Itacaré, Brazil can feel like its own magical little world:
Stunning beaches. Warming sunshine. Blue skies. Monkeys in the streets.
It’s a relaxing place where you don’t really need to “do” anything to have an amazing time.
But if you need to know you’re not missing out on the best activities and places to visit on your vacation to Itacaré, this article is for you.
1) Go to the beach
If you check any list of the “Top 10 places to visit in Itacaré” on somewhere like TripAdvisor, odds on what you will get back will just be a list of stunningly lovely beaches. There’s a reason for that:
The whole of Bahia is beautiful beach central. Itacaré probably has the pick of the bunch.
You won’t want to miss:
Close to the often-overcrowded Praia da Concha (“praia” means beach), Resende is small but perfectly formed. If you went ahead and drew your perfect tropical beach, it would probably look a lot like Resende.
This beach isn’t available at high tide. But if you go down at low tide, you’ll have the perfect place to sunbathe with some handy little food huts selling coconut water, juices, drinks, and tapiocas.
Tiririca is one of the favorites of the local surf crowd. This means it’s often busier than Resende but still absolutely incredible.
Quite certainly one of the best beaches in all of Brazil, this 10 Km stretch of white and gold sand bordering the Atlantic rainforest is absolutely breathtaking in all ways. A 15 minute drive from the town of Itacare, it is worth every effort to witness this piece of paradise.
2) Learn to surf
Okay, there’s a bit of a theme here. But Itacaré is one of Brazil’s surfing hotspots and also host to international surfing competitions. If you’ve ever even vaguely thought about getting on a board, this is the place to do it.
If you’re already a pro, all you need to do is rent a board and head down to one of the better local beaches – Engenhoca, Jeribucaçu and Tiririca are highly recommended. But there are a total of four local surf breaks you can reach without needing a vehicle.
If you’re a newbie, you can get lessons at one of the local schools.
3) Visit an ayahuasca retreat
Ayahuasca ceremony is an ancient spiritual practice involving two sacred medicinal plants native to the Amazon and South America. It might have made its way into popular culture in places like North America partly as something people suggest at parties. But ayahuasca is deeply revered in South America.
It is a visionary brew which has been used by the various indigenous and religious groups in Brazil, Peru and elsewhere on the continent for healing and spiritual growth for thousands of years. Proponents suggest it in relation to anxiety, addiction and numerous other things.
Another common experience is to connect with your inner divinity, which is why ayahuasca is also called an entheogen – something that evokes the divine within. Having visions of your life’s purpose, and connecting with your essence and higher self are reasons many people nowadays are seeking ayahuasca.
Before your ayahuasca experience, it’s recommended that you eat healthy and follow a specific diet. So if you’re intending to go on a retreat, it’s best to ask and plan accordingly!
The retreats themselves tend to be set in beautiful, out-of-the-way natural places – often worth a look in and of themselves. So if you fancy something a little different from the run-of-the-mill beach time, an ayahuasca retreat might be your speed.
4) Go kayaking or boating around the local islands
Spending time on, in or near the water is definitely one of the best things to do in Itacaré. If you fancy going on a little trip, you might try:
- Renting a kayak: there are a number of water channels through the rainforest where you can rent a kayak and paddle along. You’ll often find little food shacks where you can stop for a drink or a bite, while the flora and fauna will keep even the average nature lover enthralled.
- Going on a boat ride: take a trip around the local islands, stop to dive off the boat into the crystal-clear waters or just chill while you have a little tour. The Baia de Camamu and Peninsula de Marau have plenty of natural beauty which just has to be seen, though you’ll probably want to head back to Itacaré if you want something to do in the evening.
5) Try the delicious Bahian cuisine
After all that surfing, kayaking and boating it’ll be time for a break – and for some food.
Luckily, Itacare – and indeed the whole of Bahia – doesn’t disappoint when it comes to dinner. Itacaré has dozens of restaurants, catering to pretty much any taste and dietary preference.
6) Try (or maybe watch!) the capoeira
If you’re in a local bar already, take the time to ask where the capoeira can be found.
This awesomely athletic cross between martial art and dance makes for some great entertainment and can be found at various places in town. Odds are someone at any given bar will know where!
7) Stay in a pousada
Pousadas are the Itacaré equivalent of a bed and breakfast or motel – if motels were beautiful little homes with incredible gardens, sea views, hammocks, balconies and, usually, a great local breakfast too.
They tend to be very affordable. Worth considering if you’re trying to visit the local area without spending too much money.
The best activities and places to visit in Itacaré, Brazil
Many of the best activities in Itacaré involve being outside near nature. But when it comes to local places, you might want to try:
- Pousadas: Vila Barracuda, Sage Point, Girassol, Mar Ilha.
- Surf schools: Medians do Mar or Easy Drop.
- Restaurants: Naturalmente, Alamaim, Aqua, Cafe Bizarro.
- Ayahuasca retreats: Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.