Morro de São Paulo is one of 5 villages of the island Tinharé in Bahia, Brazil, 169 mi from the city of Salvador by route and 37 mi by sea. As part of the municipality of Cairu (only archipelago municipality in Brazil), the way to go to the island is by boat or by regular flights that go from the airport of Salvador to the local airstrip.
Cars are forbidden on Morro de São Paulo. The only method of motorized transportation on the island is by tractor, which carries passengers to other distant beaches, to pousadas (small hotels) on Third, Fourth and Second Beach (the closest to the village) and to the airport.
Tinharé Island is situated to the north of the Camamu Bay archipelago, South of Bahia, a region known as Tabuleiro Valenciano or better still, the Coast of Dendê. Due to its distinct geographical location, the island was subject to innumerable attacks by French and Dutch ships, a true free land for pirates during the colonial period.
Morro de São Paulo protected the so called “barra falsa da Baía de Todos os Santos”, strategic entrance to the Itaparica Channel and to the Santo Antônio Fortress (currently named Farol da Barra). Additionally, the Tinharé Channel was essential for delivery of supplies from major production centers to the capital, Salvador. The geographical importance of the island during the colonial period justifies the richness of historical monuments, today protected by the National Historical Patrimony.
Photo Credit: Mikael