Rapido Federal runs 4 buses a day between Seabra and Salvador all of which pass through the Chapada Diamantina towns of Palmeiras (for Capão) and Lençois. The journey takes around 7 hours from Palmeiras and 6 from Lençois and costs approximately R$68,00.
However if you are travelling from Chapada Diamantina to Boipeba you don’t need to go all the way back into Salvador. You just get off in Feira de Santana (approx. 4.5 hours from Lençois and R$45,00) and then take a bus with the Santana company which will take you to Valença for R$36,00.
Note: The Santana bus from Feira de Santana to Valença continues on to Camamú and Itacaré so this is also an easy way to get from Chapada Diamantina to the Maraú peninsula (Barra Grande, Taipus de Fora and Cassange) as well as Itacaré of course!
* Tip: The best time to travel is overnight. Pick up the bus leaving Palmeiras at 22.40 or Lençois at 23.30 ; then the 5.30am bus to Valença which gets you in in time to catch the 10.00am lancha rápida fast boat to Boipeba from the quay. (Getting from bus station to quay is walkable in 20 mins; taxi ride will take 5 minutes and cost you fixed price of R$15)
* Tip: Overnight bus drivers in Brazil seem to love their airconditioning. Wear jeans rather than shorts/bermudas and make sure you have a warm jacket with you. You can change back into shorts in the loo in the waiting area where you get the boat to Boipeba.
* Tip: Buses are frequently late and boats to Boipeba get booked up very fast. The 5.30am bus from Feira de Santana to Valença should get you there just in time for the 10.00am boat but you can’t bank on it. Best to get your Boipeba pousada to book the midday one for you and try and change it to earlier on arrival if you make it in time and there is still room on the 10.00am one.
If you are going from Chapada Diamantina to Morere or Monte Alegre (via Boipeba village) then follow the above directions but work out the last part with your pousada. There are 4 possibilities from Boipeba village to Moreré, each more interesting depending on what the weather is like, how much luggage you have:
- Tractor. This goes irregularly and generally only when it has at least 10 people on it. If you want it to go when you want it to go you have to pay the whole thing : R$90,00
- Moto taxi. This goes when you want but frequently they don’t have crash helmets and you can’t do it with luggage. Price R$15,00 at your own risk.
- Boat: You can get a boat either from the pier or from the beach outside your pousada to the beach in Morere. Cost R$80,00- R$100,00 but they won’t always take you if the tide is out so again best to arrange with the pousada. You’ll have to paddle to shore with your luggage.
- On foot! It’s a beautiful 1.5- 2.5 hour walk along a succession of sandy beaches (depending on how fast you walk, how many beers you have and if you stop for lobster en-route). However it’s only possible in low tide as you have to get acoss a river, and it’s definitely not recommended if you have any luggage other than a small daysack.
*Tip: Taxis and moto taxis can’t meet you at the pier in Boipeba. You have to walk 15 minutes to find them. Best to get a wheelbarrow taxi to the tractor/mototaxi point (between R$10 and R$20 depending on how much luggage.) Don’t pay R$50 under any circumstances.
If returning from Boipeba to Salvador you can often hook up with other travellers and get a chartered boat to Graciosa and pre-arranged taxi to the ferry in Bom Despacho for between R$100 and R$350 depending on the number of people. (Stay at the Pousada Santa Clara in Boipeba and Charles will often arrange it for you) Either way it’s a lot more convenient but make sure you’re wearing shorts and flip flops for the walk out to the boat and have a rain jacket with you. I’ve done it 7 times and 5 out of 7 we’ve hit rain showers en route!
For further information on Brazil Travel & Pousadas visit Hidden Pousadas Brazil
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