Ilha de Boipeba.  in Bahia, Brazil

Ilha de Boipeba

in Bahia, Brazil

Boipeba Photo © Danielle Pereira

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Ilha de Boipeba

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	Ilha de Boipeba
Ilha de Boipeba. Photo by Cidadão do Planeta
Boipeba Island is located in the municipality of Cairu (Wikipedia Article) in the coastal, Brazilian state of Bahia. Its name comes from the Tupi language, meaning of "flat snake", an indigenous name for the sea turtle.

It lies near the island of Tinharé (Morro de São Paulo), becoming a popular tourist spot of Bahia. It features vegetation typical of the Atlantic Forest, with native fruit trees, several species of palm trees, salt marshes, coral reefs, and one of the largest mangrove reserves.
The church of the Holy Spirit is one of the attractions. Boipeba village also has roads which are more than three centuries old.

Boipeba is surrounded on one side by the ocean and on the other by the Inferno River estuary and is distinguished by a rare, natural beauty and diversity of its ecosystems.

Because of the natural heritage, the island is integrated into the Conservation Area of Tinharé and Boipeba Islands. The region was recognized by the UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, being inserted into the Central Atlantic Forest Corridor.
The reefs extend along the coast and make sheltered beaches using the waves and currents. These reefs are mainly wide and cut by canals and ponds.

The beach boasts a wide variety of corals, algae; fish, shellfish; sea urchins, and other stars. Moreover, it is possible to establish the existence of sea turtles in the region, which spawn upon several beaches on the island.

The forest found on the island serve as shelter for many species of fauna, highlighting a wide variety of birds and hummingbirds, armadillos, lizards, foxes, and others.

Given the importance of the natural heritage and the need to protect the ecosystems of Tinharé and Boipeba Islands, the Government of the State of Bahia created the Environmental Protection Area (APA) of Tinharé and Boipeba Islands in 1992.

Boipeba is one of the oldest settlement sites of Bahia, because in 1537, the Jesuits founded the Village and Boipeba residence. The island is formed by the villages of Old Boipeba, San Sebastian (Cova da Onça), Moreré, and Monte Alegre (Wikipedia Article).

The only access is by sea or river. The river access is often used because of the security offered by the calm waters of the estuary. However, this access is hampered by the canals and shallow existence of shoals.

To reach the island, one can not cross via cars, and must be trekking paths made on foot or by tractor. This feature plays an important role in environmental conservation area and causes the motivation of ecological tourism. Access between the farms and villages is done by ships or through back roads.
The electricity is of 220 V and is conducted to the island by underground cables.

Boipeba - Ilha de Boipeba
Boipeba - Ilha de Boipeba. Photo by Danielle Pereira

Main Beaches

The main beaches of the Boipeba Island are:

Boca da Barra Beach

Boca da Barra Beach -
	Ilha de Boipeba
Boca da Barra Beach - Ilha de Boipeba. Photo by Márcio Cabral de Moura
This is the closest beach to the told town Old Boipeba and begins at the mouth of Hell's River, which separates the islands of Tinharé and Boipeba. It's a great beach for those who want to relax and enjoy a beautiful landscape, quiet and peaceful.

Tassimirim Beach

The Tassimirim Beach is the first beach facing the Atlantic Ocean and at low tide, it forms small pools where you can soak in the shallow waters - which is ideal for families with small children and also the elderly.

Moreré Beach

The Moreré Beach extends to the village of Moreré. It is a beach with reefs that surface at low tide and forms large pools of warm water - ideal for children and adults to explore the species that live in these conditions, will be a very cool and fun ride.

Bainema Beach

The Bainema Beach is the longest beach of the island with white sand and crystal clear water that leaves the tourists completely delighted. Being the longest beach and one of the nicest on the island, this is the beach that gets the most visits.

Tassimirim Beach - Ilha de
Tassimirim Beach - Ilha de Boipeba. Photo by Turismo Bahia

What To Do

Canoe Trip

In the canoe ride by the mangrove you can see many birds, such as Herons, which feed on fish, crabs, and shrimp.
In the region the red mangrove is more abundant. It has flying roots where fish such as bass and where the Mullet reproduce. In the mangroves, there are also have great aratus and crabs walking over the roots to protect fish called puffers.
The tourists who choose this tour will be delighted by the various species found along the trail.

Ride in the Woods

The interior of the island still preserves some forests that have a wide variety of trees, vines, orchids, birds, and wild animals.
The Serrao is a swamp, and a place of low altitude where it accumulates rainwater and organic materials mixed with fine sand.
In Boipeba forests, one can find palm tree fiber, which grows in the shade of other trees.
On top of the village of Monte Alegre is a beautiful view of much of the island and the mainland. In sandy soil, fruit trees, such as cashew and mangaba, grow.

The Great Forest has large trees as Jataipeba, strong wood, is widely used in shipbuilding.
Whoever chooses this trail delights in the amazing scenery along it.

Scuba Diving

In Boipeba there are several diving spots with diverse corals and anintense marine life.
The top ten diving spots in Boipeba are Sorocuçu with an average depth of 8m, Anchors with an average depth of 10m; Bainema with average depth of 12m, Stone Sororoca with average depth of 12m; Ground Tip also with an average depth of 12m, Tip Out with an average depth of 15m; Flat Stone with an average depth of 22m, Tapaiunas with average depth of 22m; Jequiriçá with average depth of 23m, and Coconut with an average depth of 82 feet
With crystal clear water most of the year, Boipeba is certainly an invitation for those who like to enjoy life underwater. With several diving spots and several species of fish and corals, diving into Boipeba is a must-see program for your sightseeing tour of the island.

Historical and Cultural Tour

The historic and cultural tour of Boipeba Island begins by the Church of the Holy Spirit, built in the seventeenth century by the Jesuits with Neoclassical decorations such as the tiles that have biblical themes, which marks the occupation of the Jesuits in Boipeba.
Then the tour goes through the museum that has a collection of fish bones, as whale, catfish, and a huge variety of shells, turtle shells and other curiosities that only going there to believe.

Go through the flour mill where artisanal manufacture of cassava flour is made, the operation is still exactly the same as the colonial period.

Finally the tour ends in the most beautiful viewpoint of the village with a panoramic view of Tinharé Archipelago, which is located Boipeba, Morro de São Paulo, and other beaches.


Among the many dishes that tourists can delight in on the island are:
  • Octopus with vinaigrette – where the octopus is served with a salad and chopped ingredients such as tomatoes, peppers and onions.
  • Lobster with pineapple – a dish where lobster is baked with pineapple, which lets its bittersweet taste in the meat creating a spectacular sensation on the palate.
  • Octopus with garlic and oil – as the name implies, a plate of fried octopus with only two ingredients: garlic and oil.
  • Stuffed bread – the bread are baked with a filling inside; can be seafood, garlic, cheese, etc.
  • Lobster in butter - a very delicious dish where the crustacean is cooked on the basis of butter, taking all their flavor.

How to Get There

To get to the island, the tourists can choose from the following options:
  • By Air Taxi - There are air taxi flights to Boipeba, leaving the Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport in Salvador bound for the southern end of the Tinharé Island, making a small crossing of five minutes to Boipeba.
    These flights last about 30 minutes on a plane for up to 6 people and costs 500 BRL per person.
  • By Speed Boat – In Valencia harbor you can find the fast boats leaving for Boipeba.
    The first boat out at 10:00 AM and the latter in accordance with the movement between 16:00 and 18:00. The trip takes about an hour and the value of the ticket is 38 BRL.
  • By Car – Those who travel by car have two options: traveling through BR 101 or through the Bay of All Saints with the ferry-boat to Bom Despacho (Wikipedia
	Article). The destination is always Valeça. In the harbor, leave via the boats destined for Boipeba.
    Another option is to follow drive to Torrinha, a small place, which is closer to Boipeba and have small parking lots. To get to Torrinha, hit the road BA 001 to the city of Nilo Peçanha. After passing the town, enter a junction to the city of Cairu. This road is about 7 miles after bending right on a gravel road which leads to Torrinha.


There are several accommodation options on Boipeba Island. Among them are: Pousada Vila da Barra, O Céu de Boipeba; Pousada Mangabeiras, Dendê Loft; Pousada Aura, Hotel Alizees Moreré; Pousada Estalagem Sol de Boipeba, Pousada Tassimirim; Pouso da Maré, and Pousada Marina de Boipeba among others.

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Author: Laryssa Balduino. Last updated: Apr 19, 2015


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