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Some information about the property

The basics

brazil, bahia
Price range
From £500 to £1000 per night

The background

located on the exclusive cliff top location of alta mucugê with magical views of the mata atlântica, this amazing beachhouse was designed by local architect carlos de oliveira rodrigues.


the house has the aesthetic of a giant new york loft (the living room is very spacious and open plan with high ceiling and a giant sliding door that opens the guest suite into the living room). twelve metres of continuous french doors give on to a big wooden veranda mounted on stilts perched over an enchanting valley view of the rainforest. the extensive glass frontage to the house creates an amazing light in the house (bedrooms have blackout curtains for sleep time)

the floors are white polished concrete, the high ceiling is of beamed constructed using rich brazilian woods.

the furnishings are stylish, comfortable and eclectic reflecting the global connections, creativity and travels of its owner.

the two bedroom suites each have king-size four poster beds made from brazilian hardwood’s encased in netting with fine sprung mattresses and quality bed linens and soft pillows (memory foam or feathers). the bathrooms are modern yet funky.

the furniture include chairs made from pieces of natural discarded rainforest trees, brazilian arts crafts and pieces from the popular artist toti from his oficina de agosto store in são paulo. you’ll find original 1960s big movie posters (brigitte bardot being one) framed alongside original limited edition “dean freeman” photographic prints, a contemporary designed turkish kilim rug and cushions, Indian silk fabrics, african artefacts, art deco lamps from argentina, and hand-made designer chrome fans from gerbar in são paulo.

stylish, clean contemporary but with rustic charm and global appeal, the attention to detail is pleasing to the eye and calming to the soul.

it’s just five minutes walk from the vibrant or deserted beaches of arraial d’ajuda (depending which direction you choose). it’s the same distance to walk to the charming restaurants and bars of the village (brazilian, argentinean, japanese, french and italian cuisine). a 30 minute drive will take you to the neighbouring village of trancoso.

the architect

37-year-old carlos de oliveira rodrigues, born in amazonia, trained and worked in two of brazils’s great cities, rio de janeiro and belo horizonte. he has practised in arraial d’ajuda since 1999. all his works make sensitive use of the best natural materials worked by local craftsmen alongside the modern building techniques that the demanding environment requires.

  • air conditioned and room fans
  • room safes
  • bose ipod speaker
  • 17 inch dvd player and extensive dvd movie collection held in a custom made media unit trolley
  • fast wireless internet connection
  • loan of local mobile phone if required — there is good reception for all international tri-band mobile phones and blackberry’s
  • 400 thread count fine imported cotton bed linens
  • king size sprung mattresses and soft and memory foam pillows on four poster net encased beds with amazing views
  • four hammocks
  • local english/portuguese speaking liaison and full maid service
  • daily breakfast available on request
  • massage therapist available
  • lush garden and giant panoramic terrace complete the attractions of this charming house (2 bedrooms for 4 guests)

Things to do

  • lie in the sun and forget the world.
  • pass your time like most brazilians drinking ice cold beer or caiprinhas* in a bar on the beach or in the village. (caiprinhas are a cocktail of cachaça, the local rum, with crushed lime, ice and sugar — a safer alternative is a caiprivodka made with smirnoff or similar).
  • wander down the coast a few km to one of the unspoilt beaches to the south of arraial. You’ll pass a few beach bars, but will find endless stretches of quiet or near-deserted golden sands backed by magnificent cliffs and occasional coconut palms.
  • go for a trek in the mata atlântica with a knowledgeable guide and see the wildlife.
  • go horse riding either along the beach at low tide, above the cliffs or in the countryside.
  • go diving or snorkelling.
  • spend a day fishing.
  • learn or practice capoeira, the brazilian-african dance cum martial art.
  • go kite or wind surfing.
  • hire a kayak either in the sea (within the reef) or take a trip up one of the rivers in the region.
  • play golf at the finest golf course in brazil with amazing views.
  • take a launch or schooner trip.
  • try 4-wheel drive/minibus tours with guide to selected beaches and local farms.
  • visit the indian reservation and see craftwork and learn about traditional indian medicines.
  • hire a beach-buggy, motor bike or push bike (motorised vehicles not allowed on beaches) and drive the dirt tracks to nearby villages, see a buffalo farm.
  • take a day schooner trip from porto seguro to the coral reefs at recife de fora (low tide). there’s another big reef in the marine park at coroa alta accessible by boat from santa cruz cabrália. as well as finding out something about coral reefs, you’ll discover a lot about brazilians having a fun day out!
  • pass a day at arraial d’ajuda’s eco water park — especially recommended as a real Brazilian experience when there’s one of bahia’s best-known bands like olodum playing.
  • attend yoga or meditation sessions.
  • have a relaxing massage — either on the beach or in the house.
  • attend a buddhist day.
  • dance forro or lambada or zouki or take lessons if you don’t know how to.
  • go craft shopping (evenings) either in the tiny craft market in arraial or in the everlasting one along the aptly-named passarela do alcool in porto seguro.
  • pass some time in the historic part of porto seguro. the museum is a good place to begin to understand the story of the portuguese colonisation of brazil; the indian exhibition at coroa vermelha tells the story from the point of view of the indians, the original natives. a few hundred metres outside porto seguro there’s a reproduction of one of the ships of cabral’s fleet which you can visit.

further afield

  • go people-watching in trancoso (25km along the beach); it’s the ‘in’ place for top models, singers and the famous from brazil and around the world.
  • belmonte (88km north): there’s a fascinating boat trip through a protected mangrove area. you can make either a short trip or a 3-hour mini-voyage across the river jequitinhonha to canavieiras a centre for marlin fishing
  • from the arraial d’ajuda-porto seguro ferry terminal, a boat trip up the river buranhém to ilha de macacos.
  • visit the monte pascoal national park — monte pascoal was the first sighting of land the portuguese had when they arrived in brazil in 1500.

At the right time:

  • February-March — varies according to the Christian calendar: Dance in the streets, enjoy Carnaval — a traditional one evening (often longer) party in Arraial or a marathon ten-day event in Porto Seguro — often with the best bands from Salvador playing every night from 10 pm until breakfast time the next day. Try to catch up with some sleep in the day time!
  • August 7 to 15: Join the 15,000 pilgrims who come to Arraial d’Ajuda from all over Brazil to celebrate the annual Festa da Santa — the village’s patron saint, Nossa Senhora d’Ajuda (Our Lady of Help).
  • July to November: Watch the Humpback whales in the national marine park at Abrolhos. Boats leave from Caravelas (200km south by road) or there are longer sea trips and mini-buses from Arraial d’Ajuda.

The nearest convenient commercial airport to Arraial is 40 minutes away at Porto Seguro (BPS), with daily connections to and from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Belo Horizonte and other Brazilian cities.

Most major European airlines fly to Brazil: British Airways and TAM direct from London; KLM, Air France, Tap/Air Portugal, Iberia are many of the European airlines that fly to Brazil. Many flights arrive in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro early in the morning from where there are convenient connections to Porto Seguro with GOL and TAM. The same international and domestic airlines serve Salvador.

First choice has low cost direct charter flights London to Salvador May-October only.

Visitors who would like to spend a couple of days in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo may prefer to do so on their way home as flight times are more convenient. Salvador can be visited en-route to Arraial.

There is also a private landing strip at Trancoso.

Local transport

We can arrange for clients to be met off any flight arriving at Porto Seguro and transported direct to Dean’s House. Return transport, is, of course, also available.

Vehicle hire

Cars and beach-buggies can be hired in Porto Seguro and in Arraial d’Ajuda either by prior arrangement or after arrival. A vehicle is not essential. Cycles can also be hired.


EEC passport holders will be granted a 3-month tourist stamp on arrival , no visa required . The visitor’s passport must have at least six months validity. More information for all nationalities

Bring a photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport, carry this with you when out and about and leave original documents in the safe in the house.

Local time

The time in north-east Brazil (including Bahia) is usually GMT -3. So very little jet lag.


North-east Brazil has a tropical climate and compared with northern Europe, is warm all the year round (day time 24ºC to 40º). It is rarely less than 18ºC at night. High season (or Brazilian summer) is December–March. Easter is also a great time as well as European summer or Autumn.

It wouldn’t be tropical if it didn’t rain occasionally, but there’s a greater chance of rain in April, May and June.


The Brazilian currency is the Real (plural Reais) and is normally quoted against the US Dollar or the Euro. ( Bank machines (only those with Visa, Mastercard etc logos) will give cash against plastic cards. Restricted amounts of cash are available after 22.00h. It is sensible to bring a small amount of foreign currency in US Dollars or Euros for emergencies. Credit cards are accepted in many shops, restaurants etc, but not all. Carry a separate note of the 24-hour telephone numbers of your credit card providers and your card numbers. 

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