7 BEST Beaches in Salvador, Brazil
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In this article, we bring together the 7 best beaches in Salvador, Brazil to prove that Salvador is an unmissable destination due to its stunning natural scenery. These are the top beaches in and near the city of Salvador, Brazil as well as important info for visiting to know before you go!
With more than 8,000 km in diversified coastal length, Brazil is an especially privileged nation when it comes to the lush seaside. And the truth is, the state of Bahia offers some of the best beaches you can find in the entire country!
I’d be lying if I told you that you need to move away from the center of Bahia’s capital, the city of Salvador, in order to enjoy the most amazing beaches in the state. In fact, Salvador is home to many pristine beaches that are sure to impress the most varied (and demanding!) sort of residents and tourists.
So, if you’re visiting the city of Salvador in Brazil, you’re in luck as we are going to tell you about the 7 best beaches in Salvador that you can easily visit from the city’s central touristic area! We’ve also included information on how to get to each Salvador beach and what you can do there to help plan your entire visit.
Where are the Best Beaches near Salvador, Brazil
The map above pinpoints the exact locations of what we consider to be the most incredible beaches in Salvador. As you can see, some of these beaches are located within the city limits of Salvador, while others are a little further out along the coastline.
However, all of these beaches can easily be visited on a day trip from Salvador! You can either take public transport, arrange private transport such as a taxi or shuttle, or even just go on guided day tours.
Below, you’ll find out a little more information about each amazing Salvador beach as well as how to best visit them!
7 BEST Beaches in Salvador, Brazil
Expect crystal clear waters, snorkeling opportunities, fine white sand, and a vibe that only comes with Brazilian beaches. As a tourist in Salvador, spending time at some of Brazil’s most amazing beaches is an absolute must! So, be sure to check out as many of the best beaches in Salvador (listed below) as you can!
1) Porto da Barra Beach (Praia de Porto da Barra)
Classified as the third most beautiful beach in the world by the renowned British newspaper “The Guardian”, Porto da Barra is one of the most popular strips of sand in Salvador. At 600 meters long, it has calm and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for a long swim on hot and sunny days.
How to get to Porto da Barra Beach:
Located in the Barra neighborhood, Porto de Barra Beach is in the center of the Baía de Todos os Santos (Todos os Santos Bay.) Although it is usually crowded (quite disputed – especially by residents), we highly recommended to include this incredible beach in your Salvador travel itinerary.
To avoid the crowds, the trick is to arrive early!
The beach is about 4 km from the central zone of Salvador. Even if you are not staying in a hotel nearby, getting to Porto de Barra Beach is extremely simple and easy, especially from the Center or from popular neighborhoods such as Vitória, Graça, Ondina or Rio Vermelho. Just grab a taxi or jump on the bus!
You can find Porto de Barra Beach’s location on Google Maps.
What to do at Porto da Barra Beach:
In addition to relaxing or water sports, there are a ton of things to do at Porto da Barra Beach which definitely makes it one of the top beaches in Salvador! In fact, during Carnaval celebrations, this is the most popular place to be and we experienced it first-hand. But even if you’re not visiting during Carnaval, there is still a ton to explore at Porto da Barra Beach.
On the left side of the beach, you’ll find “Forte de Santa Maria”. This old fort dates back to 1,614 and is open to visitors. It’s a historical monument of Salvador and well worth a visit.
Then, on the right side of the beach, you’ll have access to the “Forte de São Diogo”. Designed in the past to protect Salvador against constant Dutch invasions, this fort played a role in Brazil’s past. At the fort, you’ll also find the rustic and lovely “Igreja de Santo Antônio da Barra” (Santo Antônio da Barra Church). From here, you will experience a magnificent view of the “Baía de Todos os Santos” (Todos os Santos Bay).
Due to so many activities, Porto de Barra Beach is the perfect place to stay from daybreak until evening-tide (which is another unmissable attraction, as the sun says goodbye to his spectators, beautifully and slowly over the sea.)
Porto da Barra has excellent infrastructure and you will find lots of different tents and restaurants along the sand. Here, you can taste the traditional “acarajé” among other local culinary delights.
2) Farol da Barra Beach (Praia do Farol da Barra)
Farol da Barra Beach has been made popular by a beautiful lighthouse called “Farol de Santo Antônio” (Santo Antônio’s Lighthouse). Dating back to 1,839, this lighthouse is one of the most striking monuments in Salvador’s history, and one of the reasons this beach is one of the top beaches in and around Salvador, Brazil!
How to get to Farol da Barra Beach:
Adjoining Porto da Barra and located in the same neighborhood, Farol da Barra Beach is located right within Salvador’s city limits. It is in the Barra neighborhood which is a vibrant and beautiful area that is easily accessible from the city center.
You can simply just grab a taxi from your hotel to take you to Farol da Barra Beach, or you can even visit on a guided city historical tour.
You can find Farol da Barra Beach’s location on Google Maps.
What to do at Farol da Barra Beach:
With beautiful water and sand for relaxing, water sports, and historical buildings, Farol da Barra Beach is ideal for those traveling with family, children or simply looking for a little more privacy. Just plan to visit during the week in order to see the beach when it’s the least busy.
I also recommend visiting during low tide. Natural transparent water pools are formed at low tide, which makes for the perfect place to relax and spot fish!
Be sure to visit the Santo Antonio Lighthouse next to the beach. Not only is it gorgeous, but inside the lighthouse is the “Museu Náutico da Bahia” (Bahia Nautical Museum). This museum is definitely one worth checking out if you want to know a little bit more about Brazil’s history on the ocean!
But besides all of that, take the opportunity to walk along the wide boardwalk and check out the countless cultural attractions that only Bahia offers, such as theme bars, souvenir shops, and rich local crafts.
The romantic mood becomes very apparent at sunset. Crowds gather on the lawn of Santo Antônio’s Lighthouse at the end of the day to enjoy one of the best beach sunsets in the country!
Tour recommendation: This full-day guided private tour visits all of the most important and beautiful historical locations in Salvador including both Porto da Barra Beach and Farol da Barra Beach!
3) Buracão Beach (Praia do Buracão)
Buracão Beach is another Salvador beach located right in the city. Although a city beach, it does not appear like it and is simply gorgeous, surrounded by lush vegetation and palm trees. The beauty of Buracão Beach and its ease of access from the city makes this one of the most amazing beaches in Salvador, Bahia!
How to get to Buracão Beach:
Buracão Beach is located within Salvador city in the trendy area of Rio Vermelho. It can easily be reached by public transport or in a taxi from all other neighborhoods in Salvador.
You can find Buracão Beach’s location on Google Maps.
What to do at Buracão Beach:
Head east on “Avenida Oceânica” (Ocean Avenue) and you will arrive at the bohemian neighborhood of Rio Vermelho. This trendy neighborhood is famous for luxurious buildings of large hotel chains and for lively nightlife. You can also eat street food at the renowned tents of “Cira” and “Regina”, where you can taste the authentic “acarajé”, freshly fried “abarás”, delightful “cocadas” and other unique treasuries of Afro-Brazilian cuisine.
The narrow strip of sand that makes up Buracão Beach cannot be seen by those who are passing through the classic route between “Ondina” and “Amaralina”, which guarantees a certain dose of exclusivity to its visitors. This makes Buracão Beach the perfect place to relax and suntan in a somewhat private location.
You have all the necessary infrastructure here too, such as umbrellas, Balinese beds, as well as a charming restaurant, “Blue Praia Bar”, specializing in contemporary cuisine with a hint of Bahia’s spice and award-winning unique drinks. Oftentimes, Blue Praia Bar will feature live music, as well as artistic and cultural performances during the summer.
The only downside to Buracão Beach is that the sea is rough and there are currents most of the time. However, natural pools are formed at low tide, making the place suitable for hanging out in the calm water.
4) Itapuã Beach (Praia de Itapuã)
Itapuã Beach is a destination widely known for having inspired the famous poet and composer Vinicius de Moraes to write a song in its honor. This song has become very popular in Brazil and is somewhat of a “theme song” representing this stunning beach.
The beach also features a massive lighthouse which has become iconic of the area, and has made Itapuã Beach a standout Salvador beach!
How to get to Itapuã Beach:
Itapuã Beach is located approximately 20 km from Salvador’s city center, right on the border of Lauro de Freitas district.
There are plenty of hotels in the area which makes this a place tourists often choose to spend a night or two. But even if you are not staying nearby, it is very easy to reach Itapuã Beach by public transport, taxi or maybe by renting a car from Salvador’s center.
You can find Itapuã Beach‘s location on Google Maps.
What to do at Itapuã Beach:
Itapuã is an old fishing village surrounded by a multitude of coconut trees and permeated by a charming boardwalk, where you can wander freely, ride a bike, practice rollerblading or skating.
You will find plenty of restaurants and bars that serve fresh fish and seafood dishes, in addition to varied drinks and cold coconut water.
Although the sea is normally rough, natural pools are formed during low tide, making Itapuã Beach an ideal place to let children have fun on its calm water, without any worries.
Built in 1873, after a nearby shipwreck, the “Farol da Ponta de Itapuã” (Ponta de Itapuã Lighthouse) guides navigation at night and is considered one of the most famous Salvador postcards. Take the opportunity to enjoy the sunset and snap a few pictures of your own!
5) Vilas do Atlântico Beach (Praia de vilas do Atlântico)
Vilas do Atlântico Beach is another palm tree-lined beach very near to Salvador, Bahia. It is a popular tourist spot and as such, a vibrant place to spend an afternoon or even a few days!
How to get to Vilas do Atlântico Beach:
Leaving Salvador and arriving at the district of Lauro de Freitas, Vilas do Atlântico Beach is only 30 kilometers from Salvador city center. It is also located just 5 km from Bahia’s capital International Airport making it a great place to head to directly after flying into Salvador – just book a nearby hotel and enjoy one of the best beaches in Salvador!
You can find Vilas do Atlântico Beach’s location on Google Maps.
What to do at Vilas do Atlântico Beach:
The intensity of the waves alternates depending on the tide. At high tide, the sea invites surfing, while at low tide you can enjoy natural pools of warm and crystal water.
Vilas do Atlântico Beach has excellent infrastructure such as luxury hotels, charming inns, and vacation homes in private condominiums. The many accommodation options and close proximity to Bahia’s International airport make it a great place to stay for a couple of nights!
On the waterfront, the tents are well-organized, providing tons of services for tourists such as tables, chairs, umbrellas, and sunbeds. You also do not need to worry about what to eat or drink as several bars and restaurants are prepared to offer fresh fish, tempting seafood, and a variety of amazing drinks.
6) Fort’s Beach (Praia do Forte)
As one of the top beaches in all of Brazil, Fort’s Beach is not far from Salvador. The beach is quieter and more private than most beaches in Brazil and offers the opportunity for lots of wildlife interactions!
How to get to Fort’s Beach:
Fort’s Beach is located about 80 kilometers north of the center of Salvador in the district of “Mata de São João.”
Because it is a little bit further from Salvador city than some of the other beaches on this list, it best reached in either a rental car, private car transfer, or on an organized group shuttle. This particular shuttle is very cheap and offers roundtrip transportation to and from Fort’s Beach from Salvador.
Alternatively, you can visit Fort’s Beach on a full-day guided tour from Salvador (such as this one!)
What to do at Fort’s Beach:
As a former fishing village, Fort’s Beach still preserves its rustic features including the tiny and charming “Igreja de São Francisco de Assis” (São Francisco de Assis Church).
Fort’s Beach is also is perfect for nature and ecotourism lovers. Visitors have the option of visiting the “Projeto Tamar” office which is responsible for the marine turtles’ preservation. If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to watch baby sea turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean!
It is also possible to book a trip to watch humpback whales that arrive between July and October.
The beach is surrounded by coral reefs. At low tide, it becomes an amazing attraction for those looking for the natural pools’ tranquility or to explore the rich underwater marine life.
Trails through the pristine “Mata Atlântica” (Atlantic Forest), bike rides, and horseback riding are other leisure options very popular.
The “Vila da Praia do Forte” (Praia do Forte village) is basically a single street, where you will find a multitude of colorful bars, tempting restaurants, charming inns, and several shops with the best of Bahia’s handcrafts.
Finally, do not forget to visit the ruins of what was once the imposing “Castelo Garcia D’Ávila” (Garcia D’Ávila Castle.) Dating back to the 18th century, it is the only medieval building still standing in Brazil!
7) Sauípe Coast (Costa do Sauípe)
The beach at the Sauípe Coast is simply breathtaking. Many claim it to be the best beach in Brazil – which is why it is worth the 2-hour drive from Salvador! This pristine beach has attracted some hotel chains and very luxurious accommodation making it a popular beach holiday destination from Salvador, Brazil.
How to get to Costa do Sauípe:
Heading north on the state highway BA-99, further than Praia do Forte in a stretch called “Linha Verde” (Green Line), we end our journey at the Costa do Sauípe hotel complex, about 100 km from Salvador.
You can find Sauípe Coast’s location on Google Maps.
What to do at Costa do Sauípe:
Our recommendation on how to best enjoy Sauipe Coast is relatively different from the other beaches highlighted above. The area is aimed at tourists who appreciate refinement and comfort, and as such, Costa do Sauípe has lots of renowned 5-star hotel chains, which work with the all-inclusive service. This means that all meals and drinks are included in the daily rate, hence you don’t have to worry about anything, besides taking advantage of the various activities offered.
Although the emerald seawater and the coastline permeated by coconut palms are a remarkable visual experience, the focus is on the amenities provided by the hotels, ranging from surfing, volleyball, dance, gymnastics classes to bicycle rentals, beauty services, sauna, and therapeutic massages.
If your budget allows, staying a couple of nights here in one of these highly-rated resorts is a must-do! Both the Sauipe Premium Sol All Inclusive and Sauipe Resorts come highly rated as all-inclusive options in the area.
Before you go…
And there you have it, the best beaches in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. If you’re able to visit even just one of these incredible beaches, I’m sure you’re going to love it!
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below! And, be sure to check out all of our other Brazil blogs or some of our related content like:
July 27, 2020