Until 1998, when a paved highway opened up access to Itacaré from Ilhéus, 70 kilometers (43 miles) to the south, Itacaré was a remote fishing village straddling the mouth of the Rio de Contas. Its stunning beaches backed by native Atlantic forest were a well-guarded secret known to only a few hardcore surfers and getaway artists. Since then, the secret has gotten out and Itacaré has become one of the biggest “It” beaches on the Bahian coast—it draws nature lovers, adventure sports enthusiasts, and revelers from all over Brazil and the globe.
Itacaré is 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of Ilhéus along the BA-001 highway. Ilhéus’s airport receives daily flights from Salvador, Porto Seguro, and São Paulo. Numerous buses connect the two towns on a daily basis. The trip takes roughly 90 minutes and the rodoviária (bus station, tel. 73/3251-2200) is only a short distance from the center.
It’s also possible to reach Itacaré from Barra Grande, 55 kilometers (34 miles) to the north, via the BA-654. However, to date, this dirt road is in precarious condition and can only be navigated by four-wheel-drive. During high season, tourist agencies in both Itacaré and Barra Grande operate excursions between the two towns.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition