ONE-DAY GUIDE: BARRA GRANDE
Barra Grande is one of the most enchanting places on earth. It is by far the best destination for escaping daily life and constant pressures. Here, internet/cell phones are virtually non-existent, supermarkets are small bodegas and there is not one ATM to be found.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop talking about how amazing our trip to Brazil was; especially Barra Grande. Everything about this island was magical. But I wanted to share my favorite day with you all, minute by minute. From start to finish, it was one of the best days of my life.
Here’s my one-day guide to a perfect day in Barra Grande:
5:30 AM Every morning we’d want to start the day as soon as the sun was up so that we had the entire day to enjoy. We’d wake up, walk down to the beach and watch the sunrise over the ocean. Every sunrise was so memorable, but this morning, the colors of the sky were breathtaking. We sat there and watched as the world woke up.
We brought yoga mats down to the beach with us and started the day with some yoga after the sun rose. We felt energized and invigorated and ready to take on the day!
7 AM We headed back to the house to change and make breakfast. We love making breakfast at home, especially at this Airbnb. We sat out on the patio, eating breakfast, listening to the waves crash and taking in the beautiful scenery that surrounded us.
We planned our day out so that all the stops along the way started furthest away from the center and ended back at home; the perfect circle! I should note that the easiest way to get around the island is on a quad, and it’s so much fun!
8 AM We hopped on the quad and headed off to our first stop of the day; Lagoa Azul (The Blue Lagoon) which is located at the southern end of Taipu de Fora. It is a lagoon of fresh water rich in lanolin. It’s about a 30-minute ride from the center of Barra Grande. We wanted to get an early start here so that we’d have the entire lagoon to ourselves. It was incredible. You sit in this freshwater pond in the middle of the marsh while listening to the ocean waves crash just a few meters away.
10:30 AM Next, we headed to Taipu de Fora which was about 10 minutes back towards our starting point. The beach of Taipu de Fora is the most popular throughout the peninsula. It has more than 7km full of giant palm trees, coral reefs, and clear sand. One of the main reasons we went was to visit the huge natural pools that form at low tide. It has crystal clear waters that make it the ideal place for snorkeling. We rented some snorkel gear from some locals on the beach and headed down to the water. After swimming, we rented some lounge chairs at Bar das Meninas; it’s a restaurant/bar that sits right on the beach. You can order food/drinks and hang out for the day as well.
Time for lunch! After spending a few hours on the beach, we wanted to head back home to drop off the quad and explore the area around our Airbnb. It’s about a 10/15-minute drive.
1 PM We dropped our stuff at home and headed down to the beach. We decided to walk down the beach in a new direction to see what we could find. After walking less than 5 minutes, we found Moquecas; talk about a hidden gem. The tables literally sit at the water’s edge under the palm trees. The food was delicious and everything was super inexpensive; definite bang for your buck. We ordered some caipirinha’s (traditional Brazilian drink) which were so refreshing as we waited for our lunch. When we got our food, we were SHOCKED not only by the presentation but how much food came out; we were about to have a feast! We were served a hearty meal of Brazilian fare of grilled fish that came with their typical sides of rice, beans, tomato & onion salad, and a local Brazilian food called farofa; which is a toasted cassava flour mixture. My mouth is watering just thinking about this meal; everything was so fresh and had so much flavor. As they say in Brazil, the food was MUY BOM (aka very good)!! I highly recommend trying this place; you will not be disappointed.
3 PM After lunch we made our way to some of the beachside bars for the afternoon. Two of our favorites sit right next to each other; Sol do Muta and Oh! Bar. We decided to start at Sol do Muta first because it’s a little livelier and more of a daytime place. We had lunch here a few days as well; I highly recommend their grilled shrimp appetizer!
4 PM We had a few drinks at Sol do Muta and then headed next door to Oh! Bar. We liked Oh! Bar better for lounging in the afternoon, having drinks and watching the sunset. The atmosphere is super relaxing. We found a comfy sofa lounge, ordered a bottle of rosé and settled in to wait for the sunset.
THE SUNSET Words will never be able to express how incredible every sunset was during our stay. Every afternoon, it would rain for about an hour or so, but this afternoon we got lucky. A huge rain cloud was rolling in as we were waiting for the sunset and we were so bummed. But we waited a few minutes and the storm cloud just disappeared; it was fate! Out of nowhere, the sky opened and the clouds disappeared while the sun began to set. It was high tide, so the waves were crashing right at the edge of our chairs; it was magical. We just sat there, completely mesmerized by how perfect and surreal this moment was.
5:45 PM After the sunset we ran into the town to pick up some fresh seafood to make for dinner. There is a local fish shop in the center of town where we picked up some lobster tails to make.
6:30 PM We had such a magical day but it wasn’t over yet. We got back home and started cooking dinner. We bought three huge lobster tails to cook; they are my favorite. My boyfriend is an INCREDIBLE cook so I knew we were going to have a delicious meal. The host, Alex, had lent us some speakers to use for our stay which came in handy! We had country music blasting while we prepped everything for dinner; it was perfect. We had brought a bottle of wine with us from Chile so that we could save it for a special night.
My boyfriend cooked an incredible meal and life was perfect. After dinner, we set up some of the beach chairs out on the patio, brought some wine and the speakers, and gazed up at the star-filled sky. There was no noise, no lights to get in the way; just us and the stars. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
It’s safe to say we’ll be back; hopefully very soon!