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Better Airports Expected To Boost Tourism On The Whale Coast


Praia do Forte, Mata de São João - Brasil, BahiaBetter Airports Expected To Boost Tourism On The Whale Coast

With its coral reefs, marine parks and wild life, the southern most cities of Bahia have great tourism potential. The lack of good infrastructure has always been a problem in these towns, including the absence of a good airport. That may be about to change thanks to the government's decision to hand over the management of the airports at Teixeira de Freitas and Caravelas to a private company.

Air Connectivity On The Whale Coast Is Set To Improve

In October 2016, Governor Rui Costa announced the names of the bidders and opened the tenders for management of these airports. San Francisco Airport Administration and Road Ltd. won the tender and will manage both the airports for the next 15 years with a provision to extend the arrangement for another 5 years. The company will pay 1.2 million reals to the government annually in addition to 1% of the gross revenue.

Airport Teixeira de Freitas

A month ago, the governor while on a visit to the region had said that once the airport tender is finalized, the state will invite airlines to operate regular flights to other hubs. This will benefit both the local population and visiting tourists. Newly elected mayors of the southern coastal cities are hopeful that the government will focus on infrastructure development and air connectivity to the region in order to boost tourism.

The Whale Coast Has Untapped Tourism Potential

Praia do Forte

The Whale Coast is a relatively untouched region of Bahia and has great tourism potential. It has some of the most diversified coral reefs in the region, volcanic islands, mangroves, a fascinating landscape and rich flora and fauna. The warm tropical weather, calm waters and lovely beaches are great attractions for tourists from all over Brazil. The only problem is the lack of good infrastructure like good roads and airports.

Humpback whales arrive in Abrolhos in July when the warm waters are perfect for giving birth and taking care of the calves. They stay on until November and are great attractions for nature lovers. The other major attractions of the region are the local carnivals. The south has many cultural attractions. Caravelas is home to two schools of samba and the cultural activities here are a big attraction for families.

New Mayors Give Hope For The Tourism Industry

In Caravelas, cultural tourism is expected to get a bigger boost with the victory of Silvio Ramalho as mayor and Jackson Douglas as vice mayor. The revival of traditional festivals will help tourism and regular air connectivity will boost tourist traffic. This will in turn attract traders and businessmen to the coastal towns.

In Alcobaca, despite the usual carnival, tourism was not really impressive in the last four years. Under the new mayor Leo Brito, things are likely to improve. In Prado, there is no great hope for any major changes as the current mayor was reelected and she will not be running for another term. It is the peace and beauty of the region that attracts tourists as other attractions have taken a back seat.

In Nova Vicosa, the election of Manoelzinho Madeira as mayor should result in a higher tourist traffic. Along with the association of hotels, he is likely to push for more investment in improving the attractions of the town and ensure an impressive carnival.

In Mucuri, election of Dr. Jose Carlos has given residents a renewed hope that there will be more investment to improve the ability of the town to attract more visitors. Things have not been exactly great for the last eight years under the previous mayors.

Cities And Attractions On The Whale Coast



Caravelas is a coastal town situated on the banks of the river Caravelas. It’s about 870 km from Salvador and about 36km south of Prado. Caravelas was founded in 1503 and it was an important trade center in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is also a religious city and is famous for its festivals, which attract thousands of devotees. There are five lovely beaches in Caravelas. Some of them have strong waves and are good for surfing. Others are calmer and are good for fishing or swimming.

One can reach Caravelas by road or by air. The town has its own airport and there are regular flights from Belo Horizonte, the capital of the neighboring state of Minas Gerais. Charter flights also sometimes operate from Sao Paulo. With plenty of hotels and restaurants, visitors will face no problems about food or accommodation.

The colonial town offers plenty of recreational avenues for visiting tourists. The best way to enjoy the beauty of the region is to take a boat ride through the river from Caravelas to Nova Vicosa where it meets the ocean. On the way, one can see the mangroves of the island of Cassumba. It is possible to visit the famous Abrolhos Archipelago and Parcel das Paredes from Caravelas. It's a great place to see humpback whales between July and November.


Alcobaca is one of the places from where you can visit the marine national park in the Abrolhos Archipelago. The city has several restaurants and small hotels.


Prado is a town of historic significance, beautiful cliffs, streams, secluded beaches and popular beaches like the Barra do Cahy. The town center consists of old houses, paved streets and cobblestone paths for cycling. The atmosphere is warm, friendly and inviting. There are over 80 km of relatively unexplored beaches in Prado. One can also see the beautiful cliffs and other natural formations in a gradient of colors ranging from ocher, beige and red. The waters are mostly calm and inviting. There are several beaches with the rare monazite sand, which is believed to have medicinal properties.

The best way to experience the beauty of Prado and surrounding regions is to take a boat or schooner ride from Cumuruxatiba. Portuguese explorers used similar routes back in the 16th century.


Mucuri is the last important town in the southern Bahian coast. It is located at the point where the river Mucuri meets the sea. It can be reached by road using the BA-698 from Teixeira de Freitas. A 31 km coastal road connects Mucuri with Nova Vicosa in the north.

There are two beaches near Mucuri. The town consists of rustic homes and small bars in its 11 km long seafront area. A base of the TAMAR sea turtle project is located on the southern part of Mucuri. Among the tourist facilities is a hotel and a restaurant serving the local cuisine. There is a small airport close to the town.

Nova Vicosa

Nova Vicosa is the last of the major coastal towns on the south of Bahia. It has seven beautiful beaches and one can also visit the island of Coroa Vermelha, which is a great place for diving. Two of the beaches Pau Fincado and Lugar Comum are excellent for beach volleyball. Two other beaches, Sabacui and Costa do Atlantico are usually uncrowded and are nice locations for fishing. There is a small fishing village near Costa do Atlantico.

One can go on a diving trip to the coral reefs from Nova Vicosa. It takes about two hours to reach the reefs and towards the north of it is the island of Coroa Vermelha. Coroa Vermelha is on the way from Nova Vicosa to the Abrolhos marine national park. It is a small uninhabited island good for diving and offers spectacular views of underwater life in its natural environment.

Praia do Forte

The whale coast is a great place to visit and experience the natural beauty of marine life. Although the tourism infrastructure leaves much to be desired, it is expected to get better with the improvement of the airports at Teixeira de Freitas and Caravelas. Tourist traffic should get a much-needed boost once the region gets better connectivity with the other parts of the country.

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Better Airports Expected To Boost Tourism On The Whale Coast

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