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Introducing Barra Grande

Deliciously off the beaten path on the northern tip of the Peninsula de Maraú, laid-back Barra Grande is a remote fishing village with sandy streets, tree-shaded magic and a tiny, picturesque center. Though it remained a relatively desolate paradise for decades, it's slowly becoming more of a vacation getaway for Brazilian families. The village remains a great place from which to explore the rest of the peninsula.

Separating the peninsula from the mainland is the island-riddled Baía de Camamu, Brazil’s third-largest bay. One long, bumpy dirt road (often impassable after rain) heads down the peninsula, providing access to stunning beaches with crystal-clear water, such as Praia Taipús de Fora (7km, rated among Brazil’s top beaches), and a handful of very small fishing villages. Pricey excursions to Lagoa Azul, viewpoints, bay islands and down the Rio Maraú are offered by local providers.

Other lovely destinations are accessible on foot from Barra, though visitors should note that, although the town center is small, the surrounding area is not: many beaches are a hike from the pousadas.

At the base of the village, where the boats arrive from Camamu, is the 2km-long Barra Grande beach, where the calm waters are fine for swimming and those traveling with children. A short walk along the beach leads to the Ponta da Mutá, the northeastern point of the peninsula, with a lighthouse marking the bay’s entrance. Around the rocky point, you access a long stretch of coast, with Praia da Bombaça the next notable beach (3.5km from Barra Grande), before reaching Praia Taipús de Fora (located 3.5km further).