DMC & Incoming Tour Operator to Brazil and all of South America BIT 25 Years

Ilheus / Itacare

Ilhéus, and its municipalities of Comandatuba, Itacaré and Canavieiras, is a true ecological and tropical paradise. Dozens of kilometers of nearly-deserted beaches and seemingly endless coconut groves share the coastline with a lush variety of vegetation from the native coastal rainforest to vast mangroves and stately cacao plantations, some of which have been used as settings for films and soap operas.

Discover more about Ilheus / Itacare

The City

Ilheus:
Located in southern Bahia, the Cocoa Coast encompasses the municipalities of Itacaré, Ilhéus, Una and Canavieiras all of which preserve veritable ecological sanctuaries. Dozens of kilometers of nearly deserted beaches with dense coconut groves share the coastline with a lush variety of vegetation from native coastal rainforest to vast mangroves and magnificent cacao plantations, some of which have been used as settings for films and soap operas. A hike on the trails and along the coves in Itacaré, a horseback ride along the seashore, a boat trip through the Ilhéus delta or to the place where the Pardo River meets the sea, a mineral-bath at Olivença Mineral Springs, a visit to the Golden Lion Tamarin reserve, or a much needed revitalization in the mineral-rich monazitic sands of Canavieiras, are just a few of the options available in the area.
Tourism along the Cocoa Coast is developing rapidly, with investments by Brazilian and international businesspeople, mostly French and Swiss, spurred on by tax incentives granted by municipal governments to those who invest in this sector. In the last few years, the growth of quality services and infrastructure has kept pace with demand during the high season - between November and February - and the area now has approximately 7,000 beds, with the Comandatuba Island Transamerica Hotel, the largest resort in South America, leading the way.

Night Life

Like every city in Brazil, no matter how small it is, you find always people getting together. If you are in town during a popular feast you are lucky, since you will get to know Brazilian happiness as its best. Considering that you are in Ilheus, the State of Bahia, which is known for having a folkloric festival every second day, there is almost always something going on.. However, Ilheus did make its fame for its incredible beaches and nature. Nightlife is not what you shoud be looking for. Relax.

history

Ilhéus:
Founded in 1534 under the name of Vila Velha de São Jorge dos Ilhéus, the village flourished thanks to the port located 287mi.(462km) south of Salvador, which, on its turn, owes its development to the cocoa production started by the Jesuits in the 18th century. In the 19th century cocoa became the second most important product in Brazilian exports, bringing great prosperity to the region. Ilhéus, which served as the scenario for Jorge Amado’s novel "Gabriela Cravo e Canela", also offers attractions and beaches frequently visited by tourists from all over the country. Among the city’s main historic sites are the church of São Jorge, built between 1535 and 1556; the Museum of Religious Art, which displays items from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; and the chapel of Santana, built in 1537 and now a national historic site.

Itacaré:
The history of Itacaré dates from the colonial hereditary Captaincies.
The first settlers arrived in 1530, driving out the Tupiniquim Indians and bringing with them sugar cane cultivation and the Catholic religion. In 1718, with the building of a church to São Miguel, the settlement became known as São Miguel do Rio de Contas. By mid 19th century, the cacao boom (from which cocoa and chocolate are produced) was well underway, becoming the mainstay of the local economy. Itacaré became Bahia's largest port for the export of cacao. In this golden period, money earned from cacao (known as 'black gold') helped to build the mansions and terraced houses that still grace the local architecture.
In the eighties of the last century, a fungus known as witch's broom wiped out most of the plantations, leading to the city's decline. Only in 1998, with the completion of the BA-001 parkway, was Itacaré rediscovered, this time by tourists delighting in its scenic beauty.
In Itacaré, the mixture of Indians African and European that has formed the Brazilian people can be seen in the features of the locals, called the 'grapiúna nation' by native son, Jorge Amado, Bahia and Brazil's most famous novelist. People with the color of cinnamon.
A fun-loving people, with smiles on their faces, a swing in their hips and samba in their feet! A walk through the cobbled streets of Itacaré is to take a trip back in time and feel part of history with its mansions, windows, stained glass, and tiled roofs. Sit by the shore and hear the old folk recall the past. Take part in a round of capoeira, watch the Afro-Brazilian religious rite of 'candomblé', eat a spicy acarajé cake, and above all, live the magic that is Bahia.

Restaurants

Fish

Armação X $ - (beach, nice setting) (Hotel Opaba Praia) – Rod. Ilheus-Canavieiras, Km 4,5 (Praia do Sul), 6km, tel 632-1817 air, cc: D, Mc, V; 11h/17h, Beach Kiosk specialized in seafood.


Italian

Marostica X$ (Pousada La Dolce Vita)- Rodovia Ilhes-Canavieiras1212; Km. 2,5 (Praia do Sul), Km 4,5; tel 234-1212 cc: V; 19h30/24h; sat 12h30/14h30, 19h30/24h; sun 12h30/14h30.

general info

TELEPHONE AREA CODE
073

CLIMATE
Ilheus lies within the tropics and enjoys a year-round temperature between 20o and 30o Centigrade. In the summer it is not as humid as Rio for instance, as soft winds blow in from the Atlantic. Unlike other northern states, Bahia has regular periods of rain. It is not uncommon to have rainfall for several days in a row.

CLOTHING
Light weight clothing is suitable all year round. Casual clothes are the norm here.

ELECTRICITY
110 V

AIRPORT
Located near the city. Connections are not the best, what makes it a bit dificult to include it in roundtrips.

BUSINESS HOURS
Remember that most hotels are in the outskirts of Ilheus. Bring everything important, like medicine. Most offices and stores are open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Stores are also open on Saturday from 10am to 1pm, while most of the large shopping centers, open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 10pm. Salvador has a number of 24-hour convenience stores, many of which are located at, or close to, main gas stations. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm.

TAXIS
You can pick them up at the main squares.

how to get there

There is an airport only 4 km from the city of Ilheus. The reason that this ecological paradise is still "untouched" is probably the dificult flight connections. Tourists, sooner or later, are forced to go over Sao Paulo. Rio does not serve this route. Busses, linking the city with Salvador, can be an alternative for those who have enough time.

Itacaré
Via ferry-boat BA 001-Nazaré/Travessão (150 km); BR 101 (97 km) and another 53 kilometers of road to Itacaré.

If you are staying at Comandatuba Resort, transfers are provided by the hotel.

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