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Modern Medicine’s High Blood Pressure Cure – Morro de Sao Paulo

Physician orders. Ash: 134 over 87. Greg: 137 over 82. Our blood pressure had reached dangerous levels in Rio de Janeiro. Doc’s prescription was rather simple: relaxation, rest, tasty eats, and surfing.

Morro's FortSomehow our backpacks beat us to the baggage claim in Salvador and we were off to Mercado Modelo for a two hour catamaran ride to Morro de Sao Paulo. Several reliable (hey, we will take any advice) sources suggested a trip to Brazil’s northeast coast would only be complete with a stop on this lively island. What a gem “Morro” turned out to be… beautiful, deserted beaches, parties, etc.

It also happened to be my 23rd birthday – we can all fib now and then! Ashley’s fantastic parents and Grandma June treated us to an incredible bungalow getaway on Morro’s 4th beach. Anima Hotel’s location ensures your tranquility as access is limited to an adventurous 25 minute van ride or two hour beach stroll. After a soundtrack of insects accompanied our dreams, mornings were met with singing parakeets. It is hard to beat a piping hot mug of Brazilian coffee, a tapioca omelet, and crashing waves to kick off the day.

Incredible Bungalow Beach Road 






 Being in the tropics, the weather forecast was met with suspicion. On rainy days we caught up on sleep, shopped along the sand road in Vila, or watched drenched visitors dodge muddy puddles over caipirinhas. The bungalows were even outfitted with hammocks from which I could examine the daily life of brilliant red crabs.

Beach #2Sunny days were glorious. Morro’s 2nd beach turns into a festival of art, dancing, sports, food, and surfing. Cold Skol cervezas in hand ($0.90 each), we watched the locals practicing Capoeira as the tide lapped at their tan feet. Confident that my balance and coordination were sufficient, I rented a surfboard for two hours and floated by helplessly as the pre-teens kept snaking my waves. No worries though… my back got one hell of a burn. Another day was spent island hopping aboard a small boat and we even slurped down raw oysters right from a nearby river. Ash was hilarious as she probed her one and only oyster after insisting the tiniest one would suffice. She did enjoy the Jamaican BBQ dinner on the beach over candlelight after Morro’s electric grid crashed for 3 hours. Not even my clumsy glass shattering maneuver with the red wine bottle could ruin it!

Beach parties until sunrise, various activities, and endless stretches of sand truly make Morro de Sao Paulo an island paradise. It attracts hipsters, Israeli soldiers, and honeymooners alike. Perhaps some future event will require a similar prescription.

- Greg


  1. The Birthday Timeout ferry from Salvador to Morro isn’t cheap ($42 each way), but you can save a total of $10 if you book a roundtrip ticket at Salvador’s port of Mercado Modelo.

  2. The all day surfboard rental may seem like a good deal, but paddling wears on the novice’s shoulders. Opt for the per hour rate of $6 from any surf shop.

  3. Beach #2 may be where all the action is, but if you prefer a quiet night sleep at a cheaper price, check out Beach #3. Then spend all the money you saved on fresh fruit drinks at 2:00am.

  4. The Jamaican BBQ on Beach #2 is a great deal. $15 for all the sausage, steak, pork, pasta, and salad that you can handle. Skip lunch and enjoy an early dinner.

  • Morro de São paulo

    Nice way to cure!

  • Morro de São paulo

    Well done!

  • fofs

    Love your island!

    - Greg

  • dirkdiggler69

    Looks slammin'.

  • Kim Dietz

    Now that's my idea of a trip!

  • fofs

    Kim – You do love the beach… only problem is getting to Morro from
    North America. You would be looking at 3 full travel days (there and
    back) from Chicago.

    - Greg

  • stacykromenhoek

    I don't think you guys have plans to go to Ecuador or the Galapagos but I have a friend in Cuenca. She said it isn't too difficult to get to the islands from there. If you change your plans and want a place to stay or a guide – let me know. She is quite possibly one of the nicest people on the planet. Peace out!!

    Stacy K

  • fofs

    Stacy – Thanks for the offer! Sadly, the Galapagos will have to wait
    until Year 20 of FollowOurFootsteps…

    - Ash & Greg

  • Addie

    Wish we were there it's already getting to cold here!!

  • Addie

    Wish we were there it's already getting to cold here!!

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