Praia do Forte is a small fishermen's village about 80km north of Salvador. It is reachable by public busses on the coastal highway "linha verde" (green line) that connects the small coastal villages with Salvador.
Paradise-like sandy beaches
The beauty of the beaches of Praia do Forte are truly beyond comparison. The few tourists get dispersed on the first bays. After that, there's nothing anymore on the distance of 12km - nothing except soft white sand, palm trees, blue sky and huge waves. In European terms, such dimensions of sea, sun and solitude are unimaginable. The water is salty and warm, and the big offshore waves get slowed down in quite some distance by coastal reefs. In that way, calm natural swimming pools get formed: with a maximum depth of 2m and sandy ground. Due to differences in depth and temperature, the water is shimmering in a range of colours from emerald green to dark blue.
Local people offer sunshades on the beaches near the village. In return they expect the guests to buy the one or other coconut from them - that's a fair deal under tropical sun. Another tasy speciality is skewed and half molten cheese with oregano. It is offered by boys walking up and down the beach with small mobile coal stoves. Or do you prefer a cooled sandwich with salad and tuna - or maybe an icecream made of frozen fruit juice?
Fortunately, the tourism industry has not yet reached Praia do Forte. Although there are some expensive beach ressorts and hotels, most of the accommodation are cheap but nice hostels and guesthouses ("pousada"). Not a single building of the village exceeds two floors of height - and the local authorities are controlling strictly that this rule stays respected.
Along the main street, lots of restaurants invite to diner, but the best places to eat are these small restaurants with terraces, sunshades and plastic furniture. Directly at the beach, they offer chilly beer - and fresh sea food.
The fact that tourism in Praia do Forte is developping ecologically and has not yet overflown, is surely also a merit of the "Project Tamar". It is a wildlife conservation programme at the brasilian east coast to protect the endangered species of sea turtles. The name is derived from "Tartaruga Marinha". As a side effect, the project strongly contributes to sensitise local people as well as tourists for ecological concerns.
Visitors can watch living sea turtles in a specially designed park - from tiny lively paddling turtle's kids up to inertly floating chunks of 2m of length. These peculiar animals are stretching out their heads every couple of minutes to take breath, accompanied by snorting sounds. The head reminds at the one of a reptile, combined with a broad bird's beak. Sea turtles can get up to 80 years old.
During the turtle's incubation period, interested visitors can observe a spectacular event: thousands of turtle's kids hatch out in their nests in the beach-side vegetation. Then, they waddle as quickly as their small feet allow towards the sea. The assistants of Project Tamar ensure parallely to their scientific work (in that time it's probably "counting") that the tourists do not disturb the turtles.