Porto da Barra Beach
Get away from the architectural treasures of Salvador’s city center and spend the day at Porta da Barra Beach (Praia do Porto da Barra). This attractive city beach was included among the world’s best 50 beaches for 2014 as ranked by CNN. Porto da Barra Beach attracts a heady mix of tourists, families and Salvador’s hip and beautiful crowd. Come to swim in crystalline waters, top up your tan and dine at the restaurants and food stands.
The beach is a short curve of soft, golden sand that looks out across the glistening water of the Bay of All Saints. Cool off from the hot sun with a dip in the calm, shallow water. Natural pools form around a breakwater at the southern end of the beach and are relaxing to bathe in.
Find sun loungers and umbrellas to rent all along the beach. Alternatively, look for a quiet spot and lay down a towel. Observe as beachgoers flaunt their toned and sun-kissed bodies by parading up and down the seashore.
Go for a walk along the esplanade and purchase drinks and snacks from the food stands. Bars, cafés and restaurants line the opposite side of the esplanade, many of which stay open until the early hours. They begin to fill up late in the afternoon, when people arrive to watch the sunset.
Set aside some time to explore the historic buildings that sit atop headlands at both ends of the beach. To the south is Santa Maria Fort, built in 1614 and decorated with the coat of arms of the former Empire of Brazil. Affording superb views from a hill above the beach’s northern edge is the Church of St. Anthony of Barra, founded in 1595.
Porto da Barra Beach is about a 15-minute drive from Salvador’s city center and public buses depart regularly from Praça da Sé. Salvador’s favorable climate makes the beach popular year-round and weekends can be extremely crowded. Nearby Farol da Barra Beach is sometimes a quieter option.