Caravelas Tourist Attractions
Situation and CharacteristicsThe coastal town of Caravelas lies in the extreme south of Bahia state, 886km/550mi from Salvador. To reach it, follow BR 101 as far as Teixeira de Freitas, then BR 418 (unsurfaced).Bus stationPraça Teófilo Otoni
Santo AntônioIn the center of the town is the 18th century church of Santo Antìnio. The town's greatest attractions, however, are the islands and beaches in the surrounding area and the Abrolhos Marine Park.
There are a number of interesting towns in the area around Caravelas.
BeachesTo the north of Caravelas are the beaches of Quitongo (2km/1.3mi), Ponta de Areia (4km/2.5mi), Barra de Caravelas (8km/5mi) and the well equipped Praia Grauáá (9km/5.6mi). To the south are the beaches of Ponta da Baleia (7km/4.3mi) and Pontal do Sul, which can be reached only by boat (20 minutes).
Abrolhos Marine Park
Parque Marinho dos AbrolhosThe Abrolhos Marine Park (established 1983), 80km/50mi from Caravelas, covers an area of 91,300 hectares/228,000 acres. It consists of four of the five islands in the Abrolhos archipelago (Redonda, Sueste, Siriba and Guarita), lying round the main island of Santa Bárbara, which as a naval base is closed to the public.The park contains banks of very rare corals, which form a reef round the islands with an area of 910sq.km/350sq.mi. Here, in addition to a rich and varied submarine fauna, visitors can observe a wide range of sea- birds, including divers, dippers and rabos de palha (red-billed pelican-like tropical birds). Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1830 during his voyage in the "Beagle". There are ferry services to the Abrolhos islands from Caravelas (6 hours), Nova Viáosa, Alcobaça and Prado. A permit must be obtained in advance from IBAMA. Fishing and diving are prohibited.
The island of Coroa Vermelha is 2 hours from Caravelas by boat.
Coroa da Barra
The island of Coroa da Barra is 20 minutes from Caravelas by boat.
AlcobaçaThe town of Alcobaça (pop. 12,000), 27km/17mi north of Caravelas, has beautiful beaches (Barra, Farol, Alcobaça, etc.). Another attraction is the Timbebas Rocks (1.5 hours by boat), which are visible at low tide. Alcobaça can be reached from Caravelas either by ferry (foot passengers only) or on BR 418 (but be sure to enquire in advance about the condition of the road).
PradoThe bathing resort of Prado (pop. 25,000), 26km/16mi from Alcobaça, is reached on a bumpy road running at some distance from the coast. Its principal tourist sight is the 17th century church of Nossa Senhora da Purificação. The most interesting beaches are to the north of the town, on the 26km/16mi stretch of coast between Prado and Cumuruxatiba (road suitable only for four-wheel-drive vehicles): Farol (6km/4mi; high cliffs and reefs), Viáosa (8km/5mi), Paixão (12km/7.5mi), Tororão (14km/8.7mi), Ostras (16km/10mi) and Areia Preta (26km/16mi; monazite sand). Other vehicles can take the Prado-Itamarajú road and at km9/mi6 turn right into a road which comes in 27km/17mi to Cumuruxatiba, which has a beach with radioactive sand and a remnant of mata atlântica, now protected by the Fundação Ecológica Cumuruxatiba. Farther north is the Monte Pascoal National Park.
Nova ViáosaNova Viáosa (pop. 26,000), to the south of Caravelas, can be reached by road (70km/43mi on BR 418 to Helvécia, then 53km/33mi on a poor unsurfaced road), but it is much quicker to go by boat, following the coast of the large island of Cacumba (on which are the beaches of Atalaia and Costa). Within the town is the Praia da Barra; to the north is the beach of Barra Velha (4km/2.5mi); and to the south are the beaches of Pontal (4km/2.5mi), Lugar Comun (5.5km/3mi), Pau Fincado (7km/4.3mi) and Costa do Atlântico (14km/8.7mi).
MucuriMucuri, over 120km/75mi south of Caravelas, has the beaches of Jacutinga (to north), Mucuri (in town) and Costa Dourada (to south).