Caravelas and Abrolhos
Distance from Salvador: 856 km (532 mi); Porto Seguro: 210 km (130 mi).
Caravelas is the Portuguese word for "caravels", the kind of ship which arrived to Brazil in 1500.
Caravelas is a small town with narrow streets that serves as the departure point for the Parque Nacional Marinho de Abrolhos (National Marine Park of Abrolhos), located 67 km (42 mi) from the coast. Caravelas also provides access to the diving area Parcel das Paredes, as well as other destinations for spear fishing.
Abrolhos is a corruption from "Abra os Olhos", which in Portuguese means "Keep your eyes peeled". The expression is credited to Americo Vespucio, who visited the archipelago in 1503 and, knowing the perils that the coral reefs represented to ships, left a notice for future navigators.
Abrolhos is dazzling. Its enormous variety of colored and designed coral reefs are the most beautiful in the Southern Atlantic, and frame the setting for sea turtles and humpback whales (whales visit the area mostly from July to November).
The Park encompasses the Recifes das Timbebas, in front of Alcbaça, and five islands: Redonda, Guarita, Sueste, Siriba (the only island where tourists can go on shore, as long as they are accompanied by a guide from IBAMA, the environmental agency) and Santa Bárbara, which has a Navy lighthouse.
Going ashore on Siriba, you can get a close look at boobies and frigate birds. The waters are crystal clear and during the dry season (May to September) you can see for up to 20 meters (65 feet). Scuba diving and free diving are allowed at night. The water temperature is about 24 C (75 F) all year around.
Only authorized boats are allowed in the region. One-day excursions are from 7;30am to 5pm; two-day trips are also available. The trip to Abrolhos takes 2.5 hours on an ocean cruiser or 6 to 7 hours by sailboat. An option for longer stays is to rent a sailbot or catamaran for diving and stay at the houseboat hotel.
Some tour operators:
Iate Clube Abrolhos
Hotels in Caravelas and Abrolhos
Hotels in Caravelas and Abrolhos. List of hotels in Caravelas and Abrolhos.
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