This article was originally published in March 2011 on The Expeditioner.com
Brazil. The word alone conjures visions of dark-haired, curvy women, swaying to samba in the sultry heat of a mid-summer’s night, clinging to their equally gorgeous counterparts on the coarse sands of Copacabana beach. The country just sort of exudes this sexy, vibrant, beautiful vibe to the average pale-faced foreigner, creating a seductive allure that has many of us secretly wishing we could be honorary Brazilians.
The chaotic streets of Rio and San Paulo crawl with swarms of people and impatient vehicles, all swiveling and swerving in a poetic motion that screams: “It’s alive up in here!” It almost seems like you can’t escape the loud pulse that beats through Brazil “” unless you head somewhere like Boipeba, a remote island near Salvador, the capital of the state Bahia. Here, the magical Brazilian vibe lies in the undisturbed landscape and semi-primitive accommodations that make a visit to this island a very unique “” very unconnected experience.
The recent New York Times article on Boipeba notes how”Boipeba may lack glamour, but it compensates with ridiculously perfect weather and the kind of vacant, palm-shrouded beaches that make you forget about the pleasures of air-conditioning.” And it’s not all about lounging around here. “For those needing more diversions, there is a rare swath of unmolested Atlantic rain forest to be explored, acres of coral reef and picturesque colonial-era villages where the fish you glimpsed during your afternoon snorkel could very well end up on your dinner plate.”
In Boipeba visitors leave the pulse of the city behind and embrace the heartbeat of nature. Here, many of the accommodations don’t have Internet, phone service, or television, and electricity may even be sporadic depending on the day, but that is kind of the point of visiting this “ecologically fragile haven.” Charles Levitan, owner of Pousada Santa Clara, a cluster of white-washed cottages on Boipeba, warns any perspective guests that, “If you can’t live in the moment, this isn’t the place for you.”
Although there are flights that run from Salvador, most visitors choose to take the four-hour trip by ferry, which arrives where most of the island’s accommodations lie beachfront. Then it’s just another day in paradise “” swimming, snorkeling, strolling on empty stretches of beach, and maybe even a trip to the mangroves to absorb the fantastic natural scenery. After all, it is Brazil, and even its quieter corners are simply magnetic.
[Photo by Thowa_uk/Flickr]