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Praia Do Forte
© Christophe Schmid / 123RF
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Praia Do Forte

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

This fishing village 43 mi north of Salvador de Bahia is one of the cradles of Brazilian civilisation, and is named after the castle - the only feudal building ever constructed in Latin America - built in 1556 by a Portuguese colonist. Brazil's first farm was founded here, and the restored ruins can still be visited, offering a beautiful panoramic view over the surrounding forest and Atlantic Ocean. It is also worth seeing the little church and magnificent centuries-old fig tree. Thanks to the constant Atlantic breeze blowing in off the sea, Praia do Forte (fort beach) has ideal conditions for surfers and windsurfers, and at low tide, natural swimming pools form, the crystal clear water perfect for swimming. The village is intersected by a very busy shopping street containing many bars, restaurants and shops. Don't miss the Projeto TAMAR project, an eco-museum allowing visitors to observe sea turtles and sharks developing in large outdoor tanks. It helps protect a number of endangered species of sea turtle, including the Leatherback turtle, which can grow to lengths in excess of 6 ft and comes here to lay its eggs on the beach from September to March. If you are lucky, you may even get to see this moving spectacle! From August to October humpback whales can be seen from the 7 mi of beaches, fringed by 100,000 coconut palms! Fishermen organise boat outings to see them close up.

To see

The Tamar project for the protection of turtles, and Fort Garcia d'Avila, built in 1556 by a Portuguese settler and the only feudal construction in the whole of Latin America! This is also where the first Brazilian farm was built. The restored ruins can still be visited and offer beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding forest and the Atlantic Ocean. It is also worth visiting the little church and the incredible hundred-year-old fig tree.

To do

A trip down the Imbassai River to a deserted beach and a walk on to the fishing village of Santo Antonio, where you can visit the Tamar project for the protection of turtles and fort Garcia d'Avila at Praia do Forte, from which the village takes its name. Plan on visiting the Carvellas reef: it is a great spot for diving as you can swim along a 30m-long coral reef amongst shimmering marine flora and fauna. The excursion to the Chapada Diamantina, some 250 miles from Salvador, provides the opportunity to explore the former diamond region, now a spectacular natural park that is great for hiking, complete with rainforests, canyons and waterfalls you can swim in.

pros

  • +  One of the cradles of Brazilian civilization.
  • +  The Tamar project for the protection of turtles.

cons

  • -  This old fishing village is becoming too touristic and is starting to loose its authenticity.

To think about

Comfortable and lightweight (cotton or linen) clothes are necessary. Sunscreen and anti-mosquito products are always useful. If you come in June, Praia do Forte is all done up for the St John's festivities, which are the most important after carnival. At night, there are fireworks and people of all ages dance to the sound of folk music! The atmosphere is friendly, joyful and incredibly authentic. From August to November, humpback whales can be spotted from the 7.5 miles of beaches lined with 100,000 coconut trees. There are fishermen who organise boat trips to see them up close. From September to March, turtles come to lay their eggs on the beaches here.

To try

Among the specialities from Bahia, regional cuisine that is famous throughout the country, the fish, shrimp or chicken with coconut cooked in dendê (palm oil) is a real treat. 'Moqueda de peixe' (a kind of fish stew) and 'mariscado' (seafood stew). There are two popular Brazilian dishes that can also easily be found, namely 'cozido' and 'feijoada', prepared with beans, rice, manioc flour and meat. All dishes are served with 'pirao' (a thick manioc sauce), 'farofa' (a mixture of manioc flour, warm butter and salt), and a hot sauce to spice things up a bit. During your stay in Brazil you'll have plenty of opportunities to sample the traditional local fruit: bananas, mangos, watermelon, pineapple, oranges, papayas, passion fruit and guava, as well as the less known ones like cashews, star fruit and Surinam cherries. Alcohol made from sugar cane, cachaça or pinga is enjoyed neat or with a mixer. Combine it with sugar, lime and the right mixing technique and it becomes a caipirinha. Mix it with fruit juice and you get a 'batida'. Finally, you will be able to try a can of guarana, a popular soda made with seeds from the Amazon and which offers a good exotic alternative to Coca Cola!

To bring back

Fashion enthusiasts won't be able to resist bringing home a pair of the popular Brazilian flip-flops, Havaianas, as they are half the price here that they are in Europe, while other popular souvenirs include a bottle of Cachaça, Brazilian rum (an alcoholic sugar cane drink), a hammock, wooden sculptures, trendy hippie jewellery and hammocks. Capoeira trousers are light and comfortable to wear. If you can find one, a wooden samba whistle might be a nice souvenir!

Weather Praia Do Forte

These indicators are used as a set of criteria to predict overall weather conditions in Praia Do Forte . The different indicators are there to help you prepare for your trip to Praia Do Forte so you can make plans based on the weather forecast, whether it be a trip to the beach, walking, visiting attractions and museums or winter sports... Here you'll find a precise, overall weather score for each week in Praia Do Forte , which takes into account temperature indicators, bad weather predictions, sunshine levels and wind speeds.

Weather June
Overall rating 75/100
  • Temperature indicators 100% Optimal

    Maximim temperature between 22°C and 24°C, the perceived temperature is <30°.

  • Bad weather indicators 28% Rainy

    Rainy - averaging between 3.5mm and 4.5mm per day.

  • Sunbathing indicators 54% Sunny intervals

    Cloudy with sunny intervals (40% to 60% cloud cover).

  • Swimming indicators 92% Very pleasant / Optimal

    High air temperature (>24°C), high sea temperature (>24°C), light to moderate winds (between 7 mph and 12 mph).

  • Wind indicators 84% Light breeze / Optimal

    Optimal comfort: optimal wind speed (between 7 mph and 12 mph) in a warm environment (>24°C).

  • Humidity indicators 64% Normal

    Slight feeling of discomfort due air humidity registering higher than 65%.

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