Morro de Sao Paulo
It’s possible to visit Morro de São Paulo on a day trip from Salvador, but most travelers opt to spend a night or more on the island. Beaches are the star attraction, and there are four to choose from, aptly named First, Second, Third, and Fourth. Stretch out on the sand; rent a snorkel, surfboard, or stand-up paddleboard; take a cruise around the neighboring islands; or ride the zipline over the ocean at First Beach.
Additional area highlights include the 17th-century ruins of the Fortress of Tapirandu, the view from the Farol do Morro lighthouse, and the village of Gamboa (about a 30-minute walk south of Morro).
Things to Know Before You Go
Morro de São Paulo has numerous hotels, restaurants, and shops. Plan to use cash (the island has ATMs), as credit cards aren’t always accepted.
As the island is car-free, prepare to walk everywhere. Locals are sometimes available to wheelbarrow luggage to hotels for a fee.
All visitors to the island must pay a small tourism tax on arrival.
Access for wheelchairs and strollers may be limited—check with your hotel or tour provider before you go.
How to Get There
Morro de São Paulo lies on the northern shore of Tinharé Island along the coast of Bahia, south of Salvador. The only way to get there is by charter plane or boat. Ferries run several times a day from Salvador to Morro de São Paulo—the trip takes about two hours.
When to Get There
Sunseekers flock to Morro de São Paulo year-round. December through March are the busiest months, so book accommodation and tours well in advance. Whale-watching tours run from June to September.
Bahia’s Best Beaches
Bahia is home to some of Brazil’s most attractive beaches. After exploring the sun-soaked shores of Tinharé Island and neighboring Boipeba Island, head north to the Blue Coast (Costa Azul). Farther north, Praia do Forte has one of Brazil’s largest sea turtle conservation projects, while Costa do Sauipe is known for its sand dunes. South of Tinharé Island, Itacaré on the Cocoa Coast and the hippie hangout of Trancoso are both popular choices.
- Tinhare Island (Ilha de Tinharé)
- Barra Lighthouse
- Forte de Santo Antonio da Barra
- Carlos Costa Pinto Museum (Museu Carlos Costa Pinto)
- Itaparica Island (Ilha de Itaparica)
- Castro Alves Theater (Teatro Castro Alves)
- Tororo Dike (Dique do Tororó)
- Lacerda Elevator (Elevador Lacerda)
- Salvador Mercado Modelo
- Cidade Alta
- Museu Afro-Brasileiro (MAFRO)
- Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova
- Frades Island (Ilha dos Frades)
- Sao Francisco Church and Convent (Igreja e Convento de Sao Francisco)