You'll be greeted warmly by the owners and shown along a wooden pathway to your charming, simply furnished room, hidden among lush foliage and banana trees. There's an open-air library with a collection of books and magazines, and a bar-restaurant serving breakfast and dinner where people gather to chat and drink in the evening. Around the back, up some stairs in a tree-top massage room, you can take chill-out to another level. There's no pool, but you won't need one - the "Bounty Bar" beaches are superb and the sea gratifyingly warm, all just 50m away.
- The owners, brothers Charles and Mark, extend a really warm, personal welcome
- Simple, laid back charm with a fun ambiance - we loved the rustic accommodation (don’t expect mod cons)
- Boipeba island is one of Brazil's best-kept secrets - you'll find miles of unspoiled beaches and friendly locals
- Great restaurant - easily the best on the island
- A great place for kids but not a ‘family hotel’, so couples wanting to get away from it all will not feel unwelcome or disturbed
- Tree-top massage room
- It's not easy to get to, but the distance from the mainland has helped Boibepa remain pristine, and the owners can send private vehicles to pick you up from Salvador or Ilhéus
- Not directly on the beach but it's only a minute's walk away
- On Boipeba 8pm is the new midnight: if you want buzzing nightlife, stick to Ibiza
- Most of the rooms don't have AC or other mod cons, but they do have fans
Best time to go
The Pousada closes each year for a few weeks, normally during June - please check for exact dates.
Our top tips
For your packing list, bring cash (there are not banks on the island), mozzie-spray (not a huge problem but they do exist here) and suntan lotion (it's much more expensive here).
- Boutique Guesthouse
- 12 rooms
- Restaurant and bar (closed Mondays)
- Over 2s welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
The 12 Double Rooms are simply furnished but charming – some are almost like treehouses, others like little cottages, others have wraparound verandas. All are simply decorated with brightly coloured bed linens and distinctive coloured shutters and doors. Those with balconies or terraces have hammocks to relax in. Four of the rooms have air-conditioning, but you don't really need it - the open windows capture the sea breezes rustling through the luxuriant foliage. All rooms have hot showers, mosquito nets, a ceiling fan and a small fridge. There's no TV and certainly no need for a safe.
We found all the rooms to be equally pleasant. That said, Room 3 is good for a family as it is the largest and perhaps the most private, being somewhat tucked away at the back of the property. Room 7 (sleeps 2) and Room 8 (sleeps 4) are on two levels. I loved mine, Room 4, for the way the light flooded in in the morning, with birds providing a natural alarm, and for its terrace, perfect for an afternoon siesta swinging gently in the hammock.
- Mosquito net
Mark used to own a small café in Vermont, and he and his team do a fantastic job in the kitchen making breakfasts (delicious juices, coffee, bread, cakes, local coconut-infused rice pudding dusted with cinnamon, and cooked local Bahian specialities) that will fill you up way beyond lunchtime.
For dinner (not available on Mondays) there are delicious 3-course meals. Even if you think you're full after the main course, you'll magically find room for a homemade brownie or slice of pecan pie, and one of the 10 varieties of homemade ice cream - I'd recommend the white chocolate and the honey. Starters might include aubergine with mozzarella, crabcakes, or Vietnamese lobster rolls; main dishes could feature lobster ravioli, prawns with tangerine sauce, or homemade linguine with ricotta, rocket and fresh tomatoes. There's always a vegetarian option and lots of seafood.
For lunch, you might want to walk an hour along the beach to meet Guido, who cooks seafood dishes over a simple fire under a palm tree. Just in front of Pousada Santa Clara there are several very simple beach restaurants offering beer and snacks, while in the village (a 10-minute walk away) there are a few laid back places offering tasty local dishes such as moqueca (fish or prawn stew). Or you can take a boat 20 minutes through the mangroves to the floating oyster restaurants where dinner is directly beneath your feet, washed down with a large beer.
- Restaurants nearby
- Lie on an unspoilt beach catching up on all the books you meant to read but never got round to (within 1-2 minutes’ walk of the Pousada)
- Learn the difference between a caipirinha and a caipirosca
- Explore the sleepy village of Boipeba
- Walk an hour and a half along deserted beaches and through coconut groves to the tiny hamlet of Morere
- As the team to help arrange canoeing in the mangroves, snorkelling trips and horse riding
- Hike through the Atlantic forest or follow the trails around the coast
- Take a boat trip to the floating oyster restaurants or around the island
- Swim and snorkel in the natural shallow pools offshore
- Go night-shopping in the village (a 10-minute walk away) and stop for a tapioca pankcake by the football pitch on the way home
- Get a holistic massage in the tree-top massage room
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Santa Clara actively welcome families and the staff are great with them. There are no special facilities for children, but kids will love Santa Clara and Ilha Boipeba – this is a real Robinson Crusoe island with beautiful white palm-fringed beaches, warm blue sea and tropical inland.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Room 3 is good for a family as it has a double bed and 2 single beds around a corner, plus an additional outside shower. It is also perhaps more private than others, being somewhat tucked away at the back of the property. All rooms have space for an extra bed, plus they are brightly coloured and fun. Those on two floors have fun spiral staircases (best for ages 5+).
Extra Beds Available
Santa Clara is located on the island of Boipeba, south of Salvador. Access is difficult but you'll be rewarded once you arrive.
The nearest major airport is Salvador Luis Eduardo (130km away); it has some international flights, as well as domestic flights from São Paulo.
From the Airport
From Salvador airport you can take one of 3 daily flights in a 6-seater plane to Boipeba's neighbouring island, Ilha de Tinharé (a 30-minute flight), and then cross the water to Santa Clara by speedboat (arranged by the hotel). The total time from Salvador to Boipeba is about an hour. Alternatively, Santa Clara can send private vehicles to pick you up from Salvador.
Take a taxi from Salvador to the car ferry and cross to Itaperica (you’ll need to brush up on your Portuguese to buy the ticket). It’s then 125km by taxi to Graciosa, and finally 50 minutes by speedboat to Boipeba. Santa Clara can pre-arrange the taxi and speedboat for you.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Brazil and getting around
- Salvador Luis Eduardo 130.0 km SSA
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 0.0 km