Apr 26, 2010

Itaúnas, in Espírito Santo state: dunes, forró and neverending party

by Antonella Kann

A couple of years ago, by the end of November, we decided to spend New Year´s Eve with the family in Itaúnas, some 250 kilometers from capital Vitória. Any other place would be fully booked, but not that small seaside village in the state of Espirito Santo. Also, I was pleased to find that the package rate wasn´t a rip-off as in any other resort on the coastline of Brazil.

Underneath these dunes lay the old town of Itaúnas, entirely buried by the sand since the 70´s.
Not quite famous as its baianos´ neighbors, it´s best known for its old town, entirely buried underneath the immense dunes which frame the new town. Until a decade ago, you could still see the top of the church. Nowadays, nothing is left from old Itaúnas.
beautiful walks along the beaches, crossing the river by boat

It´s not a trendy-sophisticated-upmarket destination in Brazil, and far away from being one in the top-ten. But that´s why it´s unspoilt and full of charm.

But don´t get me wrong: you´ll find pristine - read, deserted - beaches and a marvelous atmosphere to relax and party, as it´s the “capital” of the forró. I´ll translate: it´s a particular rhythm or , let´s say, a sensual way of dancing cheek to cheek ( and altogether very closely) from sunset to sunrise.

Also, it´s affordable, from accommodations to restaurants, and a very good option if you want to stretch your vacation budget in Brazil. Off-season, let´s say, after Carnival, it´s even better. But, naturally, don´t be choosy as there´s nothing gastronomic. But the local pizzas can be really very tasty and you won´t be disappointed.

Forró time: anytime, anywhere, no dress code!

But remember that Itaúnas is inside a National State Park, so beware of the strict environmental rules to preserve natural sites. Don´t miss a boat ride along the river, as the scenery is gorgeous. 

You´ll have to climb the dunes to go back in town

There are few pousadas which I can recommend, all rustic but with a bit of charm. Pousada dos Corais is one of them. But don´t go to Itaúnas for the comfort. Go to chase away the stress.


  1. Brazil has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and every tourists who could afford to go there would definitely go there to relax and have fun. But as for me who cannot afford to go to Brazil as of the moment, I just enjoy myself going to the beach and to some restaurants in Destin, Florida. My wife and kids also enjoy going there and have shopping in Destin because the items are great and are in reasonable prices.

  2. Is there a good way to get to Itauna from Vitoria? I am nervous about driving myself..