South Espírito Santo Travel Guide

Plan your trip to South Espírito Santo with this comprehensive guide featuring the top attractions, activities, local food, lodging options, and more.

Introduction to South Espírito Santo

Located in the southeast of Brazil, South Espírito Santo is a region that has something for everyone. With its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural beauty, and outdoor adventures, South Espírito Santo is a destination that offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

List of Places to Visit in South Espírito Santo

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

South Espírito Santo boasts an impressive array of cultural attractions. The region is home to several museums and historical sites that offer insights into the area’s rich history and cultural heritage. Some of the must-visit attractions in this category are:

  • Museu Histórico de Anchieta
  • Convento da Penha
  • Casa da Memória de Cachoeiro de Itapemirim
  • Museu de Arte Sacra de Vitória
  • Palácio Anchieta

Natural Attractions of South Espírito Santo: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

South Espírito Santo is renowned for its stunning natural beauty. The region’s diverse landscapes range from sandy beaches and turquoise waters to lush rainforests and rugged mountains. Some of the best natural attractions in this category are:

  • Parque Estadual da Pedra Azul
  • Praia dos Castelhanos
  • Praia da Costa
  • Parque Natural Municipal da Gruta da Onça
  • Parque Estadual de Itaúnas

Hiking/Biking Routes of South Espírito Santo

South Espírito Santo is a paradise for adventure-seekers and nature lovers. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails that offer spectacular views and opportunities to explore the region’s natural beauty up close. Some of the best routes in this category are:

  • Trilha da Meia Ponte
  • Pedra Azul Circuit
  • Trilha do Cipó
  • Gruta do Limoeiro
  • Trilha do Lagarto

Best Things to Do in South Espírito Santo: Activities and Tours

South Espírito Santo offers a plethora of activities and tours that cater to different interests and tastes. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, an adrenaline-pumping adventure, or a cultural immersion experience, this region has something for everyone. Some of the best things to do in South Espírito Santo are:

  • Visit the historic city of Vila Velha
  • Explore the Parque Estadual da Pedra Azul
  • Go whale watching in Guarapari
  • Tour the vineyards of Domingos Martins
  • Experience the vibrant nightlife of Vitória

Week-Long Itinerary for South Espírito Santo

A week-long itinerary is a great way to explore the best of South Espírito Santo. Here’s a suggested itinerary that covers some of the region’s most popular attractions:

Day 1: Arrive in Vitória, explore the city’s historic center and hit the beach.

Day 2: Visit the Convento da Penha and head to Vila Velha to see the Forte de São Francisco Xavier and Praia da Costa.

Day 3: Explore the Parque Estadual da Pedra Azul and go horseback riding in the surrounding scenic areas.

Day 4: Take a boat tour of the Escadaria São Diogo and stop at Praia dos Castelhanos for some sun and sand.

Day 5: Tour the vineyards in Domingos Martins and visit the Pedra Azul artisanal market.

Day 6: Spend the day bird watching in the Parque Natural Municipal da Gruta da Onça and go on an adventure sports excursion.

Day 7: Depart from Vitória or extend your trip to explore more of South Espírito Santo’s attractions.

Food and Drink Scene of South Espírito Santo

South Espírito Santo’s cuisine is a melting pot of flavors and influences. The region is known for its fresh seafood, traditional dishes, and fusion cuisine that draws inspiration from the native indigenous and European cultures. Here’s a look at some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Moqueca (seafood stew)
  • Feijão Tropeiro (bean stew)
  • Vatapá (peanut and shrimp-based stew)
  • Doce de Abóbora (pumpkin sweet)

Local Beverages

  • Cachaça (distilled sugarcane spirit)
  • Guarapari (fruit punch)
  • Coffee
  • Beer

Where to Stay in South Espírito Santo: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

South Espírito Santo offers a wide range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious beach resort, a cozy guesthouse, or a budget-friendly hostel, you’ll find something that meets your needs. Some of the best lodging options in the region are:

  • Villa Hostel & Suítes in Vila Velha
  • Hotel Solar do Imperador in Domingos Martins
  • Pousada Mangue Seco in Guarapari
  • Sheraton Vitória Hotel in Vitória
  • Pousada do Cravo e Canela in Pedra Azul

What to Buy in South Espírito Santo: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

South Espírito Santo is a shopper’s paradise, offering a plethora of souvenirs and local products that make for great keepsakes. Here are some of the best things to buy in the region:

  • Capixaba spices and condiments
  • Handcrafted ceramics and pottery
  • Jewelry made of local stones
  • Coffee and Cachaça
  • Hand-painted tiles and murals

Local Culture and Customs of South Espírito Santo

South Espírito Santo is known for its warm, friendly, and welcoming locals who are proud of their culture and traditions. Visitors are encouraged to respect local customs and etiquette. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Dress appropriately when visiting churches and other religious sites.
  • Tipping is expected in restaurants and for services provided by tour guides and drivers.
  • Brazilians are affectionate, and it is common to greet or say goodbye to people with a kiss on the cheek.

Best Time to Visit South Espírito Santo

The best time to visit South Espírito Santo is from April to October when the weather is dry and pleasant. The region experiences tropical weather, with high humidity and significant rainfall from November to March. Summer (December to February) is peak tourist season when the beaches are busiest, and prices are higher.

Do’s and Don’ts of South Espírito Santo


  • Learn some basic Portuguese phrases before your visit.
  • Wear sunscreen and insect repellent when exploring the outdoors.
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and travel documents with you at all times.


  • Leave valuables unattended on the beach.
  • Get too close to wildlife or stray from designated hiking trails.
  • Wear political or religious symbols that may offend locals.

Safety and Health

Safety in South Espírito Santo

South Espírito Santo is a relatively safe destination, but visitors should exercise caution and take basic safety precautions. Avoid unlit areas at night, keep valuable possessions out of sight, and be careful when withdrawing cash from ATMs.

Health in South Espírito Santo

Visitors to South Espírito Santo should take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika and dengue fever. It’s also advisable to drink bottled water and avoid consuming food from street vendors.

Getting to South Espírito Santo: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near South Espírito Santo

The main airport in South Espírito Santo is the Eurico de Aguiar Salles Airport in Vitória. The airport is serviced by several domestic airlines and offers direct flights to major cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Bus Stations Near South Espírito Santo

South Espírito Santo has several bus stations that connect to other cities in the region. The Vitória bus station is the largest and offers services to destinations throughout Brazil.

Other Options

Visitors can also rent a car or hire a private car service to get around South Espírito Santo. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also available.

How to Get Around in South Espírito Santo

South Espírito Santo offers several transportation options for visitors. The most convenient way to get around is by renting a car or hiring a private car service. Public transportation options include buses and municipal trains. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also available in larger cities like Vitória.

Where to Go Next from South Espírito Santo: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

South Espírito Santo is just a short distance from other popular destinations in Brazil. Visitors can extend their trip to explore some of these exciting destinations:

  • Rio de Janeiro
  • São Paulo
  • Belo Horizonte
  • Ouro Preto
  • Salvador


South Espírito Santo is a destination that has something for everyone. From its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty to its outdoor adventures and gastronomic delights, this region is a paradise for travelers. Use this guide to plan your trip and make the most of your time in South Espírito Santo.