Hotel LAGOA e MAR Restaurant

Excursions - Tours

The excursions recommended here you can do by a guided hotel tour (tour, and of course at night), by your own car (car) or by public bus (bus). For groups different sized buses are available.



Restaurants in Praia de Jauá

During the day public buses run every 15 minutes between Jauá town centre and the hotel. At night you'll find 'mototaxis' (motorbike taxis).

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Salvador da Bahia

City Sightseeing Tour
Mercado São Joaquim (tour-full day, car)

São Joaquim Market is a typical popular Latinamerican market offering everything people need at home, with all colours and odours of the tropics. It is the largest of Salvador.

The Historic Centre or Pelourinho (Pelô), as it is locally known, is the largest colonial architecture complex of Latin America. The name Pelourinho means in Portuguese 'pillory', the place where (until 1837) slaves and criminals were whipped (Brazil was the last country in the world that abolished slavery.) You can visit Pelourinho by horse drawn coach or electric cart (price is 10 R$ per person).

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Schooner Trip on the All Saints Bay
(boat trip-full day, can be organized by our hotel)

The All Saints Bay, Baía de Todos os Santos in Portuguese, is the largest and one of the most beautiful bays of Brazilian's coast. It hosts 56 islands and is supplied by countless feeding rivers and brooks. A few islands preserved their tropical vegetation. On others you'll find some remains of Bahia's colonial past. Beaches are mostly splendid but the islands difficult to reach. Only a few islands are inhabited.

The schooner departs at 09:00 h/09:00 am. from Terminal Marítimo and a band welcomes you with samba music. Soon you'll get an impressive view of Salvador's Upper- and Lower City. A short time later the crew refreshes you with some tropical fruits. You don't need to wait a long time for the first caipirinhas. The sea normally is calm without high waves.

After a ride of one and a half hours Ilha dos Frades is first anchorage. It is on of the smaller islands in the bay. Because of its luxuriant vegetation it is considered one of the most beautiful. The forest hosts thousands of native trees up to Pau-Brazil (brazil wood) wherefrom Brazil derives its name. Some ruins of its colonial past wait for your visit, as an hospital, a store to quarantine slaves and a temporary storage to fatten them for a later sale, an house to prepare manioc farina and to small churches.

The island has a stellar form with 15 points and the beaches between. A visitors tax of 0,50 R$ per person is charged. You have two hours at free disposal to discover the island. Clear and warm water invites to bathe. If you like underwater life, rent snorkelling equipment. A lot of beach restaurants keep care of your well being.

After a 30 minutes trip lunch is already waiting for you at the next stop in Ponta de Areia northern point of the largest island in the bay named Itaparica. Later a bus invites you to visit the historical centre of the city of Itaparica. Worth seeing is the 17th century fortress São Lourenço now used by the navy. The fountain of youth Fonte da Bica was already well known by the former indios. As an inscription promises a strong gulp converts mistress in miss. In fact the water tastes exceptionally good. - Horse-lovers find horses for a ride in front of the restaurant.

About 17:30 h/05:30 pm. schooner returns to Terminal Marítimo.

Price for the excursion on request. It includes lunch (buffet). We arrange booking. Beverages, visitors tax and guided tour in Itaparica are charged separately.

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Pelourinho at Night
(tour-at night, car)

Drummers on Pelourinho Every Tuesday night, but only on Tuesdays are performeded at Pelourinho quarter some nice music shows on stages, in restaurants and in the roads. It starts about 20:00 h (8 pm) and ends at 23:30 h (11.30 pm). Tuesday night is very popular and there are a lot of mostly young people dancing, walking and drinking. The music is mainly samba with drums, some folkloric music and Bahian pop music. Free entrance.

You'll miss something if you don't join. An intensive police system tries to avoid troubles.

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(tour-at night, car)

The folklore-shows offer a compressed trip through the afro-bahian folklore in excellent presentation with partly artistic parts: capoeira, firedance, maculelé, samba de roda, gods of the Orixá, fishermen dance etc. The best Salvador has to show.

Folklore-Show Fêmeas, Foto: Artur Ikishima

The professional award winning folkloric dance company Balé Folclórico da Bahia presents its performances daily at 20:00 h (20.00 pm) on Pelourinho (except Tuesday and Sunday). Price is 25 R$ per person and the show lasts about 50 min. Tickets should be bought at least one hour in advance. Highly to recommend.

The restaurant Solar do Unhão, located in the Lower City at Av. Contorno, has a daily (except Sunday) show of about 45 min. at 21:00 h (9.00 pm). The restaurant is situated on the banks of the All Saints Bay close to the Museum of Modern Art in the vault of an ancient sugar mill complex. The show can be booked with our without supper but do it one day in advance.

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North of Salvador - Litoral Norte

Arembepe - Praia do Forte - Porto de Sauipe
(tour-full day, car, bus)

Seaturtle Hatchlings In Arembepe is situated a Tamar Project, where eggs laid by sea turtles on the beach in the nearby area are collected and protected for hatching. There is a visitors' centre with some basins with different types of sea turtles as well as land and fresh water turtles. Between November and April it's possible to join the liberation of the recently hatched out turtles into the sea (about 17:00 h/05:00 pm). You can support Tamar's activities by purchasing in its store. Free admission.

'Accommodation' in the Hippie Village

Close to Tamar station is an Hippie Village (aldeia hippie), that was world famous in the sixties when Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, and Roman Polansky stayed here some times. It is still inhabited and has a small hippie handicraft market with a nice 'accommodation' for rent (see foto left).

On the way to Praia do Forte is located the Fortress (castelo) Garcia D'Ávila, the ruins of the oldest (from 1551) preserved Portuguese/Spanish fortress on the American continent. It was centre of a private estate with an extension of 800.000 km², from Salvador to the current state of Maranhão, equivalent to 10 per cent of the whole area of Brazil. The ruins were restored in the last years. Admission fee.

In Praia do Forte you find the local headquarter of Tamar sea turtle project, larger and nicer than in Arembepe with basins not only for sea turtles but also for different species of sea animals, up to sharks. Admission fee. The village is very touristic and offers a lot of restaurants and shops. Many of the beaches are realy bad because of sharp-edged rocks and reefs. You need shoes to go into the water.

Jangadas in Porto de Sauipe

Porto do Sauipe is a fisherman's village where one-hand sailing rafts (jangadas) are still in use for fishing. It is interesting to watch the returning rafts passing the breakers and see the catch, but it depends on a not to rough sea. Often you can see sea turtles in the water and join them swimming.

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Itariri - Conde - Mangue Seco
(tour-several days, car, 230 km)

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Santo Amaro - Cachoeira - São Félix
(tour-full day, car, bus)

The fertile region north and northwest of the All Saints Bay is called Recôncavo. The sugar cane plantation started here already in 1535 and became the economic basic of Salvador. For the needs of the sugar cane plantations the Portuguese crown brought some 4 - 5 millions slaves from Africa to Brazil, seven times more than into the USA. And Bahia still is the state with the greatest number of black people outside Africa.

Halfway to Cachoeira is Santo Amaro, which offers some colonial buildings from the 17th and 18th century and which is well known in Bahia for its sugar cane liquor (cachaça).

Cachoeira was an important commercial city when ships from Portugal because of its low draught still could sail on Paraguaçu River, where goods from the interior of Bahia and Minas Gerais and from Europe were transhipped. The complete city centre has preserved it colonial style and it is larger than the historic centre of Salvador. The best way to get an impression of the different buildings is walking from the Carmo Convent to the Railway Station. Unesco is now financing the reconstruction of several old buildings and it already shows remarkable results.

Because of its good soils and appropriate climate the Recôncavo is also renown for its tobaccos. Therefore it has a long tradition in manufacturing cigars and cigarillos. A cigar factory in Cachoeiro produces the brand 'Talvis' at reasonable prices, open for visit and buying from Monday to Saturday (12:00 h/12:00 pm).

Cigar Handicraftswomen

Cachoeira and São Felix are linked by an impressive steel bridge (1885), originally constructed for the river Nile and it seems never again preserved. The bridge has only one trace and must share it with the railway. It is a spectacle when the train manoeuvres around the bridge.
São Félix accommodates the world-famous cigar manufacturer Dannemann. You can join the cigar manufacturing process and buy cigars from Tuesday to Saturday.

The hills on the banks of the Paraguaçu River allow a splendid view over the valley, where Cachoeira and São Felix are situated. A little more distant, at Muritiba, you have a look at the enormous reservoir of Pedra do Cavalo delivering fresh water and electric energy to Salvador.

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South of Salvador - Litoral Sul

Valença - Camamu - Peninsula of Maraú
(tour-several days, car, bus)

There are two ways from Salvador to Valença. Take the ferry (cars and pedestrians) from São Joaquim crossing the All Saints Bay to Bom Despacho on Itaparica island and continue by bus. Or by car use BR 324 direction Feira de Santana, exit Santo Amaro/Cachoeira (beautiful landscape), via Sto. Antônio de Jesus (BR 101) to Valença (BA 542). The nice beach of Guaibim, 17 km/11 mi northeast of Valença, offers numerous hotels and pousadas mostly cheap, better than downtown Valença.

From Valença boats leave to Tinhare island with extended but mostly rocky beaches. Main place is Morro de São Paulo with a lot of hotels and restaurants and an intense and noisy nightlife. In high season often crowded. The normal boat needs 1 h 30 min to Morro and the speedboat 40 min. One-day excursion is possible. Car park is available at the port. Tinharé charges a visitors tax of 6 R$ per person.

South of Valença (BA 001) nature changes surprisingly into typical tropical vegetation, missed in Salvador because of its sandy soils. Many visitors think this coast the most beautiful of Bahia. Soil is fertile, climate warm and water in abundance but few tourists.

In the area of Nilo Peçanha -Ituberá - Camamu the high plateau slopes steep to coast. Rivers and brooks follow in waterfalls and rapids. To visit them all you'll need several days.

For accommodation we recommend Hotel Paraiso das Águas, central located in tropical surroundings with its own waterfall, clean and good service. The hotel offers excursions and ecological trekking. The best beach is in Pratigi, 20 km/12 miles distant and accessible by bus. Bus stops 500 m/550 yd south of the hotel.

If you like Rafting go to Nilo Peçanha. On river Rio das Almas 11 rapids (class II and III) challenge you on a stretch of 6 km/4 mi. Minimum 2 - 3 persons. - One km south of Nilo Peçanha road branches off to Cairu, centre of an archipelago of 32 islands and seat of two 17th century churches.

Half way to Cairu right hand is the way to Torrinhas, starting point for the boats to the island of Boipeba (passage 1 h 20 min.). Boipeba is one of the three greater islands of the archipelago with 20 km/12 mi nearly deserted beaches. At Moreré beach, the best one, reefs form natural pools when the tide is out, proper for snorkelling. There are some pousadas (a few offer transfers) and restaurants. Public buses operate from Valença to Torrinhas too.

The highest waterfall (61 m/67 yd) of the area is called Pancada Grande situated between Ituberá and Camamu. Stone stairs beside the fall link lower and upper reaches. From the top you have a remarkable view over the mangrove lowland. In the lower course in front of the fall exists a visitors pier for rappel and bathe.

Michelin maintains plantations for natural rubber not far from the fall, easy to perceive by the strong smell. And continuing the way you'll find plantations of green pepper, coffee and others.

Balneário Ecológico Pancada Grande

About 100 m/110 yd north of the branch to Pancada Grande turns a small road to a riverside restaurant and pousada called 'Balneário Ecológico Pancada Grande' (foto left) partly situated in the midst of a river. The rapids invite for a relaxing back massage.

Another worthwhile fall interrupts Rio Acaraí, 6 km/4 mi to Camamu. From Camamu start boats for excursions into the bay surrounded by mangrove swamps and to some small islands.

Also leave there boats to the widely inviolate peninsula of Maraú. Main town is Barra Grande. Transit lasts 1 h 40 min. by normal boat and 40 min. by speedboat. In rainy season the southern road access is impassable.

Maraú presents miles long deserted beaches whose most beautiful is Taipus de Fora. Here too reefs form natural pools when the tide is out ideally suited for snorkelling. Some of the middle class hotels provide transfer from Camamu to Maraú. And you won't miss good restaurants. Generally transportation costs on and to Maraú are expensive and general price level is higher than usual in Bahia.

Road BA 001 southwest wards Camamu to BR 101 crosses some areas of Atlantic Rain Forest, that covered in former times the whole coast of Bahia. But it is still threatened by deforestation.

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Tinharé Island with Morro de São Paul

You can reach the Island of Tinharé from Salvador by catamaran, by speed boat (both in about a 2 hours ride) and by small airplane in almost 25 minutes. In rainy season and with soaked runway planes land on the mainland in Guaibim and passengers are carried by boat to Tinharé. Transit by car or bus is time-consuming. Take the ferry-boat to Bom Despacho on Itaparica and go ahead to Valença. Buses wait at the pier. From Valença departure normal boats (1 1/2 hours) and speed boats (40 minutes).

We prefer the catamaran to the speed boat. Travelling times are nearly the same. But the catamaran drives more calmly and is a little more spacious. General price level on Tinharé is significant higher than in Salvador. No cars are allowed on the island. A visitors tax of 6 R$ per person is charged on arrival.

In high season and on long weekends the island is crowded. Bookings for planes, boats and the ferry must be done in advance.

One-Day Trip
(boat trip-full day, can be organized by our hotel)

First catamaran starts in Salvador at 09:00 h/ 09:00 pm. from Terminal Marítimo and arrives at Morro de São Paulo around 11:00 h/ 11:00 am. Last catamaran returns from Morro at 16:00 h/ 04:00 pm. arriving back in Salvador about 18:00 h/ 06:00 pm. So you have 5 hours available to explore the island. That's enough. The village is small and beaches are not distant.

Price for the excursion on request. We arrange booking.

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Chapada Diamantina - Lençois
(bus-several days, can be organized by our hotel)

The Chapada Diamantina (Diamond Highland) is a National Park with an area of about 1.500 km² located 400 km/250 mi west of Salvador with crystalline waterfalls, gorges, caves, dens and rough-hewn rocky hills. And there are some places with prehistoric rock paintings, one 36 km/22 mi distant from Lençois.

Although the Chapada was known as a gold panning area since the 17th century, the diamond rush started in 1822, when the existence of diamonds was testified. The diamond output was so large that late in the 19th century Lençois became the third largest city in Bahia. After the diamond rush the city of Lençois was rapidly abandonned and could so preserve its historical style. It is now protected as a National Patrimony.

Other interesting places in Chapada are Vale do Capão, Andarai (with Igatu), Mucugé and Iraquara.

Local tourist agencies offer a lot of sightseeing tours (roteiros). But visitors who are short in time or don't like long mountain trekking should prefer the one day tour Roteiro I.

It embraces:

Buses depart from Salvador Rodoviária to Lençois daily at 07:00 h/7.00 am. and 23:30 h/11.30 pm. and need a little more than 6 hours. First 150 km/90 mi of the road are in bad condition. As sights in Chapada are not signposted, you'll need a local guide. For these reasons driving with your own car is not advisible.

The following three-day trip is a good option:

1st day: Bus leaves Salvador Rodoviária at 07:00 h/7.00 am. and arrives at Lençois at 13:30 h/1.30 pm. Visit the city of Lençois in the afternoon, bathe in the falling waters of Meio river crossing Lençois and see the semi-precious stones in the river-bed or visit Lapão grotto (guided).
2nd day: Sightseeing Tour I (Roteiro I, full day).
3rd day: Back to Salvador, leaving at 07:00 h/7.00 am. or at 12:30 h/0.30 pm. But there are also night buses.

We can organize accommodation in Lençois and tours into Chapada. Bustickets are only available at Rodoviária. In high season early reservation is highly recommended.

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