Don't you know which beach to visit in Salvador, Brazil? Here is a complete guide with the best beaches in Salvador and the region. Check it out!
Salvador enchants tourists from Brazil and the world with its energy, tourist attractions, and beautiful beaches (“praias” in Portuguese). But after all, which of Salvador’s beaches deserve priority on your travel itinerary? To help you, we wrote a complete guide with the best beaches in the capital of Bahia and its surrounds. With so many options, certainly, you will find the perfect one for you.
⚠️ Important! In the high season, some beaches in Salvador become unsuitable for bathing. Check out the updated information about the bathing suitability of the water here.
Salvador city has approximately to 30 beaches. Therefore, in this article, we selected 16 of them to give you all the details.
1) Farol da Barra
Considered one of the best beaches in Salvador, Farol da Barra Beach usually is full of people. However, it is perfect for swimming, has natural pools formed at the rocks in the low tide, and has a beautiful sunset that you can watch on a small strip of sand between the beach and the Barra Lighthouse.
Even when Farol da Barra Beach is crowded, you can find a place in the sand and peacefully swim. It is a beach with a party atmosphere, full of food stalls, ideal to go late afternoon and extend to the bars near the shore.
2) Porto da Barra
Do you like to take a good swim in the sea? With its tranquil waters, Porto do Barra is one of the best beaches in Salvador to wash your soul and renew your energy.
On the weekends and holidays, it usually stays full of people, but if this is a problem for you, you can use the food stall services from there and go to the beach on the left side of Ponta de Santa Maria.
3) Boa Viagem
Here is the perfect beach for those who like calm water and quiet places. Besides being in a neighborhood worth a visit, Boa Viagem Beach also has a nice view of the city and Todos os Santos Bay.
Since you are there, take the opportunity to visit Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem Church, the Mont Serrat Fort, and enjoy the sunset at Ponta do Humaitá.
4 and 5) Gamboa and Prainha do MAM
The Pedras Beach, known as Gamboa de Baixo by the locals, stays in the MAM (Modern Art Museum) area, where the boat that takes you to Prainha do MAM leaves, a place that brings together a unique set: crystal clear waters, wonderful sunsets, and open-air works.
Before going there, it is better to confirm if the access for Prainha do MAM is available. For some time now, the museum and the local population have been fighting over access to the beach.
This beach is known for being on Salvador’s Carnaval circuit and having the Gordinhas de Ondina monument. Moreover, it is located in one of the noble neighborhoods of the city and has a good infrastructure around it.
Praia da Ondina is practically all rocky, with a small strip of sand. For swimming, the best is to go there when the tide is low and enjoy the natural pools formed there. At high tide, it is necessary to be careful not to get hurt. It is a beach indicated for beginner surfers.
Amaralina Beach is known for the excellent waves to surf. Some points are dangerous to swim, but you can dive more easily on the left side of the beach.
People also say that it is possible to go diving there when the water is calm on summer days.
8) Praia da Paciência
That is a little-known small beach next to Rio Vermelho. Going down the stairs, you will find a small strip of sand with a few huts that offer an umbrella, table, and chair (ask for a price).
Praia da Paciência is visited more by locals, making it often more empty than other ones in Salvador. The sea there is deep and with some waves, but it has a super pleasant temperature. The high points are the natural pools on the right side, which stay slightly above the sea (in the low tide), giving a fantastic view.
Pituba Beach (Praia da Pituba) is not suitable for swimming. I recommend it only for walking on the vast strip of sand and strolling along the shore with a bike path, jogging track, and weight-training machines.
10) Praia dos Artistas
Known to be frequented by Bahia’s famous artists, such as Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, and the band Novos Baianos, the Artists Beach (Praia dos Artistas) offers a nostalgic feeling.
Although it is another beach that is not suitable for swimming, it has sports courts on the shore and a large bike path.
11) Praia do Buracão
Buracão Beach (Praia do Buracão) is located in Rio Vermelho. It can be accessed via a public staircase and is frequented mainly by the locals. The sea is not calm for swimming, and people take advantage of the small strip of sand to play footvolley.
Elaine, from LMTM, said that what she liked the most here was the Blue Praia Bar. This beach bar offers a lot of delicious finger food such as shrimp breaded in tapioca, tasty drinks, and a beautiful and cozy infrastructure with a DJ, live music, and even a pyrotechnic show.
To use the external area of the bar, you have to pay a fee of R$50* for the day-use on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or holidays, and R$30* on other days. However, if you want to stay inside the bar, you don’t have to pay any fee. Either way, it is worth enjoying your day there, relaxing, drinking, and eating something.
A lively spot in Salvador, with big waves, it receives a lot of surfers. In addition, it has a wide strip of sand great for sports. Jaguaribe Beach is well located, with a sidewalk full of restaurants and bars, a place where locals and tourists like to go to enjoy the sea and see movement.
Although famous, Itapuã Beach (Praia de Itapuã) isn’t as pleasant as it was in the Vinícius de Moraes verser. Elaine shared that this was a place where she felt unsafe and found too much trash on the beach. So it is no wonder that it is sometimes considered unsuitable for bathing.
Anyway, it’s worth checking out the 21-meter high Itapuã Lighthouse and visiting Vinícius de Moraes’s house, with access through Casa Di Vina restaurant.
At Itapuã, you can also try Acarajé da Cira, which has one of its units in front of Posto 12.
14) Stella Maris
Stella Maria Beach is considered one of the cleanest Salvador beaches, located in a residential area with some resorts. There you can roll out your beach yoke and spend the day consuming from the hawkers or take advantage of the services of the tents.
One of the hottest places on the beach is Barraca do Lôro, which has showers for bathing, a covered area, and accessibility for people with special needs.
Next to Stella Maris is Flamengo Beach. She also counts with a unit from Barraca do Lôro, but this one has more luxury, offering even massage service. Cool, isn’t it?
If you want to learn to surf, this is the ideal place to take a surf class.
16) Frades’ island
Todos os Santos Bay is home to 56 islands, among them one of the favorites of tourists, the Frades’ Island (Ilha dos Frades). To get there, you can take a schooner trip that takes about 4 hours (2 hrs of transfer + 2 hrs of sightseeing). You can also cross the island by boat from the Madre de Deus maritime terminal. Once there, you will have to pay the environmental fee of R$25*.
There are little hotels for those who want to stay on the island and discover the beaches and colonial constructions. The best way to explore the place is by chartering a boat to visit the small surrounding beaches.
Best beaches near Salvador, Brazil
If you want to get out of the big city and visit beaches near Salvador, your options for a good swim are even more extensive. You can rent a car, go by public bus or hire a travel agency and make a day trip. But, if you are planning to sleep there, there are excellent choices of boutique hotels or resorts in the region.
See a list of some of the beaches near Salvador that are worth visiting:
Lauro de Freitas
Bordering Salvador, Lauro de Freitas is a quick and easy choice for those who want to get out of the city.
Because of its proximity to the capital, this city has a good mix of nature and urbanization. Therefore, unlike the others I will mention below, in Lauro de Freitas you will find buildings, bike paths, and more agitated options for the night.
The beaches that you can enjoy here are:
- Ipitanga Beach: more central and urbanized, is where you will find the bike path and better infrastructure. The water is calm, warm, and forms natural pools. It is an excellent option for those with children.
- Vilas do Atlântico Beach: localized in a closed area with condominiums and inns, making it a more exclusive beach. It has a good structure, such as a wide sidewalk for walking, food stands, and restaurants. At high tide, this beach is suitable for surfing, and at low tide, you can enjoy the natural pools.
- Buraquinho’s Beach: Many people like this beach because of its calm waters and the river flows by there. But, unfortunately, I see many people complaining about the pollution in the river, so it is better to get informed about the conditions before diving.
Guarajuba is a beach that belongs to Camaçari city. It is part of the famous Costa do Sauípe, which is home to some of the best beaches in Bahia. For this reason, it has large resorts that welcome tourists to visit this paradise.
Guarajuba Beach has a comprehensive extension. It is excellent for those who want to ride a bike due to the extensive bike lane that runs almost all of its shore.
The sea has points for surfing and bathing, be aware of the signs to avoid entering dangerous areas for bathing. Take advantage and bring your snorkel to dive and see the reefs from there.
Some consider Itacimirim Beach to be the most beautiful beach on the northern coast of Bahia. It has three main beaches and a coral bank where you can see fish and sea turtles:
- Barra Beach: where the Pojuca River flows, this is the calmest option for swimming. Close to the river, the waters are quieter, but it is necessary to be alert to the eventual currents formed on windy days.
- Espera Beach: is the beach where Amyr Klink disembarked in 1984 after spending 100 days at sea on a crossing from Africa to Brazil. Here is also a good choice for a relaxing swim in the ocean.
- Ondas Beach or Surf Beach: Perfect for those who want to go into the sea on a surfboard. The closer to the corals, the more complex the waves are.
Note: You will find the coral reef between Praia da Espera and Surf Beach.
Praia do Forte
Forte Beach (Praia do Forte) is one of the most popular beaches in Brazil. The village has a center with good restaurants, ice cream parlors, and handicrafts. You can also take the opportunity to visit places like the Garcia D’Ávila Castle and Klaus Peters Park.
This beach is divided into smaller ones:
- Porto de Baixo Beach – also known as Tivoli beach, is quieter and has no structure for tourists. The sea is calm, and it is a good place for those who want less mess.
- Porto de Cima Beach – This is the main beach, in front of the super charming São Francisco Church. It is not the best option for swimming, but it has a beautiful view.
- Papa Gente Beach and Lord Beach – these two little beaches are next to each other and are where you will find the natural pools of Forte Beach. To see them you have to go there at low tide.
In Praia do Forte, you can still take the opportunity to visit the Tamar Project, and if you are lucky, you will be in the season to see the turtles spawning (between September and March). Another tour not to be missed is the sighting of the humpback whales (July to October) that must be done with a local agency.
Imbassaí is a village loved by those who like a quieter routine, walking among houses with beautiful backyards and watching small animals roaming freely. It is a long beach. The waters are rough but suitable for swimming. My advice is to walk a little, get away from the central part of the beach, or use the alternative entrances along the river.
And speaking of the river, the main entrance to Imbassaí Beach is at the meeting of the river, and I found that this is the most beautiful part but also the most crowded. So if you go there on weekends, I recommend arriving early to get a place with an umbrella.
The hostel has shared rooms, double rooms, family rooms, and small chalets. It is simple, well surrounded by nature – a delight – and has a pool to enjoy after the beach.
Map of beaches of Salvador and surroundings
When to visit Salvador
Consider the less rainy seasons to visit Salvador, especially in September, October, and November, when the temperature is also milder.
In the summer (from December until Carnaval), the temperatures rise, the sun shines more, but there is a higher incidence of rain.
The climate in Salvador is warm to hot during most of the year, with an average of 22 °C to 31 °C.
Salvador beyond the beaches
Besides visiting the best beaches in Salvador and the northern coast of Bahia, which have their main characteristic coconut trees, clear sand, and natural pools, it is worth taking some time out of your trip to discover the main tourist spots and attractions in Salvador. There are so many options that we have prepared a unique article for you.
Check out our guide: Things to do in Salvador, Brazil.
Frequently asked questions
There are dozens of beaches. These are some of the best-known beaches of Salvador: Itapuã Beach, Farol da Barra Beach, Stella Maris Beach, Boa Viagem Beach, and Porto da Barra Beach. Besides the islands, Frades island, Bom Jesus dos Passos Island and Maré Island, and the beaches of neighboring municipalities like Forte Beach and Imbassaí.
There are approximately 30 beaches in all. Salvador has 50 km of beaches on the continent and 60 km if you count the islands part of the city.
Check here for updated information on the water quality for swimming.
Salvador has a predominantly hot and humid climate. During the year, the temperature usually varies from 22 °C to 31 °C.
Now that you know more about the best beaches in Salvador and its surrounds, tell us: Which one is your favorite?
*The values mentioned were collected in November 2021 for reference only and are subject to change.