We arrived in Itaúnas, almost on the border with Bahia.After a long road through the beaches of Espírito Santo, we arrived at the extreme north of the coast of the state.But what to do in Itaúnas?
One of the best tourist attractions in the place is visiting the dunes of the Itaúnas State Park.In fact, the village of Itaúnas is very reminiscent of Jericoacoara, all rustic but charming at the same time.A church and square dominate the center of the village.
The place is famous for its forró nights.FENFIT – National Festival of Forró de Itaúnas takes place in July and has no time to end.When it dawns and it seems that the music is over, behold, a new group appears and starts to play.Bands are distributed throughout all the bars, filling all the spaces.
I imagine these nights (and days) of forró must be really cool, but it’s not my thing.
I really prefer to arrive in a super quiet village out of season, which for me has great rewards.Peace seems to be the main one.
What to do in Itaúnas ES – Border of Espírito Santo and Bahia
All the charm and dunes of Itaúnas, a village that resembles Jericoacoara, on the coast of Espírito Santo
I hate waking up early.But in Itaúnas, it’s not that I woke up super excited to see the sunrise.
5am on our first full day there.The alarm clock rang, I got ready quickly and went down to the car, where Márcio (driver from SETUR-ES, who helped a lot in the logistics of our trip) was already waiting for me.
The day before, the sunset on the dunes of Itaúnas hadn’t been very nice.The sun sets at the opposite end of the ocean, so I got that urge to see the sun rising on the horizon line of the sea.Márcio, a super nice guy, was on board right away.
At the end of the day, I think waking up early is only bad when you don’t really enjoy what you have to do next.With a beautiful sunrise waiting for us, getting out of bed at 5 am is a pleasure.
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1 – Pousada in Itaúnas
Rewind the tape.The day before, we arrived in the afternoon at Vila de Itaúnas and went straight to Pousada Pargos.
How to Get to Itaúnas: By car, the trip takes about 4 hours on BR-101.By bus, take a bus from Viação Águia Branca to Conceição da Barra (3 departures per day) and from there another bus from Viação Mar Aberto.
Super well located , almost opposite the Church, Pousada Pargos also stands out for its excellent facilities.The bathroom won me over, with so many places to put shampoo and soap.It was great after some hotels we’ve been to, where you had to balance things on the windowsill.
The inn has a small pool with a bar and a wooden deck, a very nice place to relax at the end of the tour.
But we didn’t even warm up the bed in the inn and we went out to watch the sunset over the Itaúnas dunes.
2 – Set do sol na Dunas
To reach the beach and the dunes, you can walk or drive.
The walk to the dunes is not that far, but it is a walk of about 15 minutes, and we went by car to save time.From the village of Itaúnas (there is also the headquarters of the State Park), it is necessary to cross a bridge over the river Itaúnas and continue for about 1 km.
Arriving at the base of the dunes, Márcio accompanied me on the climb.
Unlike the Jeri dune, the ascent is not that steep or steep, but the view is equally impressive.Some dunes can reach 30 meters in height.
From the top of the dunes, you can see the beach, the beach huts and finally the sun, which lay behind the forest.
But soon several clouds appeared and my party with the sunset on the dunes ended up cloudy.We go down to the beach to put our feet in the sea and feel how warm it is (the sea in Espírito Santo is normally colder, but from Guriri onwards, the waters start to get warmer).
3 – Parque Estadual de Itaúnas
The Itaúnas State Park has around 3,500 hectares of different ecosystems associated with the Atlantic Forest.
The park was created in 1991 and features different ecosystems , such as the board forest, sandbanks, dunes, mangroves, the Itaúnas river and several kilometers of beaches.Most of this area is in the Itaúnas State Park.
Source: Discover Espírito Santo
Dinner at Restaurante do Cizinho
After sunset in the dunes, dinner was at Cizinho’s restaurant, which is in front of the church.
The dishes are a little expensive, and on the owner’s recommendation, we opted for a filet mignon with cheese and banana.The dish costs R$ 79.90 for two people (ref.: April/2017), but it would serve three people very well.
One of the restaurant’s distinguishing features is the exquisite decor.According to the owner (who is not Cizinho, who is a former owner) all the objects displayed in the restaurant are for sale.
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4 – Wake up early to watch the sunrise do sol
We arrived at the dunes of the State Park around 5:20 am.
The sky was already a little clear and the clouds were already illuminated by sunlight.An essential tip is to use repellent, mosquitoes attack at any time of day.
I kept an eye out for an interesting drawing of the dunes, as many sections lose those beautiful curves formed by the wind.When a lot of people pass by, the footprints end up standing out from the original shapes of the dunes.
The sunrise was a spectacle, like those that set the sky on fire.So, don’t leave the sunrise out of your plans, when planning what to do in Itaúnas.
Café da morning at Pousada Pargos
Mission accomplished, we returned to Pousada Pargos for breakfast.
At the café, I talked a little with Éolo, the owner of the inn (he is another one of those who came to Itaúnas and decided to stay 17 years ago).
I learned that Itaúnas offers several activities in the State Park in addition to the dunes, which include guided hikes, kayaking along the river and biking.
5 – Riacho Doce , on the border with Bahia
But before heading to the State Park trails, Márcio and I took the car and headed to Riacho Doce, the northernmost beach on the coast of Espírito Santo , on the border with Bahia.
The beach is one of the favorite destinations among the options for things to do in Itaúnas.
The road over there it is made of land, and as it had rained during the night, there were some stretches of water.There was no sign of a jam, but the car got even dirtier.Although some people recommend taking the bike path, I find it very complicated because the road is not flat.
We arrive in Riacho Doce in about 20 minutes.On the way, there are many eucalyptus trees (there are factories in the surroundings that make the plantations), a tree that consumes a lot of water and causes some environmental damage, so it is not very popular with the locals.Even so, the scenery on the road is very beautiful.
On the way, Seu Celsão, owner of the Pousada do Celsão, put up several signs on the way, with sayings such as “It’s right here”, “Don’t give up”, “You’re almost arriving”.He welcomes us as soon as we arrive.
Praia de Riacho Doce
But it’s not time to stop yet.From his inn to the beach, there is still a stretch of road and we went by car.There is a parking lot there that charges R$ 10.00, but luckily it was low season and there was no one there.
Upon arriving at Riacho Doce, the fascination was immediate.The beach is extensive, deserted and with stretches of green sea on the high seas.And I love it when you arrive at the beach and you already have a viewpoint.While I was taking pictures, Marcio was already there in the warm sea of Riacho Doce.
I went downstairs and I can’t say that the sea water was warm (even though it was still 10 am) , but it was pretty nice.The sea is very clean, but the water is cloudy and in shades of brown, so it’s a more pleasant experience than beautiful.
The creek that no longer reaches the sea
We set out to walk to the creek that gives the beach its name.
Due to the lack of rain, we found a beautiful stream, but far from the sea, with a lot of sand along the way.It would take a lot of rain for him to get there again.Anyway, the scenery is heavenly and the creek water is crystal clear.
Pousada do Celsão
There, the beach is known, we are back to chat with Seu Celsão, who introduced us to his inn, showed us the photo album he keeps for visitors, talked about the fancy lunch he offers for R$30.00 (we didn’t check it out).We only had a soda, a little affection, but it was worth the conversation.
Celsão also commented on his intention to sell his property and move closer to his family.Enjoy it while your Celsão is still there.
Good talk, we didn’t even see the time pass.
6 – A little hop over there to Bahia: Praia da Costa Dourada
Time passed and we still had to go to Bahia.Yes, among the programs on what to do in Itaúnas, a trip to Bahia is also possible.
Yes, our final destination was to go to Praia da Costa Dourada, crossing the state border.
And there’s more dirt road, lots of water and mud on the road, but no possible jam points.As the road is used for harvesting eucalyptus trees, it is maintained in reasonable condition.
The reference I had was from Barraca do Claudio, which is well structured and has hammocks on top of a cliff.The view of the beach is also very beautiful, mainly because of the cliffs by the sea.I walked from one side to the other, looking for new angles of photography.The beach is a beautiful invitation to explore the rest of Bahia, but we had appointments back in Espírito Santo.
Back to Espírito Santo
In the village of Itaúnas, we had a very tasty PF at the restaurant da Serli (in front of the church, R$ 20.00) and we returned to the Pousada Pargos, where Éolo and the guide Erickiss were waiting for us.
7 – Vila de Itaúnas
The old village of Itaúnas began to be buried in 1940.
I was curious to see hear the stories and see the rest of the old village of Itaúnas, which was buried by the sand dunes.
The tragedy occurred because the population devastated the sandbank vegetation that protected the village of Itaúnas.Without this vegetation, the dunes began to invade and dominate the village.In about 30 years, everything was buried.As the process was slow, the population had time to build a new village, this time with the Itaúnas river as a border.
The trail starts at a stretch surrounded by vegetation that crosses the old course of the river.This path is very beautiful, surrounded by forest and forming a delicious shade.Mosquitoes love it too, apply repellent.But soon we reach the dunes, and the sun hits them.
- Duration: 40 minutes
- Difficulty level: easy
- Extension: 700 meters to Casa do Tamandaré and 400 meters to the beach
The ancient and buried village of Itaúnas
The first stop on the trail is casa do Tamandaré, the only one not hit by the dunes.Mr. Tamandaré lived in the house until 2006, but today the building is abandoned and smells bad.Apparently time will be able to destroy what the dunes couldn’t.
The archaeological sections in the dunes of the Old Town of Itaúnas are less interesting than I expected, most of them are already buried.
some remains of bones and teeth on the old cemetery, and in other places pieces of glass, ceramics and bricks from the houses.They put up some fences to let people know, otherwise I would have missed it.It is important NOT to go beyond the demarcated areas and not to take any of the materials from the site.
On the way, I asked about Erikis’ life in the village.He is a huge fan of forró and attends not only events in Itaúnas, but also festivals outside the state.And he comments that, in July, the village is really taken over by dancing.
The tour was very nice, but even better with the driver.If you want to get in touch with Erikis, his phone number is (27) 99776-9655.
Other trails in Itaúnas State Park
- Buraco do Bicho Trail: it leads to a huge hole and is 2,800 meters long (2 hours)
- Butterfly Trail: it has a large amount of bromeliads and orchids in its 3,000 meters of length (3 hours)
- Alméscar Trail: travels through the arboreal restinga forest and the bank of the Itaúnas River for 1,500 meters (1 hour)
- Beira Trail- River: crosses river beaches and landscapes of the Itaúnas River for 6,000 meters (3 hours).
9 – Quilombola Community of Angelim
We found Eólo again, from Pousada Pargos, who took us to the Quilombola Community of Angelim, where a couple prepares the beijus that are distributed throughout the region.
The food is made from tapioca, placed on a hot plate and gradually becomes more solid.
I went on one of the shortest trails in the Park, the Fisherman’s Trail.It is a well-paved trail, which leads to the sea, in a stretch where several boats are kept.From there, it is possible to walk to the beach huts in the village of Itaúnas.This hike turned out to be a little longer and more tiring.
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Difficulty level: easy
- Extension: 600 meters to the beach and 1,200 meters to the beach kiosks
To end the day, the program is to enjoy the sunset from the top of the dunes.Although the sun doesn’t set over the sea like in Jericoacoara, it’s nice to see the spectacle and the movement of the sand.
Restaurant da Berê
In the evening, I had dinner at the restaurant da Berê, which is one of the best rated in Itaúnas.The house specialty is the parmesan ham.She prepares it with a pesto sauce, mozzarella cheese and a delicious bacon crispy.
The dish is very tasty, but the conversation with Berê was even better, we talked about travel and a little about her work, recovering some abandoned animals in the village.
Sunrise and ending our trip in Itaúnas
Last day in Itaúnas.
I decided to wake up one more day early to see the sunrise.Marcio accompanied me.This time the sunrise was a little different and I finally got to see the sun rise over the sea.Beautiful.But then he hid behind some clouds.
We still had a lot of road to go back to Vitória, and on the way we still passed the beaches of Barra Seca and Urussuquara.
Itaúnas was one of the highlights of our expedition along the beaches of Espírito Santo.A place that will stay in memory forever, as the only place I woke up very early, and on top of that I liked it.
Also see: The Best Beaches in Espírito Santo – Capixaba Coast Expedition
Also read: Ilha de Guriri ES
The blog Viagens Cine received logistical support from SETUR/ES – Espírito Santo Tourism Office.Our opinions are sincere and we only share true experiences, as our most precious value is the relationship and trust of our readers.
Source: IEMA – State Institute for the Environment
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