Ilheus & Itacare
Ilheus & Itacare
Located 285 miles south of Salvador, Ilheus serves as the gateway to dozens of unspoiled beaches.
Much of this sparkling coastline is fringed by thick Atlantic rainforest, magnifying the region’s exotic, tropical charm.
Founded as Sao Jorge dos Ilheus (Saint George of the Islanders) in 1534, this port gained prominence between the 17th and 20th centuries, through its sugar and cocoa exports.
Ilheus is now acclaimed as the midpoint of a 125-mile stretch of delicious hideaway beaches.
Praia Milionarios, four miles south of town, is exemplary.
This wide golden strand is flanked by coconut palms and gentle waves while other nearby beaches are sheltered by mangroves, rocky coves, and coral reefs.
Until the completion of the coastal highway in 1989, the town of Itacare was the embodiment of fishing village isolation.
Now, the 45-mile drive north from Ilheus can be made in under an hour.
Although the lifestyle is still relaxed and distinctively Bahian, local flavors now blend with tastes that are more adventurous and cosmopolitan.
Consistent Surf and Refreshing Anonymity
Surfers are drawn by consistent waves (April to August), and incognito celebrities arrive seeking anonymity.
Visitors can also enjoy whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
South of Ilheus, the BA-001 coastal road reaches the village of Una in about 40 minutes.
Una is the home to one of our favorite beachfront bungalow resorts.
Set amid coconut and dende palms, this boutique hotel features airy floor plans, with private, beach-view hammock decks.
After a traditional breakfast and morning massage, reenergized guests can practice surfing, visit cocoa plantations, or fish for Atlantic Blue Marlin.
Another 35 miles to the south—72 miles from Ilhéus—Canavieiras marks the end of the line and the last word in splendid solitude.
Here, warm clear waters caress pale sands and dozens of islands.
Ilha de Atalaia
The largest of these islands is Ilha de Atalaia, housing some of Canavieiras’ finest private oceanfront villas.
Over ten miles of beach encircle the island, most bestowing calm waves and shallow waters.
Canavieiras can also be reached via twice-weekly flights to the Comandatuba airfield. Trancoso is a scenic 136-mile (4.5-hour) drive to the south.
Getting to Ilheus
Flights reach Jorge Amado Airport (2.5 miles south of Ilheus) from Salvador in just 45 minutes, avoiding a six-hour drive.
Porto Seguro, 190 miles to the south, is a four-hour drive or 40-minute regional flight from Ilhéus.
Flights also connect Ilheus with Belo Horizonte (three hours and 45 minutes), Sao Paulo (just over two hours) and Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont Airport (one hour and 45 minutes).
Ilheus and Itacare Climate
This coast is a year-round destination, with average temperatures around 75°F. From October to May, temperatures range from the mid-80s to low 70s.
The “cool” months of June to September mark low season, with temperatures between 80°F and 65°F.
Refreshing ocean breezes and sunny skies should be expected year-round.
Precipitation is slightly more common from February to July (between 8.3 and 7.0 inches per month).
August to January is generally drier, with averages around 5.4 to 6.7 inches of rainfall per month.
“The world is like that–incomprehensible and full of surprises.”
Jorge Amado (Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon)