Ilheus(Bahia), Brazil Cruise Port

Located within the southern coastal region of Bahia and its downtown less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, the cruise port of Ilhéus, Brazil is an extremely popular and important center of tourism. Founded in 1534 as Vila de São Jorge dos Ilhéus, the city proudly displays a cultural heritage that includes early Portuguese architecture and historical artefacts – as well as shows off its culinary excellence. A resident of note from Ilhéus is Brazil's most popular author, Jorge Amado; many of his novels showcase the plight of the poor urban citizens of Bahia. Even if you did nothing but explore the old streets around the city, you would still have plenty to see, eat, and buy; the latter is especially true at the Mercado de Artesanato, where you can find all manner of souvenirs. Listed below are a handful of our favorite experiences when cruising to Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil:
 
  • Like most coastal cities in Brazil, there are seemingly endless beaches. Two of the most popular are Cabana Itacarezinho with its long stretch of sand, beautiful waters, and nearby historic attractions, and Milionarios Beach, with a fairly lively scene, perfect for those who prefer to party.
     
  • Despite this being an old city, a favorite religious attraction is the 20th-century Catedral São Sebastião (Cathedral of Saint Sebastian). Construction began in 1931 with the dedication not until 1967; it's renowned for magnificent architecture, gorgeous stained-glass windows, and detailed statues of saints.
     
  • Writer Jorge Amado grew up in the estate which later became a cultural center; more for fans of Amado (or anyone interested in the life of a writer), the Casa de Cultura Jorge Amado offers tours that include his room and personal items. The sunny yellow exterior is worth a photo as well.
     
  • As the island used to be a huge exporter of cocoa beans, a stop at Fazenda Yrere gives some insight into life on a cocoa plantation. Here you'll check out the plants, see how the beans are processed, and get a cocoa tasting. Chocolate lovers will appreciate the sheer number of items available for purchase.
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