The “Costa do Descobrimento”, the Discovery Coast, is the cradle of Brazilian history and culture and dates back to 22 April 1500, when Pedro Alvares Cabral and his men first made land on the Brazilian coast.

This area, located in the southern region of the state of Bahia, still reveals unexplored landscapes, endless, semi-deserted beaches and marvelous natural beauty.

Blessed with one of the most diverse biospheres on the planet, in 1999 Bahia’s natural wealth together with its historical value helped place the region’s “Mata Atlantica of the Costa do Descobrimento” among the world’s natural heritage reserves.

Santo André da Bahia, is located in the middle of this vast area, reaching from the tip of Corumbau to the south to the historic city of Belmonte in the north.

Taking advantage of the low tide, and in the meditative company of sea birds, small crabs and the breeze off the ocean, a six-kilometer (4-mile) walk takes you from the beach at Santo André along the coast to the village of Santo Antonio.

Because sea turtles have long chosen this sandy beach to lay their eggs, it is forbidden to start fires, dig holes in the sand or play loud music so as not to put their fragile reproduction process at risk.

If you want to go up a stretch of coast by car, you can spend the day surrounded by tall coconut trees, be rocked by the waves or massaged in the current of a small stream of fresh water that flows into sea at the beautiful beach of Guaiú.

Directly on the beach, it is worth taking advantage of friendly Maria Nilza’s oceanside restaurant to get to know Bahian cuisine.

If you like surfing and you are lucky to find favorable weather conditions, head north a few kilometers beyond Guaiú towards Belmonte. Mugiquicaba beach is the perfect place to meet surfers in the area. Numerous championships are held periodically here.

There is also a small campsite and a “toes in the sand” guest-house for those who want to stay a night and not miss the first waves of the day.

Either do not bring plastic to the beaches, or please remember to carry everything back out with you.

On all regional beaches, circulation with any type of motorized vehicle is strictly forbidden.