Arraial D’ajuda – Mandatory destination in Brazil
Arraial d’Ajuda, a district of Porto Seguro in the state of Bahia. 730 KM away from Salvador, capital of Bahia, or rather, paradise on the coast of Bahia.
I have known this city for years and have visited it countless times, having been a destination for several family trips.
But my last visit was the most remarkable, which I would like to share.
I went with my husband to Arraial in August 2017, farewell to the Brazilian coast before we moved to Tallinn in Estonia.
How to get there:
We lived in Belo Horizonte, then we took a direct flight to Porto Seguro.
The airport is very small, very busy, so get ready and relax, after all you are in Bahia, you will get queued for almost everything.
For those who come from outside Brazil, you can land in Salvador and then take a flight to Porto Seguro, but there are several other options such as Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro. All these cities have direct flights to Porto Seguro and the flight is very fast. Leaving Belo Horizonte are less than 50 minutes.
Arriving in Porto Seguro, the next step is to go to Arraial:
- We rented a car at the airport through Localiza and went to Arraial.
You can also go by taxi, but I do not recommend it, because the values are absurd, especially for foreign tourists.
To get to Arraial you have to take a ferry, which is not expensive, and it takes a maximum of 20-30 minutes to cross, the ferry ticket is paid right at the entrance.
Where to stay:
There are innumerable options of accommodation, the city lives basically of the tourism, then you will find all type of hotel, hostel, apartment, inn.
This part is very personal, but I will highlight some points to consider:
- Distance from the center.
- Distance from the best beaches.
- Distance to the parties.
We stayed at Pousada Villa Bianca, 2km from the center. We chose through the Airbnb website. The hostel is in the beach of Aracaipe, is not the best beach to bathe, but it is beautiful, from some of the rooms you can be in front of the sea, it is super cozy, has swimming pool, restaurant and the employees were very polite to us.
We just had a problem with internet, so always ask before if the room you are staying has access to the wifi and if it really works.
We opted to stay in a room with kitchen, without breakfast. As we stayed for several days, the kitchen gives us the option to buy everything cheaper in the supermarkets of the center (of which you find everything) and cook what we want. As my husband loves to cook, so it was great.
But we also had the opportunity to try the food at the inn to find out, and we loved it.
- Another important tip, if you want to stay downtown, we recommend Pousada Cravo e Canela, the owner is our friend and one of the most beloved people of Arraial, so if you want to know more, you can send your question in the comments.
When to go:
Well, Arraial has sun all year, but there are some differences in the year and also depends on your preference.
- October to February:
- Very hot, many tourists, many parties, for those who like to churn.
- March to September:
- It is not so hot, and with fewer tourists, so, less queues of cars, but also no parties and everything closes sooner.
We went in August with temperatures around 25 degrees, with 2 days of rain and lots of wind.
What to do:
Arraial has everything, paradisiac beaches, trails, parties, bars, restaurants, luaus.
In the first 5 days, we took advantage of the car, so we went to know the most distant beaches of the neighbouring cities:
- Praia do Espelho.
There are other options of beaches close by, but we opted for these, are the most beautiful and the most famous near Arraial and that surely should be included in your itinerary. In another post I will talk in more detail about each of them.
We returned one day to Trancoso on foot, walking along the beach, the route is 12 km, it is quite tiring, so get ready and see the best times with lower tide.
To return to Arraial we took a van that left us right in the door of the inn we were staying.
After we started walking around, we went every day in the center, sometimes during the day, sometimes at night, after all, after a day at the beach you have to enjoy the excitement of the night.
The nightlife in Arraial is bustling, lots of bars with live music, some ballads and street entertainers.
Rua do Mucugê, Beco das Cores and the corner of Broadway is where the night happens, so if you have in the city walk through these places and enjoy the bands and the movement that happens there.
Take advantage during the day or at sunset to walk through the church lookout area, there are several shops right there next to the church street from which you can buy local products from locals if you want to take a souvenir with you from this paradise.
You can also get to know some of the neighbouring cities with historical centers and important landmarks for the history of Brazil’s discovery, such as Porto Seguro, Santa Cruz Cabralia (they were held at the 1st and 2nd masses in Brazil in the year 1500).
The beaches of Arraial:
PRAIA DO APAGA FOGO: It is the first beach and the closest to Porto Seguro, just cross the Buranhém river by ferry. The sands are more frequented by the guests of the hotels of the region; it is one of the incredible spots also to see the sunset. It is not a good beach for swimming, at the beginning of it there are many reefs.
PRAIA DE ARAÇAÍPE: It is also not ideal to bathe, at high tide you can not see the reefs of which it is a danger and you can get hurt, but at low tide it forms natural pools.
PRAIA DOS PESCADORES: The beach is between the Araçaípe and Ecoparque and is frequented mainly by residents of Arraial. It is a protected stretch, with calm sea, full of fishermen’s boats.
PRAIA DO MUCUGÊ: If you want to get away from the agitation, do not go to Mucugê beach, which is full of beach huts and crowded with families and hawkers in the high season.
PRAIA DO PARRACHO: It is very popular. There are extreme sports such as windsurfing, kayak and diving tour on the beach of Parracho. In the summer there are several parties and shows on this beach.
Praia da Pitinga: From Pitinga and beyond are the best beaches of Arraial, is where they have the beautiful cliffs and a small river that meets the sea.
Also it has structure of tents, during the low tide it is possible to walk on the reefs.
PRAIA DE TAÍPE E DA LAGOA AZUL: After the cliffs have the blue lagoon, there was once a lagoon in that region, and nowadays only clay from which people still bathe with it and believe it is medicinal; there is only one tent on this beach , then before following the trek to Taípe, take the opportunity to hydrate and eat the delicious sippy cake. The Taípe beach is the quietest and most delicious after its neighbor Lagoa Azul. The scenery compensates: the beach houses the most imposing and beautiful cliffs of the South of Bahia, reaching 45 meters in height.
Important points of the city:
You can easily get around through van, public transport, taxi or “moto-taxi”. Remembering that taxi will always be the most expensive option and the most economical and easy is the van, always shouting the direction it is going, so you will always hear someone shouting when the van passes, ” Ferry (Balsa in Portuguese) ” or ” Center ”.
In comparison to the most internationally famous beaches like Rio de Janeiro, Arraial is safer, but keep the attention always. Pay attention to the long distance trails, always go accompanied.
Right next to the church lookout, they have a delicious ice cream maker, called “Sorveteria Uai”, it’s one of the best ice cream I’ve ever had in Arraial. Crossing the square have the ”Café da Santa”, besides being beautiful inside, it is worth savoring their delicacies. Be sure to try “acarajé”, tapioca and a good fish “moqueca”.