SALVADOR, BAHIA - WHAT TO DO?
The Praia do Forte has its own story. The fisherman's houses, square and church form the Fishing Village, which is where, 30 years ago, there was the "Fazenda Praia do Forte"; a place believed to be full of magic.
The houses at the Fishing Village, where 1800 people currently live, still retain an old-world feel and have become a special place for those who live in or visit this place. The area was given to the local council on the condition that the houses cannot be sold, and only passed down to children in the family, a perfect strategy resulting in Praia do Forte maintaining its original atmosphere.
The main streets were paved, and a small area of business was formed from craft shops, boutiques, bars, restaurants and hostels but always keeping the charm and simplicity of the village.
Praia do Forte is still an area of Brazil where the locals put their chairs out on the pavement on moonlit nights. Here you can get an idea of the daily life of fishermen, crafts people and the original residents of the village who are still very traditional and religious and enjoy local festivals. The most important dates are 2nd February, dedicated to the St.Iemanjá, or 4th October, the day of São Francisco of Assis, patron saint of Praia do Forte.
The turtles also prefer Praia do Forte.It is here that, according to studies by the Tamar/Ibama project, there is the largest concentration of these animals which were in danger of becoming extinct on the Brazilian coast and the rest of the world. This is the reason that this area, Praia do Forte was chosen to open the National Centre for the Protection and Observation of Marine Turtles with a project known as "Projecto Tamar".
At the end of the day everyone wins. The turtles, native to the region, with the number of predators reduced and the visitors who can enjoy these animals in their natural habitat in the natural pools of Tamar throughout the year and on the beaches, where the turtles come to lay eggs between September and March.
In this tunnel formed by Brazilian trees, piassava and twisted trunks, the sun's rays reflecting on the water create a unique colour for the orchids and bromeliads which are found there naturally. Suddenly the ground is uneven and makes way for a waterfall with a sound which echoes around this closed wooded area. You can also hear native birds chirping. The harmony of these rhythmns creates an intense feeling of peace. Stress? What's that?! There is no place for stress at the Sapiranga ecological reserve.
With 533 hectares of Atlantic forest just 6 km from the hotel, Sapiranga is one of 10 ecological sanctuaries which surround Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte EcoResort.
Along with the many entertainment options that can be found at Praia do Forte, the beaches, with warm sea and stunning scenery, are certainly among the most memorable. Opposite Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte EcoResort, you will find Enseada de Tatuapara, a perfect option for those who prefer calmer water. Excellent for swimming for all ages and also an ideal place for water sports such as wind surfing.
There are also other beach options, such as the Papa-Gente, which is located 1.5 km from the hotel and known for the natural pools which are more than 6 metres deep - perfect for scuba diving. 2.5 km from the hotel, the water is a little rougher and the waves make this an ideal place for surfing.
GARCIA D'ÁVILA CASTLE
One of the oldest stone buildings in Brazil, this is an example of Portuguese military residence at Praia do Forte. The Garcia D´Ávila castle was built in the XVI Century, high on the Tatuapara hill, by a Portuguese person who came ashore on this coastline in 1549, accompanied by the Governor General, Tomé de Souza. Garcia D´Ávila was the name of the man who held the position of General Officer for the mission and decided to build on the land, some houses, a chapel and his own residence, called the "Casa da Torre" which became known as a castle because the style was similar to that of the European Medieval period.
It has inevitably become one of the main attractions at Praia do Forte. Time and weather conditions took their toll on Castelo Garcia D´Ávila . On 28th December 2002 the building was reopened after a 2 year restoration project, which included restoration of the Nossa Senhora da Conceição chapel, an architectural treasure. Suffice to say that this is the oldest religious building in the country. The entire restoration project was documented by photographs which can be seen by visitors to the hill, which is 68 metres above sea level, the highest point in the region.
The restoration of the castle was designed to be very natural. This was the main objective of the Garcia D´Ávila Foundation, which has restored these buildings to give back to the Brazilian people and form the historical area of Garcia D´Ávila, with its castle, chapel, exhibition centre, auditorium and all the infrastructures of a fabulous tourist destination.