Arraial d'Ajuda is a small, bustling, beach town near Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil. It is located on the coast about halfway between Rio de Janeiro and Recife. In the past, Arraial d’Ajuda was the destination of choice for the rich and famous; today it attracts everyone from wealthy Argentinians to backpackers. To get to this idyllic place, fly to Porto Seguro and then take a bus to the car ferry across the Buranhem River. Taxis are the best way to get into town from the ferry, which runs all day, every day.
The main street in Arraial d’Ajuda is the Rua do Mucuge, famous for its bars, shops and charming restaurants. Most hostels (“albergues da juventude” in Portuguese) are on or near this street, which leads right to the beach. It is a long street, so keep in mind that the closer you are to the beach, the more expensive a hostel will be. There are quite a few hostels in this tourist town, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting a bed, except maybe near Carnaval, when the town fills up with holidaymakers.
With a long, enchanting coastline, several popular beaches, and a nearby water park, Arraial d’Ajuda is a great place to relax and soak up the sun. There are few historic attractions here; if you need a break from the beach, check out the town’s colonial centre, which has the oldest church in Brazil and some brightly coloured old municipal buildings. Enjoy a lingering coffee at one of the many shaded garden restaurants on Rua do Mucuge or wander the many boutiques in town. After a long dinner at one of the town’s popular parrillas (steakhouses), head for the dance clubs for a night of dancing. The clubs play a mix of current techno mixed with traditional Brazilian music, and the dances range from the lambada to the forro.
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