A complete guide with what to do in the Maraú Peninsula, day and night, when to visit, where the best restaurants are, or what to bring along, and exclusive tips for a perfect trip!
If you are looking for peace with lots of sun, beach and sea, you will love Maraú Peninsula (Península de Maraú in Portuguese) and Barra Grande, Bahia. In this guide you will find out what to do on the Marau Peninsula, where to eat, understand what is the best time to visit the destination, what to bring on this trip and much more. Let’s go?!
Where is Maraú Peninsula and how to get there
The Maraú Peninsula is located in the municipality of Maraú in the south of Bahia, named Costa do Dendê (which means Palm Coast since this is a palm oil producing region). Located approximately 100km from Ilhéus, 250km from the capital Salvador and almost 400km from Porto Seguro, the peninsula enchants travelers from Brazil and the world.
See where it is and how to get to the Maraú Peninsula in our specific article on the subject.f
Best time to visit Maraú Peninsula
In theory, the best time to visit Maraú Peninsula is in the dry season, between September and March, but since 2021 the weather forecasts are not so reliable 🙃. According to climate-data.org, the months with the lowest rainfall are September and October (see the columns in blue in the image below), while the wettest period is between March and July.
I traveled to Maraú in March 2022 and it rained most days. Therefore, I still consider returning to the destination at another opportunity.
The average temperature of the year is 26ºC (78,8ºF). In July it drops to 22ºC (71,6ºF). Check the monthly average temperature on the red line in the image below.
Weather in Maraú Peninsula and Barra Grande
Moon phase and tide
When deciding to go to the Maraú Peninsula, it’s valid to understand how the phases of the moon and tide work. During the full and new moon stages, the tide undergoes variations between high and low, if you want to enjoy the natural pools of Taipu de Fora and Algodões, the ideal is to go when the tide is lower.
Hotels in Maraú
The choice of where to stay in Maraú Peninsula and Barra Grande will depend a lot on your travel objective and financial availability regarding transfers.
If you want to visit this paradise to relax in a quiet place with only the sound of nature, we recommend staying in the region of Lagoa do Cassange or Praia dos Algodões. If you prefer to stay close to the center and have easy mobility among attractions, it is worth staying in the village of Barra Grande.
Sustainable Accommodation on the Maraú Peninsula
I was recently invited to visit the Pousada Lagoa do Cassange, which has the famous lagoon as a “backyard” and I was surprised by how far accommodation can go in terms of concern for the environment and the local community. Some of their sustainability initiatives are:
- Natural hygiene products, produced by them and arranged in reusable packaging to avoid the consumption of plastic;
- Breakfast is made with organic and biodynamic ingredients, which makes it wonderful, healthy and light 😋;
- The inn composts, recycles, has a vegetable garden and even a mini agroforestry;
- Do not use disposable plastic;
- They helped create a school for the community (Yes, a school!😱).
The @escola.maramar offers teaching based on Waldorf pedagogy and provides a diverse environment where children from different social classes can live together. Amazing, right?!
Accommodation in Barra Grande
Are you looking for more action and more options for tours and transport? Our tip is that you stay at Pousada Porto da Barra which is a few steps from the center, facing the beach, 2 minutes from the Barra Grande pier and about 10 minutes from Ponta do Mutá.
The inn has daily rates from R$335* that include breakfast and afternoon tea with cake, pie, and other delights. In addition to the sensational location, you can watch this beautiful sunset in front of the inn.
Find more hotel options in Barra Grande below:
Bars and restaurants on the Maraú Peninsula
There are great bars and restaurants on the Maraú Peninsula. I’ll start talking about my favorite, the Obar.
As an appetizer, be sure to try the crab shell, it comes au gratin and was the best I’ve ever eaten on the entire coast of Bahia. Other highlights are the breadfruit chips, the shrimp in tapioca which is very large and delicious, and the fact that they have a vegetable garden in the backyard with spices and fresh ingredients for drinks.
Are you looking for something lighter? Sol do Mutá offers a delicious salad, a caprese option and one with seafood. There we also tasted shrimp in brut sauce and a very good Sicilian lemon risotto.
Want to know where to eat cheaply in Barra Grande? Go to the Restaurante na Varanda. There you can find organic food for R$35* per person and natural juice for R$5*. Each day has a menu, and there is always a vegetarian option. On the day I went there it was pot meat, oven-baked rice and an option with vegetables.
Before leaving this paradise, it is worth tasting the ice cream at Taipu Cremaria, which has a unit in Barra Grande and another in Taipu de Fora.
The saracino flavor is the best in my opinion. But the strawberry ones with white brigadeiro and the burnt coconut are also delicious. 2 balls in the ice cream cone costs R$25*.
Things to do on the Maraú Peninsula
Although this is a quiet destination, there are many things to do in Barra Grande and the Maraú Peninsula. Check out some suggestions below.
This is where everything happens on the Maraú Peninsula. If you want to frequent the buzziest places, travel solo or don’t have a car or rent, it’s worth staying here.
It is in Barra Grande that the speedboats from Camamu arrive, the tours to the islands leave, and you don’t just depend on a private transfer, you can walk around the region by mototaxi and “jardineira”, which have lower costs.
The center is also full of shops, restaurants and some bars with live music. You can do everything on foot.
Enjoy the beaches of the Maraú Peninsula
Altogether there are more than 10 beaches on the Maraú Peninsula, among them are Praia da Barra, Ponta do Mutá, Praia de Algodões, Praia do Cassange, Taipu de Fora and Praia da Saquaira.
Choose the one that suits you the most, stretch the yoke and relax!
Lagoa do Cassange
Prefer fresh water? The Cassange Lake (or Lagoa do Cassange in Portuguese) is perfect for swimming, enjoying a beautiful sunset and practicing sports such as kayaking and stand up paddleboarding.
As we were staying at Pousada Lagoa do Cassange, we didn’t need to rent equipment, which is already included in the rates. For those who are not staying in the region, it is possible to enjoy the lagoon when visiting the Lagoa & Mar Bar. There, they rent equipment for R$20* for 30 minutes.
Giant bromeliads trail
The Giant Bromeliads Trail (Trilha das Bromélias Gigantes) is a road that can be accessed by quad bike or 4×4. Along the way you can see giant bromeliads that can reach 2 meters in height.
It is not necessary to pay to take this tour if you have your own vehicle or if at any time you need to hire a transfer to Lagoa do Cassange and Barra Grande, because it is part of the way.
A 4×4 vehicle is needed to access the Blue Lake (Lagoa Azul), located on a stretch of the Bromélias Trail. Its beauty is most evident when the weather is open. Otherwise it’s just a pond. It has recently become a private property, so you can only stop in front of it to see it. We do not consider it an unmissable tour.
Taipu de Dentro
Camamu Bay is the third largest bay in Brazil, after Todos os Santos Bay in Salvador region and Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro. This is a good choice for fishing, bathing, watching the sunset or bringing the kids for being quiet.
Natural pools in Taipu de Fora
Remember to be careful not to step on or bump into the corals and to use only biodegradable sunscreen, ok?! To appreciate and enjoy nature, you have to protect it 😊.
To go to Taipu de Fora from Barra Grande you can take a “jardineira” for R$20*/person each way. They need at least four people to run.
Want to know what to do in Taipu de Fora? How about scuba diving for the first time?
The Carpe Diem agency offers scuba diving in Taipu de Fora, whether for beginners from 10 years of age who can do the so-called “baptism” accompanied by an instructor or already certified divers.
The maximum depth of natural pools in Taipu de Fora is 7 meters. The complete activity lasts about 1:30hr, while the time underwater is approximately 35 minutes.
Among the animals that can be observed are sponge coral, crustaceans, fish, turtles, octopus and moray eel, among others.
Company: Carpe Diem Mergulho
Polynesian canoe tour
Another suggestion of what to do in Maraú Peninsula is the Polynesian canoe tour or class. I didn’t get to do it but I really wanted to. A three people group is the minimum required for the tour takes place. The duration is about 2 hours, leaving Ponta do Mutá and taking you to the Carapitangui River.
Company: Mutá Hoe Vaá Clube
Price: Prices range from R$80-100* per person, depending on the number of participants.
Humpback whale watching
Between the months of July and September you can take a trip to see humpback whales for R$200*. This is certainly an unmissable experience for anyone visiting Barra Grande during this period.
Company: Princesinha Turismo
Price: R$200* for each person
Farol de Taipu
Many 4×4 tours already include a visit to the Farol de Taipu. The vehicle reaches a certain point where you only need to walk about 5 minutes to reach the top of the hill and have a panoramic view that is even more beautiful at sunset.
Gardener Tour or Quadricycle
These tours take you to discover the main sights of Maraú Peninsula, leaving Barra Grande and passing through Praia dos Algodões, Lagoa do Cassange, Giant Bromeliads Trail, Blue Lagoon, Taipu de Fora, Taipu Lighthouse and ends at sunset in Ponta do Mutá.
The value of the gardener tour is R$120* per person and it needs at least six passengers for the vehicle to leave. The quad bike rental is between R$270* and R$350*/day.
Have you ever seen a waterfall that flows into the sea? In my opinion, Tremembé Waterfall (Cachoeira do Tremembé) was one of the best attractions of this trip since it promotes the meeting of the waters of the Maraú River with the sea.
It can only be accessed by boat or speedboat and I recommend that you choose the speedboat. This way, if the waterfall is full, the tip of the speedboat will allow you to take a short shower (see this video).
Depending on the water level and the weather, some natives offer to accompany you on a small trail that takes you to natural pools at the top of the waterfall. The value is approximately R$20*.
Company: Princesinha Turismo
Price: The speedboat rides to 5 islands + Waterfall costs R$170* per person.
Boat or schooner tour – 5 Islands
The best tour of Maraú Peninsula is called 5 Islands. It is operated by @princesinhaturismo and can be done by schooner or speedboat. The most significant difference is that the speedboat stops at Cachoeira do Tremembé.
The tour takes you to discover some islands in Camamu Bay. On the speedboat tour we took, we first stopped at Pedra Furada Island (pictured below) for about 35 minutes, where we also visited the Vagina Cave (it has this name due to its shape). On this island, tourists must pay, in cash, a R$5* visitation fee.
Afterward, we passed in front of Ilha Grande (there was no stop), went to the Tremembé waterfall, had lunch at Cabana do Regi in Campinhos, stopped at Ilha do Sapinho, and finally walked along a beautiful beach on Ilha do Goió.
Company: Princesinha Turismo
Sítio do Outeiro
It was one of the places I wanted the most to visit but I couldn’t due to a lack of logistical planning.
At Sítio do Outeiro you can simply taste their famous organic açaí or take a tour where the philosophical tripod is agroforestry, bio construction and art. This tour lasts around two hours (1.5 km) and at the end açaí is served.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 14:00 (2PM) to 18:00 (6PM)
For those who want to sail with more connection to nature and less environmental impact, the sailboat tour in Barra Grande is ideal!
You can take a class, an hour-long experience, or take the islands tour. Talk to Rodrigo for more information.
Company: VELA – Ecoturismo Náutico – Rodrigo
One day trip to Boipeba
You must have noticed that I love Boipeba, right? No wonder I decided to live on this island for a while. It is very unfair to visit this paradise in just a few hours but if this is your only alternative, you can take a tour to Boipeba Island from Barra Grande.
Company: Princesinha Turismo
Price: R$200* per person.
Ride a bike
In Barra Grande you can rent a “fat tire” electric bike to ride along the waterfront. It is important to pay attention to the tide table and to cycle only in periods of low tide.
The battery has an average autonomy of 40 km and reservations are made after 3 hours.
Company: Gea E-bike
Visit destinations near Maraú Peninsula
Here are some destinations close to the Maraú Peninsula that are worth visiting:
What to do in Barra Grande and Maraú at night
If, despite enjoying the calm, you hope to find a “little buzzing” in the Maraú Peninsula, your chance is to spend a weekend or holiday in Barra Grande!
At night the center is charming. Shops are open, there is a fair on Friday and Saturday night with various handicrafts and natural products, and you will find several bars and restaurants, some with live music.
Our choices as travelers matter! Here are some tips on how to practice more responsible tourism in Maraú:
- Avoid generating garbage. Take your reusable items and say no to single-use plastic.
- Use biodegradable products whenever possible.
- If you buy ready-made drinks, always opt for drinks in aluminum cans, which have a high recycling rate in Brazil.
- Don’t buy long necks. Glass is always a problem on beaches as it can break and hurt someone. In addition, the recycling rate is low due to the high logistical cost of its weight.
- Watch what you eat! Did you know that lobsters, shrimp, guaiamu and crabs cannot be sold at certain times of the year? They need time for them to reproduce. On this website you can check the closed seasons for each animal.
- Discover and support social projects in this region, such as Coração de Tartaruga , which helps to conserve of sea turtles in Marau.
- Support local entrepreneurs and producers.
I take this opportunity to share with you a concept I only got to know here. Have you ever heard of bio jewels?
Bio jewels are jewelry made with natural resources such as stones, seeds, pearls, etc. Fabiani Julianni works with this and has explained to me that in her shop the pearls come from pearl farms, so their extraction does not harm the local ecosystem. Here, the sun coral, a pest that arrived in Brazil via oil vessels, is re-signified and transformed into a jewel. In addition, the stones, silver, etc., are all certified and come from legal mining. Interesting, right?!
Rua Maraú, nº 30 Loja 03 – Barra Grande
Rua das Piscinas Naturais, nº 9999 Loja 02 – Taipu de Fora
Now that you know what to do in Maraú Peninsula and Barra Grande, know where to eat and even what to pack, it’s time to enjoy. Have a nice trip 😎!
* The mentioned values were collected in March 2022 for reference only and are subject to change.
Frequently asked questions
The closest commercial airport to Maraú Peninsula is Ilhéus Airport. However, for the more financially favored, an alternative is to charter a flight and get off at a small private airport near the village of Barra Grande.
For those who don’t have many vacation days available, I recommend a minimum of 4 days, but remember to consider the round trip time to the airport. For those who, like me, prefer to travel more tranquility to get to know the region well, 8-10 days are enough.
The best time to visit Maraú Peninsula is between September and October during the new or full moon. Read more…
One of the nicest things to do on Maraú Peninsula is to enjoy the sunset. You can enjoy it from Lagoa do Cassange while kayaking, straight from Farol de Taipu, in Taipu de Dentro, at Barra Grande beach or Ponta do Mutá.
In addition to having several attractions during the day, there is a lot to do in the Maraú Peninsula at night. You can enjoy the bars and restaurants in the center and the market, and for those who enjoy a good party, keep an eye on the program of Lá em Casa, Merkaba… Read more!
– Sunscreen and repellent (preferably biodegradable);
– T-shirt with sun protection
– Cap or hat
– Snorkeling equipment (if you have it)
Get your Columbia Sportswear promo code*
* Available in certain markets and periods only.