Praia do Forte Travel Guide

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Seaside near the Village

Seaside near the Village

Ed Scabbia

Praia do Forte (in case you get confused, when locals say “p-haya ji forchi” that’s what they mean) has been described as the Carmel (California) of Brazil.  A not entirely inaccurate description, with its tourist district built around a strip of high-end, for-tourists-only restaurants and boutiques (a Gap on the corner would not be out of place). The food doesn’t quite measure up to Carmel’s, but the beaches more than compensate: kilometers of white sandiness lined with palm trees and dotted with barracas.

What really makes PdF’s beaches special, though, is the high reef that stretches from shore some 150 feet into the ocean.  At low tide, the receding water exposes the top of the reef, stranding colorful fish and sea creatures in tiny tidepools, turning a walk along the coral into a miniature safari.  (Bring water shoes, though, because that coral can be sharp and slippery.)

In the bigger pools created by the reef you’ll find fish of a different kind: bathers, often in couples, lounging in 6 - 12 inches of clear water luxuriously heated by the sun.  As if natural spa pools weren’t decadent enough, some of aforementioned barracas will actually serve your caipirinhas in floating trays (best barraca spots: by the lighthouse and then further south past Pousada Porto da Lua on the way to the Marine National Park).

Speaking of which, the marine park, located about 2 km north of the main town, is often mentioned as the best spot for snorkeling.  However, the turquoise blue basins approximately in front of Pousada Porto da Lua, out into the ocean where the reef dips deeper, can be just as good if not better.  In general the fish are lovely and varied, if not quite as stunning as more famous snorkeling spots in the Caribbean (for example St.Lucia or Mexico's Yucatán peninsula).  

If you can get yourself off the beach long enough, other activities in PdF include visiting Project TAMAR and the fort that gave the town its name.  Numerous excursions on bike, ATV, or canoe can also be arranged through almost any hotel.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: world66


January 29, 2007 change by rani d.

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