Porto Seguro & Arraial D’ajuda

Bahia's second most visited destination, Porto Seguro is crowded with Brazilian package tourists who come from all across the country for partying and beach live. Not surprisingly, there's well-developed infrastructure here, with hundreds of hotels and colorful buildings (none over two stories) that lean toward a colonial aesthetic. This is, after all, the region where Portuguese sailors first landed in the New World, and you can see relics from those early settlement days. Aside from history, Porto Seguro is really only for inveterate nightlife seekers who don't mind the crowds. Otherwise, most travellers go into town only long enough to change money and catch the ferry toward Arraial d'Ajuda.

Arraial d’Ajuda is the charming neighbour of that magnet for mass tourism that is Porto Seguro. The river separating Arraial from Porto Seguro keeps away from the former the worst excesses of the later. The beaches, to walk long the rua do Mucugê at the end of the day; the open-air restaurants; having some delicious caipirinhas with our friends at the bar Girassol.

Nearly 18 kilometers of beautiful colorful beaches are the main attraction of Arraial d’Ajuda. Some of them protected by reefs, forming natural swimming pools at low tide, others still preserved and semi deserted. A historical church dated 1549 and the two most important streets, Bróduei and Mucugê divide the center of Arraial d’Ajuda.

On “Bróduei” you can find little colorful shops who sell typical crafts and also gives access to the square where the church of Nossa senhora d’Ajuda is located. Mucugê is a charming street where most of the restaurants, bars, shops and hotels are located and where the nightlife is the most intense. This street also gives access to the beach with the same name. The mixture of locals, native Indians, hippies, tourists transformed Arraial d’Ajuda into a small international village and therefore call it “the corner place of the world”.

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