Itaúnas is located in the northernmost part of the state of Espírito Santo, at about 260 km (161.56 miles) from Vitória. The town's fame was gained because of forró, a type of dance popular in Northeastern Brazil, as well as the type of music which accompanies the dance. Every July, Itaúnas is the host of the National Forró Festival.
Itaúnas is also famous for its dunes. The old town was literally buried by the dunes in the 1960s. Nowadays, the new town is located on the other side of the Itaúnas River.
The whole area is known for its natural beauty, and Itaúnas is also the best support base for those who want to visit the Itaúnas State Park. The area of the park is approximately 3,600 hectares (8.90 acres), stretching from the mouth of Rio Itaúnas (Itaúnas River), in Conceição da Barra, up to the mouth of the Riacho Doce (Doce Stream), on the border of the state of Bahia.
Created in the 1990s, Itaúnas State Park is part of the Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is itself an ecological sanctuary permeated by the Itaúnas River, with 38 km (23.61 mil) of beach and seven different ecosystems: beach, river, swamp, growth of mangroves, sandbank and the Tableland Atlantic Forest.
Flora and fauna
In the park there is a great variety of species from the Brazilian fauna, many of which endangered, such as sloths, capybaras, broad-snouted alligators, otters, parrots, parakeets, maritacas (South American hog-nosed skunks – Conepatus chilensis amazonicus), and jacupengas (Pernelope supercilliaris).
The climate of the area is hot super-humid. The annual average temperature is around 22ºC (71.6° F), with average highs around 28ºC (82.4 °F), and average lows around 18°C (64.4 °F).
Vitória Airport (VIX) - also known as Eurico Salles Airport - in the capital city of Vitória, is the closest airport to Itaúnas. It receives daily flights from most state capitals in the country. Among the main airlines serving the airport are TAM and Gol. A number of smaller carriers also serve the airport, including Azul, TEAM, and TRIP.
It is necessary to go by bus to Conceição da Barra (29 km, 18.02 miles, from the park), and from there take a regular bus service to Itaúnas (several daily departures).
- Águia Branca, ☎ 0800 725 1211. It takes 4 hours and 35 minutes to commute between the capital Vitória and Conceição da Barra. As of August 2010, the round-trip costs around R$ 80.
Itaúnas is located at around 280 km from Vitória. Head north on the BR-101 highway, then take the ES-422 to Conceição da Barra (you will find it after passing over São Mateus). From Conceição da Barra, drive 27 km through a dirt road until arrival in Itaúnas.
The park’s dunes and beaches stand out as the main attractions for the visitors.
- Tamar Project. It has an exhibition center for visitors, video exhibition, and environmental education activities concerning sea turtles.
Itaúnas is famous for its forró, a kind of traditional dance music with accordion, triangle, and zabumba (a kind of bass drum). In the summer months there are many forró events organized, and you can kick off your shoes and dance the night away on the sand.
Sandboarding on the dunes has been prohibited by IBAMA.
- Horse Ride. It is possible to ride from the beach up to Riacho Doce (Doce Stream). The ride lasts three hours on average.
- Buggy Ride. The buggy ride is done on the sands of the beautiful Costa Dourada (Golden Coast) and Riacho Doce (Doce Stream) beaches. It lasts the whole day, stopping for lunch and for an afternoon snack.
- Kayak or Canoe Trips. On this you go up the Itaúnas River, up to the junction with the Angelim River. It lasts two hours on average.
- Itaúnas. It is inside of the Itaúnas State Park, and it is surrounded by the dunes that buried the old town in the 1960's. There are many stands at the seaside there.
- Riacho Doce (Doce Stream). It is a wild stream that is cut in its whole extension by brooks of dark waters. Beautiful coral formations can be seen.
- Costa Dourada (Golden Coast). It has high cliffs – over eight meters (26.25 feet) in height – and corals, brooks, as well as mangrove vegetation.
Itaúnas is the support base to visit the park. The town has good options of lodging and restaurants.
The telephone area code for Itaúnas is 27 (as well as in central and northern parts of Espírito Santo).
- Vitória - The capital of the state of Espírito Santo, famous for its bay, beaches and nightlife.
- Vila Velha - Famous for Convento da Penha (Penha Convent), a hilltop Franciscan convent dating from the 16th century, and the beaches of Praia da Costa, Itapuã, and Coqueiral de Itaparica.
- Guarapari - A popular beach resort town. Famous for its lively ambiance, with many clubs and beach parties, especially during the summer months.
- Domingos Martins - To get a taste of a town colonized by German immigrants, and the famous Pedra Azul (Blue Rock).
- Santa Teresa - To get a taste of a town colonized by Italian immigrants.
- Rio de Janeiro - World-known city famous for its breathtaking landscape and annual carnival.