Trail to the 4 Beaches

Shangri La

14 November 2019

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Getting out of the city, in the 16km on the way to Ilhéus, there is one of the best trails of adventures and beaches that Itacaré has. Certainly, if Jorge Amado had walked around these places, there would be an special novel just for this beauty. And here, in the Cocoa’s Coast, south shore of Bahia, without any sand captains, but with Dona Flor, Gabriela and all of the Saints and Orixás blessings, is that marvelous things happen.

On the sideway of the road there is enough space to leave your car, or even a bus stop for people to get to these beaches. They are four, and all interconnected: Engenhoca, Hawaizinho, Gamboa and Itacarezinho -in order, coming from Itacaré-.

On the trail, heavy atlantic forest, wild and beautiful, “more than too much”, another artist from Bahia would say. In the first hundred meters you can already hear the soft singing of Oxum in the Burundanga River flowing down the rocks and vegetation, forming a waterfall in which surfers ared used to take a shower before going back to the highway. Right next to this waterfall, a giant jackfruit tree is being huged by a ficus tree of endless arms: its branchs create sitting spots and geometric figures all over the tree. It’s a magic trip into the natural miscegenation of the forest.

However that is not the only fusion available to discover, there is another one which is not quite natural leaving a futurist recreation on the local: the first latin american six stars resort, which was neved concluded. That is why you walk through some enormous metal structures that were going to be bridges between luxury bungalows and cabins, and time invited nature to come back and invade those remainings, showing us a surealistic film backstage: could be a Jurassic Park landscape after years of abandon. And after one of these bridges nowadays full of street art –forest art?– we get to Engenhoca.

pousada em itacaré bahia
pousada em itacaré bahia
pousada em itacaré bahia

With Burundanga River caressing our feet in the beach entrance, the famous black and extremely thin sand of these region gives a different touch to the landscape; also the softness of the walking, with that kicking noise on the sand like a polished wooden floor. Waves are closing in every direction and with different strenght, that’s why this is the principal beach for surf lessons. Lefts, rights, tiny, big, sinister, foam for the begginers, more sand space than any urban beach, and a waterway on the left side of the sea to get into the ocean without any problems. On our back, a cliff with the main building of the hotel that never was, which you can clearly see being in the water, and at the depression of that cliff, the Burundanga River, on the right side of the beach, where we were in the first place. Right there, the trail goes on to the second beach: Hawaizinho.


Tiny, charming and misterious, maybe on of the most magic little spots of Itacaré, Hawaizinho Beach is really unique in Bahia. And the trail to get there from Engenhoca Beach is unbelievable: always with the ocean view hitting wildly on the rocks and cliffs of the shore. There are plenty of options to eat and drink something in both beaches, but we could say that Engenhoca has an adventurer and sporting profile and Hawaizinho is more like a leasure point, a relax zone. On its size, it seems to be a really small beach because of its narrowness, but when the tide is low there are lots and lots of meters to the sea, and new parts of the beach show up to be explored between the rocks that are submerged during other tides.


Gamboa, the third beach, is isolated and without any structure, the only one of the four beaches that still is a natural landscape as it was discovered. During low tide is perfect for snorkelling, and it seems like a desert island. If you want to feel castaway, it’s Gamboa that will give the right time -less or more- to open a coconut without a machete or a knife.

The trails goes on to the last beach of this walkabout, and between the trees and density of these jungle that surround us appears a mirage: a long beach, chamingly perfect for the traveller’s eyes, which, far away from being exhausted, gets with new energy to one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. There is a restaurant, but no huts like in the previous beaches. Itacarezinho gives us the chance to walk and discover different landscapes among its 4 kilometers of extension, a vegetation wall with a waterspout to take a shower after a swim in the endless ocean that heals everything; and at the end of our sight, the morro of Serra Grande, the next village. Without any doubt, the 4 Beaches Trail is one of the best experiences to live in the Cocoa’s Coast, with the proper option for all preferences; and, for sure, whatever your disposition and choice is, Itacaré makes you feel good.

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