By Sol Biderman
Arraial DAjuda may play second fiddle to Trancoso in terms of jet-set celebrities, but when it comes to cuisine and scenery, there’s nothing like it.

One of the best places to eat is at the Arraial d’Ajuda Eco Resort located on one of the best sites in the country, a narrow strip of land between the mouth of the Porto Seguro harbor on Rio Buranhem and the ocean. As a result all the rooms have a splendid view of the palm fringed ocean or the palm fringed mouth of the river. The Eco resort is surrounded by remarkable scenery, in my opinion one of the most relaxing venues in the country. Located 10 minutes from the international airport of Porto Seguro, between the Rio Buranhem and the Atlantic Ocean, one arrives by a small ferry boat. The region provides easy access to Trancoso, Caraiva, Praia do Espelho, golf courses, ecological sites and adventure trips.

The Eco Resort restaurant at the tip of what appears to be a tiny peninsula of land has views wherever you sit – either of the lights of Porto Seguro reflected in the mouth of the river or the palms swaying in the ocean breeze. Carne seca, which is not dry, is a northeastern delicacy, while the filet mignon is enriched with several delicious sauces.

In terms of cuisine, the restaurant’s linguado either grilled or baked with a delcious shrimp sauce, is unbeatable. On the floor in colored tiles is the lagartixa, the lizard symbol of the remarkable resort complex.

The buffet restaurant facing the pool offers mouth watering linguado “a la belle meneure,” chopped filet with mushroom sauce, tasty pastas and diet-busting desserts like cupuau mousse (like chocolate), cheesecake, coconut cake, and chocolate mousse with fruit.

After one has digested the sumptuous fare and has swum in the 50 meter long sinuous swimming pool facing the ocean, or has bathed in the ocean 5 meters away, the visitor might want to summon up enough energy to take an excursion. Among the more exotic trips is a boat ride to Itaquena Beach, an isolated spot in the Arraial d’Ajuda district, with soft sandy beaches clear water and a protected mangue, or wetlands area. One can arrange a horseback ride through the beach and Rio dos Frades with the Arraial d’Ajuda eco resort. There are other excursions by boat along the Coast of Discovery, Praia de Pitinga, Trancoso, Rio Buranhem and deep sea fishing, as well as Land Rover trips to Praia do Espelho and Caraiva. Then of course there is the Eco Resort with enormous swimming pools and high toboggans for the brave.

Among the many restaurants in Arraial d’Ajuda are Corujão, a bar and restaurant on the beach, Aipi, in the Beco do Jegue, and Dom Fabrizio, restaurant and pizzaria, and for late night “agito” there is always Girassol.

Previous articles by Sol Biderman:

Brazil: Dolly Moreno – A Great Sculptress of the Americas
Brazil: Stephen Henriques in Manaus
Brazil: The Stunning Abstracts of Renata Rosa
Brazil: Doris Lessing Still Surprises at 86
Brazil Art Review: Raquel Cararo
Brazil Art Review: Guilherme de Faria
Brazilian Art: Rimbaud and the music of colors in Stephen Henriques
Brazilian Art: A tale of 3 Angelicas
Aravena and Aravenism in Chile and Brazil
São Paulo Hotel Guide: L’Hotel

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