Itacare


Itacare

Itacaré is a town located in the cocoa zone of the state of Bahia, south of Salvador, 70 km north of Ilhéus where river Rio de Contas river, which comes from the Chapada Diamantina, meets the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of approximately 8,000.

Itacaré was founded as a Portuguese colonial settlement, originally called São Jorge dos Ilhéus, in 1532. The town was a notorious hangout for Dutch and Portuguese pirates during the early colonial period and later became a hub for the cocoa planting and a port for whalers. It was officially given city status in 1881.

After a massive blight of Vassoura de Bruxa (Witch's broom) devastated the region's cocoa crops in the 1980s, Itacaré has depended mostly upon tourism. It is a popular destination for surfers, hikers and ecotourists.The town has a series of beautiful small cove type beaches and other picturesque beaches further along the coast. Itacaré is on the edge of a national park, one of the last large expanses of Atlantic rain forest left in Brazil.

The change from sleepy agrarian town to tourist hotspot has not been an easy one, however. Locals recently won a hard-fought campaign to stop land owners who wanted to charge for access to the beaches.

Access to one of the most pristine beaches has been blocked by a hotel/condominium development called Sao Jose Eco Resort. The beach is now only accessible by sea.

Despite development in the area, it remains a hub of Bahian culture. Many tourists visit Itacaré to take part in the local Capoeira circles and eat traditional Brazilian food. The town is flooded with revelers during New Year's and Carnival.

External links

* [http://www.itacare.com Itacaré official website (in English)]
* [http://www.coqueiro-verde.com/ Pousada Coqueiro Verde] (Which has photos of Itacare, a beach guide and a history section)
* [http://www.firstflora.eu FirstFlora ]


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