Synonymous with surfing and with almost 7,500 kilometers (4,660 miles) of coastline, Brazil has plenty of places to catch some waves. Bahia, an uber-relaxed coastal state in the northeast, has some of the country’s best spots. To give you an idea, here is the low-down on some of the top surf hangouts that will leave you longing to pull on a rashy, wax your board and get your paddle on.
Praia do Forte
Elected one of the five best surf beaches in Brazil and twice home to the World Surf League Qualifying Stages, there is no doubt that Praia do Forte is Bahia’s ultimate beach for surfing. Located on the Costa dos Coqueiros (Coconut Tree Coast), it is 12 kilometres (7.4 miles) long, lined with nodding palms and with a coral bank out to sea that provides both right and left breaks divided by a channel. The area is also home to the T.A.M.A.R. turtle protection project.
Praia da Tiririca
The choice and beauty of the multiple surf spots in Itacaré has drawn wave-riders to the town since the ’70s. It is a small peninsula at the mouth of a river with beaches carved out of its coast. Tiririca is one of the most technically advanced and often frequented in the area. Its consistent and high-quality waves have brought national and international competitions to its shores, and on prime days the waves are heavy, rapid and hollow. The current can be strong, however, and take surfers into the rocks.
Praia do Backdoor
This beach is so-called because of its famed three-metre (10-foot) high waves which are similar to ones of the same name in Hawaii. It is where top Brazilian pro-surfer Jojó de Olivença cut his teeth and remains a must-surf beach for local and national riders. Between May and September barrels and long walls give surfers plenty to play with, though swimmers are discouraged from entering the water at any time of year.
Praia da Engenhoca
After 20 minutes of walking through the shady depths of the Mata Atlântica forest on Itacaré’s outskirts, the trail arrives at Praia da Engenhoca. It is a picture-perfect bay, small and slightly enclosed, that is hallowed territory for the town’s surfers. It tends to be sheltered from the northeasterly wind, and is relatively unaffected by tides and so enjoys even, consistent waves year-round. Longboarders particularly enjoying riding here.
Praia de Batuba
Darling little Praia da Batuba is often spoken of as the prettiest beach in the region. The reefs of its shores give consistent surf that can reach as high as three metres (10 feet) that pulls a steady stream of riders. The Circuito Baiano and the Pan American competitions have been held at the bay, and it is as good for watching surfers as it is for getting in the waves themselves.
Those surfers who make the pilgrimage up mountain and down trail are rewarded when they reach the secluded beach of Jeribucaçu. Not only is it a tropical haven, but it has good waves all the months of the year, and especially in the winter when the swell is in the south as it is sheltered from southern winds. It can get a little touristy in the summer, but its remoteness tends to keep it from getting too crowded.
Praia do Farol da Barra
Praia do Farol da Barra is one of the main and most recognized beaches in Bahia’s capital, Salvador. It sits on the city’s southernmost point and at almost any given sunny moment its shores are full with sunning bodies. Surfers buzz about, weaving in the waves, riding a long left off the point break. It can get crowded, but riders are rewarded with convenience, and the city as a backdrop.
The long stretch of sand that edges the Jaguaribe neighborhood in Salvador’s north is a popular and friendly beach. Its long, reliable, and reasonably-sized waves are good for all levels. The water is at its best when the swell is in the south, southeast and west. Lots of people learn to surf here, and there are surf schools on the beach that rent out equipment as well as give lessons.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.