Morro de São Paulo
de Sao Paulo is located on the northernmost portion
of Tinharé Island. This island, along with Boipeba,
Cairú, and 23 other islands compose the Tinharé
archipelago. It is nearly sixty kilometers south of
Salvador, near Valença.
The islands are separated from each other as well as
from the mainland by wide channels with mangrove vegetation,
which is why many places are still uninhabited or rarely
visited, since navigation is strongly dependant on tides
land access is nearly impossible .
The most accessible part of the archipelago is the eastern
coast. Here, although the water is deepest, the beaches
are protected by reefs and only some specific spots
are accessible. The channel at the north of the island
is also deep, although with a few sand banks. It is
the route taken to Ponta do Curral and Valença,
both on the mainland. The remaining channels are shallow
and tricky. Only those who know the region very well
dare to travel by them depending on the tide.
The archipelago covers nearly 450 square kilometers,
with Tinharé Island covering about 54% of this
area. Boipeba and Cairú have about the same size,
each covering 20% of the total area. The other 23 islands
cover the remaining 7%.
The highest points are on Tinharé and are both
located on the north (the lighthouse), and on the northeast
(Galeão), while the rest of the island is mostly
flat and only a few meters above sea-level. On the other
hand, Cairú and Boipeba are not as flat, however
the elevations do not exceed 80 meters above sea-level.
There are virtually no roads on the islands, mostly
tracks that are traveled on foot, horseback or (on favorable
conditions) by tractor. Wooden boats are used to transport
Villages are situated along the shoreline and navigable
channels. The following villages are found at Tinharé
Island: Morro de Sao Paulo, Gamboa, Galeão, Zimbo,
Garapuá and Canavieira. Velha Boipeba, Moreré,
Monte Alegre e São Sebastião or Cova da
Onça are all villages at Boipeba. Finally, the
island of Cairú, aside from having a city of
the same name, also shelters Torrinhas. There are 11.410
people living on this set of islands, and though the
islands differ in size, the population is distributed
rather equally among these three.
The locals are dependant mostly on marine-related activities,
particularly fishing, and more recently, on tourism.
They are composed by African and European descendants,
some Dutch but mostly Portuguese, and some native indians.
The residents are generally very quiet and friendly,
usually very humble and happy to have visitors.
Most of the islands were covered by Atlantic Forest,
although today a large part of this area is occupied
by tremendous coconut tree cultivation. In spite of
this, there is still a considerable area with original
cover. There are also some areas of dry coastal forest
(restinga), although the most remarkable ecosystem here
is the mangrove, nesting place of a great multitude
of marine life and a source of income for most of the
Since 1992 both Tinharé and Boipeba are considered
an area of environmental conservation. However, there
are still some problems to overcome, such as the storage
of garbage, although some goals have been accomplished,
like sewage treatment. Some NGO stimulate more lucrative
and environmentally correct alternatives to the ones
carried out today by local inhabitants. It is clear
that the future of this archipelago is a responsibility
of everyone: local population, public and business sectors,
as well as tourists.
|Location in Brazil
|Cities and roads in
South of Bahia State
|Beaches and islands
of the arquipelago
|Streets and historical
monuments of the Village