One of the things we did not want to miss while visiting Brazil was its beautiful, postcard-like beaches. We followed the recommendation of several fellow travellers and decided to head for Morro de Sao Paulo, an island two hours from Salvador by boat.
On Wednesday, September 5th, we left from the Terminal Maritimo Turistico and took the rather pricy Catamaran to Morro de Sao Paulo. As the Lonely Planet warns, the sea can be real rough and after one hour almost everyone on the boat was seasick. Gilles was one a few exceptions and actually really enjoyed the trip …
The great experience during the trip was spotting whales three different times, once they came relatively close, a mother and a “small one”, a few tons anyway! Another time a whale jumped out of the water not far from the catamaran, which made Heidi recover from being seasick!
We really enjoyed Morro de Sao Paulo. Since we stayed from Wednesday to Friday, during off-season, the island was relatively “free of tourists”. Nevertheless, we followed the recommendation of the Lonely Planet and decided to stay on the more quiet but also relatively central Third Beach. We chose the really nice Amendoeira Praia Hotel, directly on the beach and with a nice swimming pool in its yard protected from the wind.
The Second Beach is THE place to go out, packed with restaurant and bars and stalls beautifully decorated with fruits selling all kind of exotic fruit juices pepped up with Cachaca or Ron. The mix of pineapple, ginger and Cachaca was delightful! We had to taste it a few times …
The Fourth Beach is just like on postcards: a kilometre-long beach of white sand with palm trees and nobody We enjoyed walking for hours along the sea until the sun would get too hot around noon time. Heidi kept saying that this was paradise!
On Friday, the day we left, we got to see a different perspective, hundreds of Brazilian tourists arrived by boat ready to enjoy the week-end on the beach and party. With the arrival of throngs of Brazilian tourists, prices for accommodation doubled for the week-end, our room for 70 Reals went quickly for 125 Reals. We chose the perfect time to be here, especially since we came here to relax and not to join wild parties!
As a conclusion, we just loved Morro de Sao Paulo. It is, at least during the week, a great place to relax, it is not overpriced like Fernando de Noronha and it has some beautiful, totally empty beaches. And for those who are looking for serious parties, the Second Beach is the place to be. We just enjoyed the restaurants and the unique cocktail stalls there. Since we started this trip we have not spent much thought to partying late, because we get tired and worn-out around 10:00 pm. A French couple we met and who had travelled for ten months at that point shared the same experience with us. We are constantly exposed to so many new impressions and having to make decisions on the spot repeatedly seems to have this effect.