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Brazil palm trees ocean road

Make Tracks Along the Coconut Highway


  • Itinerary:
    Olinda - Porto de Galinhas - São Miguel dos Milagres - Penedo - Mangue Seco - Itacimirim - Salvador de Bahia - Chapada Diamantina - Salvador de Bahia
  • Duration:
    16 days / 15 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    From £ 1,799.- per person (excluding flights)
This itinerary combines colonial cities, some of the best beaches in the continent, and the spectacular landscape of Chapada Diamantina. With no internal flights and your own rental car, you’ll have the freedom to explore the charms of north-east Brazil at your own pace. In just over two weeks you’ll travel from Olinda to Salvador, trek through the Diamond Canyon and relax in quiet little beach towns along the coast.
Brazil Northern Lencois dunes clear turquoise rainwater lagoons
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Days 1-3 – Historical Olinda

The colonial town of Olinda is one big open-air museum filled with churches, museums and art galleries. and has a very genuine and slightly European feel. You’ll stay in a locally owned pousada near the centre, and during your time here you’ll take a tour on foot with a local guide, learning about the town’s love affair with Carnival and its fascinating past, as well as visiting its most beautiful buildings. Your evenings are free to explore the various restaurants and bars, and take in the relaxed atmosphere of this little coastal gem.

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Next, you’ll continue a further 5 hours to Penedo – an attractive colonial city on the banks of the Sao Francisco river. It’s a convenient and pleasant stop-off point for the night, with plenty of baroque architecture and some good places to eat. The next section of your journey is an experience in itself, beginning with a ferry ride across the river, before hitting the road again. It’s about a 4-hour drive which takes you through the Santa Isabel Nature Reserve, past lakes where you can stop for a dip, over Brazil’s longest bridge and into the state of Bahia.

Finally, you’ll board another car ferry which will take you to the tiny, rustic village of Mangue Seco, situated at the tip of a sandy peninsula. There’s not much more here than a church, lighthouse, and a scattering of houses, restaurants and guesthouses. It’s full of relaxed Bahian charm though, and there are few better places in Brazil to spend a couple of days forgetting your worries. You’ll stay 2 nights in a comfy pousada near the ocean, and if you get bored of sitting in the sun eating seafood then you can arrange quad bikes and watersports nearby.

After taking the ferry back over the Rio Real, it’s a scenic 2.5-hour drive along the coast to Itacimirim – a peaceful haven where you can kick back, sink a few caipirinhas, and enjoy the final night of your self-drive adventure. You’ll stay in a friendly pousada with a nice pool, a good restaurant, and easy access to the beach.

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Decorative torn edge
Decorative torn edge

Make Tracks Along the Coconut Highway