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Porto Seguro

Over its 500-year lifespan Porto Seguro has undergone some interesting shifts in identity. Starting out in 1500 as a colonial port town for the Portuguese, it has gone from trading post to sleepy village to the increasingly popular resort town of today. Porto Seguro's idyllic beaches and a warm climate have encouraged the city's exponential growth over the last two decades and it's now a popular destination with both domestic and international travelers.

Roughly a thousand kilometers south of Salvador, it was Porto Seguro's pristine coastline that attracted the first Portuguese settlers. While sea trade has given way to tourism as the city's predominant source of income, the same sandy beaches and swaying palms lure today's modern travelers while the remnants of its colonial beginnings imbue the city with a strong sense of history. It's exactly this combination of heritage and natural beauty that makes Porto Seguro such an appealing destination. It also helps that, being Brazil, the residents here like to party.

Many resorts in Porto Seguro are located right on the beachfront, with direct access to the water. Nightlife spills over onto the sand, with parties and bars routinely taking place on the beach; capeta (the local libation) and Bahia's lively indigenous music – Axé – completely immersing visitors in local culture.

Porto Seguro's assets aren't limited to the beach and it's Old Town - it's also located in one of Brazil's most ecologically rich regions. Monte Pascoal National Park, south of Porto Seguro not only commemorates the place where the Portuguese first landed, it protects the UNESCO-listed Atlantic Forest – a tropical rainforest inhabited by multiple endangered species.

Porto Seguro is served by Porto Segura Airport, close to the city center, which accepts domestic flights. International tourists are most likely to arrive by overnight bus from Salvador, a journey of 12 hours.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Porto Seguro, click on the interactive Porto Seguro map on the left-hand side of the page.