Sao Mateus Tourist Attractions
São MateusSituation and CharacteristicsThe historic town of São Mateus, situated at the mouth of the Rio São Mateus, has been the chief town of a district since 1835. Until the middle of the 19th century it was the only place of any size in the northern part of Espírito Santo, which is divided into two by the Rio Doce. São Mateus is 88km/55mi north of Linhares, which is also on the Rio Doce, and 228km/142mi north of Vitória.Bus stationPraça Mesquita Neto
Colonial buildingsRound the old river port on the Rio Cricaré (now Rio São Mateus) are a number of buildings of the colonial period. On Praça José de Anchieta are the ruins of a 16th century Jesuit church, on Praça Municipal is the church of São Mateus, and on Praça São Benedito the church of São Benedito.
There are a couple interesting towns and natural attractions in the area surrounding São Mateus.
BeachesThe Praia de Guriri at the mouth of the Rio São Mateus is 13km/8mi from the town, the Praia Barra Nova 33km/21mi, the Praia Urussuquara 38km/24mi.
Conceicao da Barra
Conceição da BarraThe little town of Conceição da Barra (pop. 20,000) lies 35km/22mi north of São Mateus. It is reached by taking BR 101 for some 20km/12.4mi and then ES 421 in the direction of the coast. The best known beaches are Farol, Barra and Guaxindiba.
ItaúnasCongadas28km/17mi north, almost on the border of Bahia state, is the little fishing village of Itaúnas: a new village, for the original village facing out to sea has been completely buried under the traveling dunes which are continuing to advance towards the Rio Itaúnas. The village is famed for its Congadas, the most important popular festival of Espírito Santo, which is celebrated at the end of the year. During the festival white-clad dancers playing guitars and tambourines parade along the seafront, accompanied by a figure of St Benedict in a gaily decorated boat.
Socoretama Eco-ReserveThe Socoretama Eco-Reserve (area 24,000 hectares/60,000 acres; established 1943) lies between São Mateus and Linhares along BR 101.