Although most people visit Boipeba on a day trip from Morro de São Paulo, the island is worth a longer stay. A half-hour boat trip south of Morro de São Paulo, Boipeba is often described as "Morro 20 years ago." And indeed, after spending some time in Boipeba, Morro will come to seem "big" and "busy" in comparison. The advantage of spending the night is that, as soon as the day-trippers head back for Morro, you have the beach pretty much to yourself. The island offers enough to see that you can easily spend 2 or 3 days exploring. A variety of coastal hikes will lead you to other, more remote beaches. For a full day of hiking, you can traverse the length of the island to reach a fishing village on the southern tip. Instead of walking back you can arrange for a boat to bring you back to Boca da Barra. The Rio Inferno estuary is also worth exploring for its bird life and the beauty of its vegetation and sweeping vistas of ocean and river. For photos and information check www.boipeba.tur.br.
If you want to stay overnight it's a good idea to reserve ahead, particularly in high season. The few pousadas here are all quite small. We recommend staying at the lovely Pousada Santa Clara, Boca da Barra (tel. 075/3653-6085; www.santaclaraboipeba.com). Rates range from R$120 to R$150, depending on size of room and time of year. Built and managed by two American brothers -- Mark and Charles -- the pousada combines Brazilian warmth and luxury with American customer service and amenities, and is only steps from the beach. The pousada has an outstanding restaurant, which serves a three-course gourmet breakfast (complimentary for guests). At night the restaurant is open to the public and serves creative and fresh regional dishes. A little farther up the hill, Pousada Mangabeiras, Boca da Barra (tel. 075/3653-6214; www.pousadamangabeiras.com.br) offers a spectacular view of the bay. This exclusive retreat is nestled in a tropical oasis of fruit trees and lush green and makes for the perfect romantic getaway. Laze by the pool, enjoy a massage, or savor a delicious meal with organic local produce. Rates range from R$250 to R$375, in high season.
Getting There -- The quickest way to reach Boipeba is by plane. Addey (tel. 071/3377-1993) offers three flights a day from Salvador to Boipeba with a minimum of two passengers (R$340 per person). The landing strip is on Fazenda Pontal, just across the river from Boca da Barra. Transfer from the airstrip to the village (a 5-min. crossing) is included. Boipeba can easily be reached by boat from Morro de São Paulo (2 hr.). The cheapest transfer option is to go with a day tour that leaves Morro around 9:30am and reaches Boipeba in time for lunch. This is perfect in combination with a stay in Morro for a few days. Those who don't want to go through Morro and want to come or return directly to Salvador, can take the ferry from downtown Salvador to Itaparica (there are at least five ferries a day). Upon arrival, the buses to Valença meet the ferry passengers and it takes about 2 hours to reach Valença, and another 15 minutes to reach Graciosa. Two bus companies cover this route: Cidade do Sol and Aguia Branca. It is possible to catch a boat to Boipeba from either Valença (4 1/2 hr.) or Graciosa (2 1/2 hr.). Charles, of Pousada Santa Clara, can also arrange to have a private boat bring you over, or arrange a car and driver to meet you at the Itaparica ferry at quite reasonable rates, especially if three or four people divide the bill.