With its quiet coves, unspoilt surroundings and traditional way of life, Santo André is a jewel on Brazil’s Bahia coast. Step out from your luxury hotel and sail along the mangrove-lined João de Tiba River, spotting herons and hummingbirds as you go. Horse-ride or kite-surf along the shoreline. Or seek out your own patch of paradise and stretch out on the white sand – bringing those desert island dreams to life.


Pristine beaches and raw beauty: discover a sleepy stretch of the Discovery Coast.

Things to do

Nestled between river and ocean, it’s little surprise seafood is a speciality in Santo André. And with coconut groves all around the village, the emphasis is on fresh, flavoursome food. Look out for moqueca, a brightly coloured fish stew made with coconut milk and palm oil. Try platters of bacalhau, made from salt cod. Then sweeten things up with a caipirinha – a small cocktail that packs a powerful punch.

Escape inside Pau Brasil National Park and you’ll find yourself in the midst of the some of the world’s most incredible – and endangered – trees. Arrange a private guide to lead you through this lush landscape, looking out for rare orchids and listening for exotic birds. Or travel to Monte Pascoal National Park and make your way to the lookout point for spectacular views of the mountain – said to be the first glimpse the Portuguese had of Brazil.

The untouched beaches of Santo André are a wonder in themselves. Head to nearby Guaiú – golden bay – where you’ll find the extraordinary Araripe reef and one hundred year-old coconut trees. Or take a boat into deeper waters and prepare for the incredible sight of humpback whales around the Abrolhos archipelago.

Bahia is known for handicrafts. Seek out the artisans around Santo André and take home a woodcarving or a piece of colourful clay jewellery.

Top Tip from SLH

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