Given most Brazilians don’t even know of its existence, working out where to stay, and finding Boipeba’s best pousada took me a while. After much research I came across the luxury Pousada Mangabeiras. Realising I was sighing out loud at the gorgeous pictures on the website I contacted its owners (a lovely Brazilian couple who speak English which is another major plus), who very kindly offered me a complimentary stay here. After a seven-hour journey to get to Boipeba (click here for my blog post on how to get from Salavdor to Boipeba) we were knackered. So all we wanted was to get to the Pousada Mangabeiras, Boipeba’s best pousada, and chill out. The only snag was that unlike most of the pousadas dotted close to the beach it was a bit of a hike to get to. And getting to it by foot is the only option as there are no cars on the island of Boipeba.
There was plenty of huffing and puffing, the odd bit of swearing, and gallons of sweating in the midday sun with our backpacks (we’d totally overpacked and I was at this point seriously contemplating abandoning half of the contents) as the Pousada Mangabeiras is about a 25 minute walk from where we were dropped off by the ferry. The first part of the journey isn’t so bad as you walk along the beach (though not fun if your bag has wheels). The killer is the steep incline you have to go up as the Pousada Mangabeiras, Boipeba’s best pousada, is perched on a hilltop overlooking the ocean. It was most definitely a case of “are we nearly there yet” as each time we climbed more steps and turned a corner we thought we were on the home stretch.
As you can see from the incredible view from our balcony (above) it was worth the effort, and then some. If you’re more organised than us and let the pousada know in advance what time you’re arriving they will send someone to meet you and carry your bags for you (they use a wheelbarrow and have a lift pully to get the bags up before you start feeling too guilty). And it’s this sense of isolation and tranquility that makes the Pousada Mangabeiras a real hidden gem and Boipeba’s best pousada. You genuinely feel as if you’re holed up in your own personal paradise.
The pousada consists of 9 bungalows, each with its own hammock and ocean view (some have hot tubs too) and is more of a boutique resort as opposed to a B&B type pousada. It’s one, if not the only, pousada in Boipeba to have its own swimming pool. Boipeba’s best pousada also has a restaurant so on at least one night we couldn’t be bothered to go back down into town.
On our second day we discovered a games room, up the staircase from the bar area, complete with a library, dart board, chess and a collection of DVDs in both English and Portuguese available to borrow. It also makes a welcome hideaway from the rain – we had two days of it chucking it down in Boipeba.
Breakfast is a lavish affair. Fresh fruit (the mango was divine) was followed by a bread basket and plate of cheese and ham and a selection of warm muffins and cakes. These change on a daily basis to include savoury tarts and sticky rice with passion fruit sauce – my favourite was the moist ginger cake. If you’re not full enough already there’s also the option of a hot dish with a choice of tapioca, fried or scrambled eggs, omelette or a towering mound of couscous mixed with tomato and cheese. Obviously as we were there for three days we managed to try all of the aforementioned.
Don’t come to Boipeba of you’re looking to party, head to the neighbouring island of Morro de Säo Paulo, as it’s pretty quiet. We were in bed by around 9pm but all the rooms in the Pousada Mangabeiras are kitted out with flat screen TVs and have Sky so we managed to find some English films. But a Boipeba honeymoon would be ideal. Boipeba is home to some of Brazil’s best beaches and is still relatively untouched, so its easy to spend quality time together here. Although, the opulent surroundings make it difficult to tear yourself away from the Pousada Mangabeiras, Boipeba’s best pousada. And when it comes to checking out, remember to take advantage of the baggage service on offer and get someone to help with your bags. Though you won’t be as keen to leave this hidden gem and Boipeba’s best pousada as you are to get there!