Praia Forte, Brasil
A 90-kilometer drive from the capital of Bahía, Salvador, Praia do Forte promises to be the perfect vacation for the Royal Holiday member looking for tranquility and relaxation. With miles of sandy beaches shaded by coconut trees, it’s easy to see why Praia do Forte has been called the “Brazilian Polynesia,” especially given the local focus on ecological sustainability and preservation; with local attractions like the Reserva de Sapiranga, this former fishing village has become one of the best destinations for ecotourism in Brazil. Royal Holiday members will find themselves lulled into complete relaxation thanks to the friendly and calm atmosphere of this unique resort city, though with Salvador just down the Coconut Road, big city excitement is only a car ride away.
Royal Holiday’s affiliate in Praia do Forte, the Hotel Pousada Ogum Marinho, makes vacationing in the town even more relaxing and comfortable, with its sophisticated mix of modern and traditional styles and comfortable rooms. Guests stay in one of the 20 apartment spaces, each equipped with a mini-bar, entertainment system, and private balcony complete with a hammock. Those traveling to Praia do Forte for the region’s commitment to the environment will also be able to rest easy at the Pousada Ogum Marinho, which uses green technology like solar-powered water heaters, while Royal Holiday members interested in the area’s fascinating culture will enjoy the local art on display. Both groups, of course, will be thrilled with the hotel’s restaurant, Sabor de Ogum, which offers an eclectic menu featuring international favorites and local specialties.
Praia do Forte has long been associated with the Bahía capital, with its roots stretching back to the 14th century. Garcia D’Ávila, a supervisor for Salvador founder Tomé de Sousa, amassed a large amount of wealth and invested it in a stupendous medieval castle in what would become Praia do Forte, the village named for the fort on the beach. Today, the castle remains one of the must-see attractions in the city, as the country’s only true “castle”; Royal Holiday members will enjoy exploring these ruins, both for the fascinating history of D’Ávila’s home and for the incredible views of the Atlantic as seen from the castle’s elevated ground.
Of course, Praia do Forte’s main attraction is the incredible Forte Beach, a haven for sun worshippers and water lovers alike. When the tide goes out on Forte Beach, it reveals incredible natural pools filled with gorgeous coral and sea life. However, the beach in Praia do Forte serves more than tourists; the Tamar Project, an initiative created by the Pró-Tamar Foundation in conjunction with ICMBio, seeks to protect the sea turtles native to the Brazilian coast. Budding marine biologists and other Royal Holiday members interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures can visit the Tamar Project Station, where tanks have been set up to provide safe havens for sea turtles to lay eggs. Americans fleeing the winter in November and December will find themselves right on schedule to watch the eggs hatch, while earlier in the year, between July and October, whale watching opportunities increase, as humpback whale pods frequently swim right off the coast.