Introduction

Valença is a colonial fishing town on the banks of the Rio Una, historically the site of Portuguese encounters with both indigenous tribes and the Dutch. Locals know it as a center of shipbuilding: 15th-century techniques have been so well maintained that the town was chosen to produce a replica of the Spanish galleon La Niña for the American epic film 1492 (1992) about Christopher Columbus’ journey. Tourists mostly know it as one of the gateways to the Arquipelago de Cairu, home to popular destinations Morro de São Paulo and Boipeba. If you're on your way to either location it's possible you'll end up staying overnight in Valença due to bus and boat schedules.