It is necessary to go through the village, which is offering more and more options to the tourist (bars, restaurants, stores, craft fairs) before reaching the first beach. It is the most popular with residents because it is perfect to practice water sports, like scuba diving, surf, wakeboard, canopy and banana boat. With the lighthouse as a direct guardian, this 300km wide beach was the first to have beach huts in the 80´s, which now have spread all along the rest of the coast.
Nowadays, it is the most generously built; its houses end over the sand and enjoy the constant lull of the sea. Another feature is the coral reef present in this area, which allows tourists to scuba dive with autonomous equipment; and what is more, it is the only one suitable to practice surf.
Its main characteristic is the great number of beach huts, where you can enjoy local and international dishes served with cold beer, delicious natural fruit juice or exquisite caipifruit. Its 400km wide beach is perfect to relax to the sound of bahiano rhythms as well as to play beach volleyball or beach football. Birimbaos and tambourines announce the sunset inviting tourists to see a Capoeira dance round, performed by natives who – with extraordinary beauty – captivate the audience with delightful movements that have learnt since childhood. At night, the beach turns into an excellent scenario for parties, where natives, residents and tourists from all over the world dance to sound of the music.
Ilha da Saudade, with palm trees and tropical vegetation, puts an end to this beach and leads to the following one.
Third Beach has different kinds of hotels and is less agitated but with easy access to the centre. It has an approximate dimension of 800km and has a special attraction: Ilha de Caitá with its only palm tree. 500mts offshore, this island is surrounded by pink coral reefs, where the practice of scuba diving or snorkelling allows you to spot countless fish of varied and bright colours.
Here you can also rent bikes and kayaks. Another advantage is that there is a huge camping area for those who love to spend their holidays this way. Caeira Farm, and its landing strip for small aircraft that covers the route Morro-Salvador-Morro, puts an end to this lovely beach.
The magnificence of nature is present in this beach. An endless coconut tree area blends with 4000mts of the finest white sand, and friendly amendoeiras (beach almond tree) offer their generous shade and extremely attractive and crystal clear waters. Nothing here is closest to paradise like this beach.
During low tide, and particularly during full and new moon, the coral reefs contribute to the appearance of natural pools, which warmed by the sun, resemble thermal water pools. A snorkel kit is enough to enjoy the marvellous coral reefs and colourful fish. This beach is an invitation to the best that nature can offer, not in vain magazines Terra and Veja rated this beach the fourth position of the top ten most beautiful Brazilian beaches.
A little far away from the morro there is the Praia do Encanto, which is also known as Quinta Praia, and that is as beautiful as the Fourth Beach. It has several kilometres long and is the most deserted beach near the morro.
Walking along the beach you will find the marvellous sea on one side and a coqueiral on the other side until a manglar that can be crossed through a farm that leads to a fishermen village called Garapoá and its homonymous beach. A paradise of sand circled by corals that turns it into a genuine pool taken out of heaven.
Prainha do Forte
On the other side of the Morro between the First Beach and the walls of the fort, you will find Prainha do Forte, where you can watch a wonderful sunset and if you are lucky, you will also be able to see some timid dolphins and the magic rise of a full moon.
30mts over the sea level, there is the lighthouse viewpoint that gives one of the most beautiful views of Morro of São Paulo; to the right you will find the view of the First and Second Beach, where you can see the coral reefs and a sea of colours that go from the green to the turquoise blue.
Leaving the morro pier to the west, towards the village of Gamboa do Morro, a great extension of almost desert beaches lie at the foot of the morro.
Praia de Porto de cima
You can get access to this beach from the pier of the morro when there is low tide or either from our inn along a path called Rua do Porto de Cima, going down to the seaside through a green path (120mts). In this beach scuba diving courses are offered and also fruit trees can be seen leaning over the sea shore alongside almost the whole bay.
On this beach, when there is a full moon, it is lovely during the afternoon to wait for the sunset and, almost at the same time, see the rise of the moon behind the morro in the east, everything along the shore of an awesome sea.
Ponta das pedras
Following the path westward through the beach, you arrive to this headland called by the inhabitants as Ponta das Pedras.
The beaches are surrounded by rocks and transparent calm waters, with the privilege that here there is no beach hut, only the Late Clube, (Yacht Club), where the sailboats that happen to be passing by choose to anchor to enjoy the peaceful area.
Further on, there is some erosion on the morro, where a wall of clay can be seen. It is said to be good for the skin and hair, and to produce a relaxing feeling. It is worth the walk to visit it and experience the therapeutic clay bath.
Praia de Gamboa
After a 20-30 minute walk along the beach of the Ponta das Pedras, there is the town of the Gamboa. Gamboa, until recent years, seemed to be kilometres away from Morro de Sao Paulo, for there was no sign of the tourism development that was bustling in Morro de Sao Paulo.
Nowadays, it has continued being a peaceful fishing village, without the “international” atmosphere of the neighbouring town. Perhaps this is the reason why some inhabitants have moved there and built houses and inns. However, although the infrastructure has developed somewhat, with good pousadas (inns), restaurants and regional cuisine, the peaceful atmosphere of this fishing town is still preserved.
Many tourists who prefer peace choose Gamboa to stay; but they are just a hop away if they feel like having some fun, attending a party or only observing the movement in the main street.