazy prices. LOL
Salvador da Bahia was the first capital of Brazil, between 1549 and 1763. It is a city with around 3 million inhabitants. As an ex-Portuguese colony, Brazil has lots of details that remind us of our country. The first thing you see when you arrive in Salvador (as well as the last thing you see when you leave) are the slums that surround the city as far as the eye can see. The predominant shades of orange combined with the bright colors remind us that here reality is different from what we are used to seeing. You feel a mixture of something like respect and stupefaction...!
Barra Lighthouse or Santo António Lighthouse is located inside the Fort of Santo António da Barra. It was built in 1698. It is considered the oldest lighthouse in America!
Modelo Market opened in 1912 and is the ideal place to buy handicrafts, food, and souvenirs from Salvador. Prices are interesting around here. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the city.
Lacerda Lift, opened in 1873, being the first elevator in the world to be used as public transport. It is also one of the symbols of Salvador city. It connects Tomé de Sousa Square in Cidade Alta (Pelourinho) to Cayru Square in Cidade Baixa (near Modelo Market). From the top of its towers, we have a privileged view of the Bay of All Saints, the Modelo Market, and the Fort of São Marcelo. It is 72 meters high!
Pelourinho, this area is considered the center of the city but seems to be disconnected from the rest of the city because it has nothing to do with it. Pelourinho was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 1985 and is one of the main visiting cards. There are located restaurants, handicraft stores, churches, cultural centers, old colonial-style houses, and Olodum's drumming. The atmosphere is very positive.
Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, the one with ribbons!
The Church of Senhor do Bonfim was built between 1746 and 1754 and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city. Senhor do Bonfim is an icon of the Bahian faith. The origin of the famous Senhor do Bonfim ribbon goes back to a tradition that dates back over 200 years. At the front of the church, on the railing that surrounds it, devotees tie ribbons and make three requests to Senhor do Bonfim. I did too! LOL
Mangue Seco, the land of Tieta of Agreste!
The last beach of the state of Bahia, on the border with Sergipe. Mangue Seco became famous for being the location where the soap opera Tieta do Agreste was filmed, which was based on the famous novel by Jorge Amado and which gave rise to one of the first soap operas with great success in Portugal, the elders still remember.
To get to Mangue Seco we had to drive 240 km along the coast from Praia do Forte on the Green Line, (the road that begins at Salvador airport and which goes to Praia do Forte is called Coconut Road, then from its end, Mangue Seco, on the border with the state of Sergipe it is called Green Line Road).
Mangue Seco village, whose official name is Santa Cruz da Bela Vista, is seen from the river.
The dunes and coconut trees where Tieta walked and the beach that seems to have no end are the great attractions that stretch for 30 km surrounded by the sea and the Real River.
Real River with Mangue Seco in the background.
Mangue Seco: dunes as far as the eye can see.
Real River seen from the top of the dunes.
The population of Mangue Seco does not exceed 200 inhabitants and thus gives an idea of the exclusivity of this area, being the last beach on the extreme north of the Bahian coast. Around here, buggy rides through the dunes and boat rides are the main attractions.
Finally the return, but with a promise to return one day!