The Top Things to See and Do in Morro De São Paulo

| © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Georganne Hassell

Bahia is known for its beach-friendly weather all year round, so take advantage of this north-eastern state in Brazil and head to Morro de São Paulo. This village on an island is, simply put, paradise. Explore the top 10 sights with our handy guide.

Beach hop

This may seem like stating the obvious but the variety of beaches within close proximity make Morro de São Paulo the perfect beach hopping location. Check out the calmer waters of Quarta Praia (Fourth Beach) before heading to the livelier Segunda Praia (Second Beach). Hop around a bit more from Praia Primeira on to Gamboa and Garapua beaches to discover which stretch of sand is your best fit.

Dolphin and whale watching

If you’re lucky enough to be in Bahia during winter (which is anything but cold), you’re in for a treat. July to October are the best months for whale watching thanks to their migration patterns, and often you can see them right from the shore. To get a better view of the whales, as well as dolphins, book a boat tour and experience these amazing animals up close.

Farol do Morro

To get a different view of this island paradise, head up to the famous lighthouse, Farol do Morro. It takes a bit of stair-climbing up the hill to reach the top but the views, particularly at sunset, are more than worth the effort. Feel free to bring a beer or cocktail up with you to toast to another day in paradise as the sun sets.

Discover the restaurant scene

It’s no secret that islands have the best seafood. Fresh-caught fish is one of the best foods to try in Morro de São Paulo, so get your fill while on the island. Consider indulging in some of the other fantastic cuisine, like Italian pasta and pizza during your stay, but be prepared to pay a premium for the fancier restaurants. One reliable and relatively inexpensive food is açaí, which is served up as a juice or in a bowl with granola at most beachside restaurants.

Island hop

Morro de São Paulo is a village in the north of the Ilha da Tinharé, which is just one island in the archipelago. For another piece of paradise, hop on a boat tour down to Ilha da Boipeba, an island just to the south. With more stunning beaches and an even more rustic feel than Morro de São Paulo, Boipeba is a getaway within your getaway.

Boat and water sports

If you’re itching to get out on the water, this is an easy place to do it. With surf boards and stand up paddle boards to rent by the hour, it’s easy to get in a session any time of day. For a more organized tour, check out the kayak and canoeing options. Or for a leisurely activity consider a sailboat ride and enjoy beautiful views of the island coastline.


After climbing up the hill to see the lighthouse, consider taking the short route down by way of the tirolesa, or zipline, all the way to Praia Primeira (or First Beach). This is a quick adrenaline rush and an exciting way to see the coastline. Be prepared by only wearing your bathing suit as you’ll land directly in the water.

Igreja da Nossa Senhora Da Luz

No trip to the island is complete without a look at this historic church. Igreja da Nossa Senhora Da Luz, or Our Lady of the Light Church, is a beautiful white and blue building with colonial architecture. The church is worth visiting after sunset when lights illuminate the building. Settle at one of the nearby cafés and sip a coffee while you enjoy the evening.

Fonte Grande

This 18th century fountain may only have a trickle of water these days, but the construction of it is worth a look. After a stroll around the area and a little history lesson, head to one of the nearby bars or restaurants for a hearty lunch of Bahian cuisine or a simple cold beer.

Fortaleza do Tapirandu

On the very northern tip of the island you’ll discover the ruins of an old fort. Fortaleza do Tapirandu has stood guard at All Saints’ Bay in Bahia since 1630 and has seen many battles, destruction and reconstruction since. This historic fort is a great place to contemplate Brazil’s maritime history and enjoy a gorgeous sunset.
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