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“Experience your own paradise at the Santa Clara”

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Pousada Santa Clara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 January 2014

After 2 weeks in Brazil, with visits to the caves in PETAR, Sao Paulo State, and Iguacu falls, we came to Boipeba on the promise from reviewers of a paradise like no other. They were not wrong, but it is more than that, it really is the promised land. At its heart is the Santa Clara. This is the most perfect Pousada, hosted by Charles and supported by his happy, friendly and most capable staff. Charles greeted us with true warmth and we immediately felt at home, and it stayed like this throughout our 7 days on the island. We even met Santa Clara herself (Charles and Marks Mum). Charles can arrange many trips and tours, just ask. Our room was clean, comfortable, well furnished with hammock, mosquito net and fridge with cold drinks at retail prices. Breakfast and dinner were superb (well done Mark), you will not need to eat anywhere else. We had an upstairs room (number 5), so we could leave shutters open for the sea breeze, and the sounds of the sea, the boats and the rain forest. Ignore the comments about no air conditioning, and noise from the natural elements. You are on a remote tropical island where temperatures are routinely in the 30's. It is not a resort, it is nature at its best. You just need to do your homework and come prepared.
For those of you, like we were, who are anxious about getting to Boipeba, you should not worry, Charles can arrange everything, and at a reasonable cost. We opted to stay in Salvador overnight (at the Pousada Estrela do Mar), before and after our stay on the island, leaving our main luggage in their safe keeping, and taking only the requisite Havianas, shorts, shirts, swimming things and sun cream. Charles advised on the ferry crossing from Sao Joacquim to Bom Despacho, and he had a car waiting to take us to Graciosa where we were picked up by speed boat for the final leg to Boipeba, and a landing on a soft sandy beach. Savour the whole experience, there is not a better way to arrive at a holiday destination.
As for Boipeba itself, it exceeded our expectations. It is safe, the people are friendly and dedicated to preserving what they have. Miles of empty sandy beaches within easy walking, places to eat, drink and relax. We had a lobster lunch at one of beach bars, and slept off in the afternoon in one of their hammocks. We spent several evenings at the same bar watching the sun set. On our last day we just relaxed at a beach bar, people watched, sipping cold cerveja whilst paddling our feet in the water. In between, we walked to Morere along beautiful beaches at low tide, crossed a river and hitched a ride back on a random tractor. Be prepared, you might have to walk back! We lounged on the many beaches, looked in rock pools. We went on an early morning nature walk with a guide, into the centre of the island, ate pineapple cut fresh from the field. By far the highlight was the snorkelling which Charles arranged this with Marta, she was a brilliant knowledgeable guide and included underwater photographs of our adventure. We even went back for a second experience . We missed out on the canoe trip to the mangroves, so will save that until the next time, because this is an island paradise where there has to be a next time.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GrahamFB2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 January 2014

We spent four days on this idyllic island and this was made possible by Charles at Santa Clara. We did not know what to expect as we travelled by catamaran to San Paulo de Morro. Arriving in Boipeba by boat to be greeted by a sea of people in the water and on land. The accommodation was everything in we were looking for. Very casual and not at all pretentious with Charles being the perfect host and it was very much 'home from home'. Nothing was too much. We ate at the best restaurant on the island which happened to be Santa Clara with the food prepared by Mark, Charles brother. It happened to be the best food we had whilst in Brazil. Flavourings and combinations amazing. Come here and be seduced. We only returned yesterday and already are planning our return.

Room Tip: There are different styles and not all rooms have air conditioning. If this is a prerequisite then a...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank PriscillaLondonuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

This is truly a wonderful place to stay for your much needed holiday. Everything is so considered, clean & perfect - from the location to the rooms, from the breakfast to the evening meal, from the guests to the amazing hosts. Thank you so much for my paradise holiday, I will definitely return. Xx

Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
1  Thank Brightonhelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

After finding Santa Clara and Boipeba 5 years ago through a Sunday Times article, I feel it is time to write a review. We have come each year for 2 weeks in December every year since. We have never returned anywhere else on holiday so this in itself is a testament to Santa Clara. What we love about the place is the complete get-away-from-it-all feel, the tropical surroundings, the amazing friendliness and helpfulness of Charles and the staff, the food, and the simplicity away from the busyness of modern life.
The rooms are simple and comfortable and kept very clean. There is no air conditioning, but you are kept cool by ceiling fans and the sea breeze. There is a fridge, en-suite, wifi and an outside hammock and seating. The food is the best we have ever had on holidays. Consistently wonderful breakfasts and evening meals are an amazing fusion of the best of Brazilian and Western influences - thank you Mark.
The island itself is not a typical resort, which is a major bonus for us. There are no big hotels, no swimming pools, no manicured beaches and no roads, and hardly any people. The beach nearest the pousada is not eroded as some have suggested, it is just a constantly changing environment reflecting the ebb and flow of the tides typical of an island. The wind is generally a light breeze, but occasionally it gets a bit stronger and this can make the sea a bit rougher. But take a walk along the coast and you will be on a beach facing a different direction when the sea will be calm and amazing shades of turquoise, and hot. There are literally miles of seriously glorious and empty beaches backed by palm trees and a short walk along the beach will be rewarded by a beach virtually to yourself. Boipeba is in the tropics and so it does sometimes rain, normally though it is short and sharp. In all the years we have been coming, we have only had rain during the day on 3 days. Of course, if you are only on a 2 day stay you may be very unlucky.
If you expect an all-inclusive resort-type experience this may not be for you but if you want peace, beauty and being looked after really well, this is the place to come.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JDClitheroe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

My husband booked two weeks of sheer paradise at the Santa Clara with Charles and his very talented brother (bar three days when they were fully booked).
It was the most beautiful, relaxed, pretty, well kept, magically secret hideaway on earth.
Charles is front of house and is the most helpful host imaginable, going out of his way with his superior local knowledge, getting us great deals as he is so well respected on the island.
The brothers are supported by the friendliest group of staff who seem to keep the place as clean as a pin. Charles' brother, who I feel terrible as I cannot recall his name, slaves away in the kitchen creating the most amazing food. We ate there pretty much every night as when we had our 100 course breakfast I. The morning, the evenings menu would be placed up, and the set menu was always too incredible to resist. Boipeba is a very special place, Santa Clara Poussada and its well oiled machine of a team make Boipeba a very difficult place to beat.
The most relaxed I have ever been.
Sadly a new house and lots of renovation mean it will be a few years before we return, but we have the best memories to keep us warm through our cold Cornish Winter.....

It has been a year since our holiday and

Room Tip: Every room is magic, air con is not in every room, but it depends if you want it!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Scaryinaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2013

Boipeba is certainly an adventure to get to. We flew in by small plane - followed by a fun jeep ride and a little boat trip. This flight was brilliant - and was all organised by one of the owners of the Pousada, Charles. Our trip went smoothly... though rumour has it that these small airlines can cancel unexpectantly, which is entirely out of Charles's control. We were just lucky I guess... And this flight was a highlight.

We weren't as lucky with the weather unfortunately. We had torrential rain pretty much non-stop for the whole 6 days we were there. This is apparently very unusual for October, so it was just an unfortunate thing. We were also there when the tides weren't at their best (this island is very dependant on tides... it might be good to check what the tides are doing when you plan to go...)

As a previous reviewer mentioned, the island is suffering from erosion. But all fixable I think, by creating some sort of wall around the beaches. This erosion is also apparently different at different times of the year - so again, we might have just been a bit unlucky with the time we were there. Also, this seems to be most evident around the port - walk along the beaches and erosion seems like a distant memory... there are miles of beautiful beaches that you can explore (and most likely have all to yourself!)

In particular - the beach Bainema was great... we walked there and caught a tractor back from Morere... Perhaps the pousadas should band together and get a tractor service up and running a couple of times a day, as it is a brilliant way to get to other side of island and see lovely beaches...

The Pousada itself is a lovely retreat - which was good as we were inside most of the time due to the weather. Charles and his team do their best to make you feel at home and address any needs you might have. The restaurant is great - we ate there every night apart from one. I'm a vegetarian, and every evening it was explained to me what I can eat, with special care made to accommodate me. (Very kind...) Breakfasts are plentiful... fruit, juice, coffee, a hot dish, bread, cheese, cake... Definitely fills you up for the day.

The evening we didn't eat here, we ate at Panela De Barro (recommended by Charles) - a yellow restaurant opposite the pharmacy in the square. It's a local family run restaurant, and the chef was Georgina - it was absolutely brilliant food, with delicious fresh vegetables... We highly recommend a visit here too - a great experience, with great food.

The Pousada room we stayed in was simple, but had everything in it you needed. Our room had a balcony and hammock, which was great for spending time in. The room had a fridge and there was space to hang up your clothing. I don't think any of the rooms would have a sea view, but you can hear the sound of the waves from your bed (which is nice).

We were heading to Camamu after we left the Pousada, and again Charles kindly organised this for us. It was a fun exit too - a private speedboat followed by a taxi. The speedboat trip was especially good... But at 600R for the two of us, this was by far the most expensive transfer of our trip. There are apparently cheaper options available though, which might be worth looking into.

All in all, this Pousada is definitely good value for money and having walked around a lot of the island, we were pleased with our choice of place to stay.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tiberius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

I was looking for somewhere slightly off the beaten path during my trip to Brazil, and stumbled across Boipeba. Doing my own research, I was stressing at how complicated the travel plan would be to arrive here. After consulting with Charles via email, I was already pleased at how knowledgeable and responsive he was and was reassured this trip would be worth it. He provided great advice and arranged all our travel for us (a ferry from Salvador to Mar Grande, then a private taxi to Graciosa followed by speedboat).

Upon arrival, we were greeted as if we were visiting friends. He gave us an overview of the island and a map, gave his recommendations of what we should do with our fairly limited time, and invited us to join them for dinner at the restaurant. The rooms were spacious, comfortable and clean. The food was so good the first night, we ate here the remainder of our stay. Everyone was so friendly, the beaches were beautiful, and we were truly relaxed exploring the island by foot. I would highly recommend anyone visiting to spend some time relaxing in Boipeba. It is worth the time spent traveling to arrive here.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jc2780
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pousada Santa Clara

Address: Travessa da Praia, #5,, Ilha de Boipeba, State of Bahia, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Bahia > Ilha de Boipeba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 54 B&Bs / Inns in Ilha de Boipeba
Price Range: £67 - £120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Pousada Santa Clara Hotel Boipeba

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