We have just returned from a 2-week stay in the Porto Zarpa hotel in Praia do Forte.
We booked the holiday with Thomas cook and were unsure of what to expect, as we had never travelled to Brazil before.
Flying into Salvador airport is an experience in itself, if you can get a window seat it is highly recommended, as the view of the city is spectacular.
The hotel is about 1hour drive from the airport but is well worth the wait. Out of the hustle and bustle of the city you are situated just behind the main street of Praia do Forte and within an easy stroll to the beach. Everything you could want is right on the doorstep, but this village has not been made especially for tourists, it is a beautiful, clean and well looked after local fishing village.
The Hotel is also clean and well presented. The staff don’t speak much English - but why should they - they were very happy to help and very friendly. The rooms were large and it seemed that all balconies had a nice view front and back. Our balcony was front facing and we had the pleasure of watching the monkeys running across the cables and trees first thing in the morning.
Take a travel Iron and hairdryer with you if you need them, as they are not provided in the room. However there is a mini bar/fridge!
As it is currently winter (although better than our summer!) it is off peak season for them so the area during the week is quiet and the hotel was probably half full at its busiest time when the Brazilians stayed at the hotel.
The food we ate was fantastic; Breakfast in the morning was delicious from the hotel, fresh fruits, breads, cakes, meats, cheeses and my favourite - Banana Fritters! We were pleased that we were on a B&B basis as it gave us the chance to eat out. The meals in the local restaurants tended to be for 2 people, although there was plenty to go around! The meat is cooked perfectly, the fish is fresh and it is all delicious. Our cheapest meal was probably the most delicious, the meal for 2 and two large beers came to 38 real - approximately £10!
Everything is very cheap in brazil, especially when you compare it back to English prices, a large bottle of beer at its most expensive costs 4 real - Approx £1.14 (a large bottle of beer is about equivalent to a pint and is served ice cold!)
All prices are in Brazilian Real so you are better taking the national currency. We found it much easer than translating backwards and forwards between US Dollars, Brazilian Real and British Pounds. Everywhere accepted Visa although in some places it was cheaper if you paid in real. There are many cash points around Praia do Forte. We used the Cash Point in the Youth Hostel across the road from the hotel twice using a maestro card and it worked fine both times.
We did various trips, as there are many agencies in the village that can accommodate your requirements for very good prices. One of the best was the Whale Watching trip run by the institute for the humpback whales. August is the best time to go as it is in season and we saw lots! Advisable to take the seasickness tablets they offer, even if you have a strong stomach, as you don’t want to miss the whale sightings. We also saw dolphins and a turtle, which was an added bonus. The best thing is that the money you pay goes to taking the local children out on the boat for educational trips.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. The weather was good, the hotel was lovely and you did not have to fight other tourists, as the majority in the area were either the locals or Brazilians on a weekend break. We would defineterly visit again.
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- Also Known As:
- Porto Zarpa Hotel Praia Do Forte, Bahia