A relaxing boat trip around the Camamu islands

Fishing boats at sunset in Bahia, Brazil

Have a chilled day cruising the tropical waters of Camamu

by Holly Stanley

This trip was fabulously organised by Jaci, who was able to not only make the most out of the trip by including a visit to Camamu old town as well as keeping the cost very reasonable.

A very early start meant that we were able to explore the town in the cooler morning light before everyone was out and about. Much of the towns historic centre has been restored so there are many colourful, colonial houses and churches to marvel at. Walking around before 7:30 am also meant that we had the place to ourselves and were able to beat the midday heat. Right at the top of the hill you’ll find a hotel overlooking the whole of the town and harbour, where you can get a full breakfast buffet for 20 reais, setting you up perfectly for the boat trip ahead.

Joining the escuna from the tiny little pier, you’ll immediately take in the incredible view of the vast river and the mangroves that border on either side. You’ll now have time to relax and enjoy the sounds of reggae playing throughout the boat.

Once the boat has made its first of many stops, it’ll require some wading through chest deep water, which definitely caught us of guard since we were all fully clothed! It was so worth it though, what is known as the stone cathedral, is essentially a huge mass of rock with several arches and grottos that you are free to roam around. The arches extend out into the water and look stunning against the backdrop of endless clear turquoise water.

The afternoon is then filled with further island hopping and exploring. Each island has its own individual charm and character, perfect for an hour or two of exploring before hopping onto the next. The Maraú Peninsular is known for having the most incredible clear turquoise water that is just so inviting for a quick dip. You can really see why many wealthy Brazilians choose this area for a holiday.

After a full morning of exploring and swimming, the boat will take you to one of the larger islands ready for lunch. I would recommend just a deliciously simple lunch of rice, beans and salad, however there were many options including fish, shrimp and chicken. Now there is time for just one more island, which in my view was by far the most beautiful and unspoilt.

There is a pretty little cove, that is nicely sheltered by rocks perfect for swimming. Depending on the tide, there is also a little swing where you can gently rock back and forth in and out of the water. By this point in the day the sun is somewhat weaker making this stop idyllic for watching over the water.

Back on the boat, the timing is perfect for watching the sun slowly set over the water. Sailing back along the river, you will have an ideal opportunity to take photos of the mangroves bathed in the evening light. Such a fantastic day trip, I recommend it to anyone who is eager to explore some more of the hidden beauty of Bahia.