All you need to know about Porto Seguro in a single place: how to get there, things to do, when to visit, the best beaches, where to stay, where to eat and much more!
Porto Seguro is one of the most popular destinations in Bahia, a State of Brazil. It is a city full of history, culture and natural beauty, which also houses the famous districts of Arraial d’Ajuda, Trancoso and Caraiva. Porto Seguro’s top of mind to Brazilian people is its musicality – specifically a rhythm called Axé –, open-air concerts and destination to graduation trips. However, my personal experience has taught me so much more about this amazing and diverse place!
First of all, Porto Seguro is a place that teaches us a lot about the colonization of Brazil, and it also has several beautiful beaches, indigenous reserves, parks where we can find giant Pau-Brasil trees, beach clubs and even all-inclusive resorts.
In this complete guide you will find out where this city is located, what to do in Porto Seguro during the day and night, where to eat, where to stay and much more! Are you ready?
Frequently asked questions
Porto Seguro is located at the south of the state of Bahia, just over 700 km far from the capital Salvador – a long 10-hour drive for those who enjoy a nice road trip. From the city center to Caraíva it takes 62 km or 2 hours by road, a little more than Trancoso, which is 1h15 from downtown Porto Seguro, distant by 35km. Arraial d’Ajuda is just 7km away, or 40 minutes driving.
Porto Seguro on the Map:
Going to Porto Seguro is more than visiting stunning beaches and enjoying a great nightlife, it is about learning deeply about Brazil’s history.
It is a very versatile destination, as it includes busy attractions, such as Taperapuã Beach and Passarela do Descobrimento, and the tranquility of Mutá Beach (I bet you are already imagining yourself lying on the sand drinking coconut water, right?!).
For those interested in local history and culture, in the historic center of Porto Seguro it’s possible to come across buildings from the 16th century, and in the tour to Reserva da Jaqueira you can experience a cultural immersion, we’ll talk about it later, so get ready to get even more enchanted.
In addition, Porto Seguro has the Pau-Brasil National Park and many attractions for fans of sports, such as biking, trekking, paramotor, kitesurfing, kayaking, stand up paddle and diving. Phew! There are plenty of reasons to visit this paradise.
The sun shines brightly throughout the whole year in Bahia, so Porto Seguro turns out to be a popular destination during all seasons.
The months of January to March and October to December are the ones that rain the most in the area. During the months of August and September there is little rain and the temperatures are milder, between 18°C and 25°C. In addition, this period of time is off-season, which means that there are less tourists around and the prices are cheaper.
If you are looking for parties and a nice little mess, Carnival and New Year’s Eve are the most popular time, with several attractions through the city and in the surroundings.
Weather in Porto Seguro, Brazil:
4 days and 3 nights are enough for you to enjoy the main attractions at the center of Porto Seguro city and its surroundings, but we suggest you to also stay at least a couple more nights in each of these other districts: Arraial d’Ajuda, Trancoso and Caraíva 😊. As a parameter, I spent 15 days going through all of the corners of the city, and it would be possible to stay much longer without repeating any attraction.
Do you wanna know what to pack for your trip to Porto Seguro? We have prepared a short list for you:
– Sunscreen and repellent, preferably biodegradable;
– Cap or a hat is indispensable;
– Light clothes;
– Short-sleeved and long-sleeved T-shirt with UV protection;
– Trail boots, if you visit Bom Sossego Farm or Pau-Brasil National Park;
– Hiking Sandals to ride a bicycle on the beach.
You can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Passarela do Descobrimento (known as the “Drinking Walkway”), or go for a walk to Arraial d’Ajuda and enjoy the bars and clubs there, if you prefer.
If it rains during your trip, you can take the opportunity to visit the Porto Seguro Museum and the Epopéia do Descobrimento Memorial. We’ll talk more about these places throughout this article.
How to get to Porto Seguro and get around the region
It is possible to reach Porto Seguro by plane (depending on your location, it is the fastest way to travel there), by bus or driving.
As it’s such an important city, Porto Seguro’s Airport is the main airport in the region, and it receives daily flights directly from Salvador, São Paulo and Minas Gerais.
The direct flight from São Paulo city to Porto Seguro airport lasts around 2 hours, and the price of the ticket varies between R$600 and R$2000, depending on the time of the year and the advance you purchase your tickets. If you are departing from Rio de Janeiro, the flying time is longer – from 4 to 6 hours – as it usually has connections in São Paulo or Minas Gerais.
If your departing point is Salvador, the flight is direct and lasts a little over 1 hour, with prices varying between R$400 and R$800.
It is a nice piece of advice to take a good look at a ticket searching website in order to get the best prices and dates. We usually use Skyscanner and we love their display of daily values and price comparisons.
Depending on the price of the flights, the option of traveling to Porto Seguro by bus may pay off, but keep in mind that it will be a long-hour adventure.
Either from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, you can choose to take the direct route to Porto Seguro with a company called Gontijo, or taking a connection in Vitória using Águia Branca. The direct trip lasts approximately 28 hours from São Paulo and 20 hours from Rio. We recommend you to contact the company to find out more about prices.
If your departure city is Salvador, the company Águia Branca also offers this route and, despite being located in the same state, the bus journey to Porto Seguro takes approximately 12 hours.
For those who like being behind the wheel, traveling by car to Porto Seguro can be an interesting and more flexible option, as you may stop at other places along the way.
The shortest route from São Paulo to Porto Seguro is bordering the coast and passing by Rio de Janeiro and Vitória, with the total price of tolls at around R$83. If you go straight, it is almost 22 hours driving for just over 1500 km, through the BR-116 and BR-101, but we recommend you to consider 2 to 3 days to make the entire journey without any rush.
From Salvador, the trip to Porto Seguro lasts about 10 hours and the route is also made by BR-101. According to Mapeia on March/21, there are no toll costs, so it really is an economical option at the moment.
Don’t forget to include the cost of fuel and hotels along the way.
Would you like to rent a car? Check out our car rental discounts.
Getting around the city
There are plenty of options for you to get around Porto Seguro, such as by car, bus, taxi, moto-taxi and Uber, depending on your budget and the time you have available for commuting.
The most flexible and comfortable way to get around is by renting a car, because it gives you autonomy to get to know every corner of the city, in addition to not depending on departure times. On the other hand, you have to pay attention to the fuel and parking costs, and the fact that you can’t have a refreshing caipirinha at the beach, as you will have to drive afterwards.
If you want to move around the city by bus, a bus company called Viação Porto Seguro makes the route of the circular lines within the city and to the nearby beaches.
Things to do in Porto Seguro, Brazil
Find below a compilation of the best things to do during your trip to Porto Seguro:
Porto Seguro beaches
It’s impossible not start your trip by the Porto Seguro beaches, isn’t it? Check out some of them below:
Mundaí Beach is the closest to the center of Porto Seguro, approximately 5km away. It is the perfect combination of a calm sea with blue-green water, clear and soft sand, and a stunning vegetation of coconut trees crowning the landscape.
For those looking for entertainment during the day and a party atmosphere at night, Jamaica Beach Bar has music playing all the time, with sounds that vary from axé, to reggae, salsa, merengue and country. Oh, and they have an amphibious chair in case anyone needs it.
One of the most well known attractions in Porto Seguro is Taperapuã Beach. This is where the famous tents with Axé concerts, good drinks and Bahian typical food are located, such as the Axé Moi, Tôa-Tôa and Barramares leisure complexes.
Because it attracts many tourists, Taperapuã Beach has a great structure of hotels and restaurants for those looking to be in action for longer. In addition, sports activities on the sand are permitted, such as volleyball and paddleball, as well as kayak and banana boat trips.
Watching the sunset in the calm, blue waters is the icing on the cake for the holiday mood.
If you don’t like the hustle and bustle or just wonder where to rest after parties, your refuge is Mutá Beach, which is located between Porto Seguro and Cabrália – 6.5km from Taperapuã Beach.
The blue sea of calm waters, the fine white sand and the Atlantic forest that surrounds the place, transform this cove into a paradise. As if the landscape was not stunning enough, the low tide forms natural pools that leave coral banks exposed.
Mutá Beach also has good options for hotels and restaurants, so if you are considering staying near this oasis, don’t think twice.
Coroa Vermelha Beach
Coroa Vermelha Beach is right after Mutá, even though it’s part of Santa Cruz Cabrália, there’s no way not to mention it. Coroa Vermelha is a gift for history lovers, since it was the point spotted by Pedro Álvares Cabral’s fleet and the first landing place for Portuguese caravels at the discovery of Brazil. In addition, it was next to the Santa Cruz Chapel that the country’s first Catholic Mass was celebrated, marked by a symbolic cross installed by the Portugueses.
After visiting and recording all the historical richness of Coroa Vermelha Beach and making an unforgettable visit to the Jaqueira Indigenous Reserve, enjoy the day relaxing on a quiet and unhurried beach. Take the opportunity to take a walk in the shops of indigenous crafts and help the economy of the local people by taking home a piece of their art.
The region has good options of hotels and lodges, if you want to stay close by.
As we have already mentioned, the Historic Center of Porto Seguro is a very rich source of colonial history, recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage.
The region looks more like an open-air museum, both for the buildings of the 16th century and for the Discovery Landmark, a monument brought straight from Portugal within the caravels.
The churches are breathtaking due to their importance in the origin of the country, so we strongly recommend you to include these treasures in your list of attractions:
- Nossa Senhora da Penha Church, which contains sacred items from the 16th and 17th centuries;
- Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia Church, the oldest in Brazil. It has the walls and the central part preserved since its origin;
- Sao Benedito Church (the one in the picture), which conserves the ruins of the first Jesuit school in Brazil;
- Chamber House and Old Jail, where the Porto Seguro Museum is located;
- Casa da Lenha, the old warehouse for the products that went out to the boats.
In order to learn everything experiencing the history told in detail, we HIGHLY recommend you to get a guided tour. I would have regretted it so much if I had done this tour by myself. If you are interested, you can close a deal with a city tour company, such as Grupo AR, or hire a private guide.
Porto Seguro Museum
A smart option for a rainy day is visiting Porto Seguro Museum, at the Historic City. It is a deep dive into the origins of the country before and during the colonization period, with exhibitions about indigenous culture, navigation techniques, European expeditions and characteristics of vessels.
The tour is even more interesting when we know that the place was a colonial prison for many years. The museum is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, but it is possible that they will charge an entrance fee when it opens again.
Epopéia do Descobrimento Memorial
The Epopéia do Descobrimento Memorial is where the famous replica of the caravel that brought Pedro Álvares Cabral and his squadron to the Brazilian lands is spotted. In addition to being able to explore the areas of the vessel, the museum also has replicas of historical documents and indigenous artifacts of the period. It’s literally a journey through time! It’s worth taking a guided tour and it’s also a good option for rainy days.
Passarela do Descobrimento (Former “Drinking Walkway”)
Passarela do Descobrimento, formerly called “Drinking Walkway”, is the most popular meeting point of Porto Seguro’s nights. It’s a mix of handicraft shops, restaurants, bars and drink stalls popular among tourists.
If you have always dreamed of having an experience in an indigenous community, your time has come! When in Porto Seguro you can visit the Jaqueira Indigenous Reserve, the first Pataxó village founded by women, in 1997.
Since 1940, the shaman and chieftain had been fighting for the demarcation of the territory that is part of Coroa Vermelha, and in 1997 a total area of 1492 hectares was finally demarcated. Currently, they have 827 hectares of Atlantic forest, which is 40% of the original size.
The leaders Nitynawã (Nity), Jandaya and Nayara, arrived there to prevent these lands from being destroyed just as many others had been. In order to preserve the forest and strengthen the Pataxó culture, the community, which initially had 15 families and currently has 34 (110 people), started to promote sustainable ethno-tourism.
The experience at the Reserve includes attending a lecture about the Pataxó culture, tasting guaiúba fish roasted on the fire in patioba leaves, different types of teas, medicinal herbs and their purpose, getting to learn the nursery where they plant seedlings that help reforest areas off their ground, doing face paint and much more.
Pau Brasil National Park
In this amazing site it’s easy to find beautiful viewpoints, waterfalls and species of Pau-Brasil up to 1500 years old (that’s right, I swear I didn’t misspell it!). ICMBio manages the Pau-Brasil National Park, which offers 65 km of roundtrip trails and receives around 200 to 300 visitors during low season and up to 500 during high season. There are 6 different trails between moderate and easy levels.
Most visitors are cyclists, who are guided by companies, such as Bahia Active. However, if you are on your own, you can use the park’s internal transportation which costs R$17. Keep in mind that it needs to be booked in advance.
The great news for lovers of accessible and responsible tourism is that the Pau-Brasil Trail is suspended, thus avoiding our direct contact with the ground and still offering accessibility for those who have mobility difficulties.
The park is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 8am to 5pm, and the last entry time is at 3pm. It’s necessary to wear proper footwear to be able to get into the park.
Bom Sossego Farm
The tour at Bom Sossego Farm, which works in the production of Açaí, Coconut and Cupuaçu, is a delightful walk and you will be able to taste the fruits taken straight from their trees, eat a divine cupuaçu mousse and açaí prepared in a traditional way (yes, the taste is different from those that we try in the south and southeast of Brazil, also in many places around the World).
Bike Tour or Expedition
Renata from Bahia Active offers bicycle tours that can last from a few hours to several days. Bike lovers really enjoy the expeditions that take them to Trancoso, passing by several beaches at the Bahian coast or to appreciate the trails of the Pau-Brasil National Park.
Recife de Fora Marine Park
If you add Recife de Fora Marine Park to your itinerary, it’s guaranteed you’ll have an experience that will not be forgotten anytime soon. The park covers 17 km², but only 3% of the total area is released for tourism and 400 people per day is the maximum allowed within the site.
The outings for the tour start from the municipal pier, at the Passarela do Descobrimento, and only when the tide is low. If all conditions are favorable, you’ll find a park with crystal clear waters to snorkel or just relax in the natural pools, sending al your concerns far away.
The cost of the tour for adults and children over 1.31m in height is R$ 100, children between 1m and 1.31m pay R$ 50, and children under this height do not pay admission. These values do not include transportation to the pier, food and a possible city tax of R$ 16.
Every year, the beautiful Humpback whales move from Antarctica towards the Brazilian coast to mate and have their cubs in the warm waters of southern Bahia. This amazing spectacle of nature can usually be seen between August and October.
The Baleia Jubarte Institute organizes and coordinates partners that make the trips to watch the whales, ensuring that everything is done consciously, making sure it’s an observation tourism that doesn’t cause environmental impact.
If what you really want is to spend the day at a beach club, eating and drinking the best stuff, there will be plenty of options! But our tip is to visit Cabana Malibu.
In addition to being a beautiful and extremely pleasant environment, they have several sustainability initiatives. You can have their own water, shop at a store with beautiful clothes made of PET bottles and even use an amphibious chair for wheelchair users. And make sure to taste their lobster, it’s really divine!
If the combination of a wonderful sunset with a cold beer sounds great, you can’t miss going to Tarifa Deck, it’s there that many locals come together to enjoy the end of the day.
Visit nearby districts: Arraial, Trancoso and Caraiva
There is still much more to do in Porto Seguro! Take advantage of this same trip to spend a few days in the neighboring districts or even make a round trip to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Trancoso, the excitement and fun of Arraial d’Ajuda (make sure to check out Arraial Eco Park), or the river meeting the sea in Caraíva.
Where to stay in Porto Seguro, Brazil
Wondering where to stay in Porto Seguro? We made a list of the best hotels, lodges and resorts in the region.
Hotels in Porto Seguro
Pousada Rio Da Vila
In addition to being super charming and having a delicious pool, the highlight of Rio da Vila Lodge is its location. The hostel is in the middle of a forest reserve, 2 km away from the airport and 70 meters away from the Discovery Landmark.
Vila Miola Hotel is located 500 meters away from the trendy Taperapuã Beach. The hotel is very beautiful and offers breakfast services, beauty salon, car rental and even partnerships with some beach tents to get discounts for guests.
Porto Seguro Eco Bahia Hotel
The location of Porto Seguro Eco Bahia Hotel is at the heart of the historic center of Porto Seguro. Its outdoor area is huge, with two swimming pools, a huge garden and a tennis court, in addition to a jaw-dropping view. It’s perfect for a trip with the whole family!
Resorts in Porto Seguro
Porto Seguro Praia Resort
If comfort is your priority, Porto Seguro Praia Resort is a great option. They have all inclusive service, the largest adventure park in the country and a perfect location at the Curuípe Beach, with an exclusive beach club for guests.
La Torre Resort All Inclusive
La Torre Resort is the place to be if you want to stay in an all inclusive resort with a beautiful landscape and a stunning orchid nursery. The cool thing is that they aim to be a sustainable and accessible hotel, in addition to having all the perks that a resort offers.
Resort Arcobaleno Porto Seguro
7 small villages form the Arcobaleno Porto Seguro Resort, located right in front of Taperapuã Beach. The resort offers everything from free parking, to a pool park, toy library, sports court and some other very interesting attractions. Besides, it has a quite strong appreciation for the environment and we should always support those who have these concerns, right?
Arraial d’Ajuda Eco Resort
Even though it’s located in Arraial d’Ajuda, Arraial d’Ajuda Eco Resort is right after the ferry crossing and offers exclusive transport for guests to get to the other side. The resort offers, in addition to impeccable amenities and facilities, complimentary access to the Arraial d’Ajuda Eco Park. The entire press team that participated in this press trip that I attended to was staying at this resort that had very good service and wonderful food. In my point of view, the only thing that I missed was the hotel presenting more sustainability initiatives, even more for having “Eco” in its name.
You can find more accommodation options in Porto Seguro, below:
Where to eat in Porto Seguro
Want to know which are the best restaurants in Porto Seguro? We consulted some places and saved some suggestions for you:
As good enthusiasts of a beautiful sunset, we recommend Gallo Restaurant during dawn to watch this show, accompanied by a cold white wine and snacks. It makes me want to come back just by thinking about it!
Colher de Pau
The Colher de Pau restaurant chain has units spread all across Porto Seguro and it is a sure bet if you are unsure of where to eat. The chain is highly awarded and it has a very cozy standard environment. If you want to throw yourself into an extravagant meal, it’s worth ordering their lobster, accompanied by a fruit drink.
Vovó Bela Restaurante
If you are in the mood to get away from the seafood and eat a delicious pizza or hamburger, Vovó Bela Restaurante will make you very satisfied. It’s super well recommended!
Located close to the Passarela do Descobrimento, Banzé Restaurant offers a mix of Bahian and contemporary cuisine. The atmosphere and the dishes have a slightly less rustic feel and more for the refined, being a beautiful option for a more special night, where it’s worth investing in the dinner.
Located in the middle of the bustle of Taperapuã Beach, Cabana Malibu offers fresh seafood options, very cold beers to enjoy with your feet in the sand and a super cozy atmosphere to relax.
As usual, here are some tips for you to make your trip more sustainable:
Avoid producing garbage during the trip: as incredible as it may seem, there are no recycling initiatives in Porto Seguro, so the ideal is that you avoid generating any garbage, but if this is not possible, opt for canned drinks as they are more likely to be recycled and give preference to products without packaging or with paper packaging. For plastic packaging, it is worth taking them to another municipality that has recycling initiatives.
Consume from local producers: Take advantage of this trip to support the local community by purchasing souvenirs from local artisans, nuts and chocolates from local producers.
The prices mentioned in this article are from March/2021 and may change at any time, they’ve been shared for reference only.
Acknowledgment: This dreamy trip was made as an invitation from the Porto Seguro Department of Tourism, but you can rest assured that all opinions expressed here are honest and based on our own experience.