Updated on Feb.20, 2013.
Praia do Forte, one of Brazil's most attractive beaches, is a fun destination which can easily be added to a trip to Salvador. A district of Mata de São João (pop. 37,201), Praia do Forte is about 60 kilometers to the north of Salvador, on the Coconut Tree Coast.
There's no such thing as boredom in Praia do Forte. Here are some ideas for things to do:
- Get up early and watch the sunrise - one of the most beautiful in Brazil.
- Visit the local base of Projeto Tamar, a non-governmental organization which protects sea turtles. The base is open year long. From July to September, biologists are managing the nests; in the summer, the newly hatched turtles do their race to the sea.
- At Projeto Tamar, visit the Garcia D'Ávila Lighthouse, built in 1971.
- Watch humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae; in Portuguese, they're called baleias jubarte) from July to October. Instituto Baleia Jubarte offers boat rides and also hosts a voluntourism program (July-November).
- The fort which gave the beach its name is no longer standing. But you can take a tour of the 16th-century Garcia D'Ávila Castle, located on a hilltop and just two kilometers from the village. Built in 1551, the castle, also known as Casa da Torre, is the only construction with medieval characteristics in the Americas.
- Show off your game on the P. B. Dye-designed green of Iberostate Praia do Forte Golf Club (www.iberostar.com.br)
- Walk, ride a bike, a horse or a quadricycle at Reserva da Sapiranga, an Atlantic rainforest preservation area with seven signaled trails. You can also take a dip in the Pojuca River.
- Fly over Praia do Forte with Fly and Fun. From July to October, there are humpback whale-watching flights.
- Go on an adventure with Portomar - they offer parasailing, buggy tours, and canoe rides on the Timeantube Lagoon.
- Walk the rainforest canopy at Parque de Aventura Bicho-Preguiça (Sloth Adventure Park) - groups must have at least six people.
- Go snorkeling (rent masks at Projeto Tamar).