Vasco Coutinho landed on the captainship on May 23, 1535, at today Prainha, in Vila Velha, where he founded the first settlement. Since it was the Octave of Pentecost, the donee named it Espírito Santo (Holy Spirit), as homage to the third person of the Holy Trinity.
In order to colonize the land, Vasco Coutinho divided the captainship in sesmarias – abandoned lands that, after this system inclusion, should be cultivated, promoting agriculture and productivity. These “lots” were distributed among the 60 colonizers who came with him.
In Vila Velha the Portuguese would suffer constant attacks from Tupis, indigenous people who inhabited the region. In 1549 Vasco Coutinho looked for a safer place and chose the mountainous island where he founded a new nucleus, named Vila Nova do Espírito Santo, currently Vitória, and the first village started to be called Vila Velha.
The fights against the Indians continued until September 8, 1551, when the Portuguese obtained a great victory and, to mark the fact, the locality started to be called Vila da Vitória and the date is considered as the city foundation date. Vitória also became known as the honey island, because, when seen from a distant, the amount of corn in the island created a golden landscape. The word ‘capixaba’, referring to those who are born in Espírito Santo, comes from the Tupi language and means corn field.
During his 25 years as donee, Vasco Coutinho performed important works. In addition to building the two villages, he also built the two first local churches: Rosário church, founded in 1551 (the oldest church in Brazil, still active) and São João church, both in Vila Velha.
The first sugar mills, chief product of the economy for three centuries, were also built. A delicacy that dominated absolutely until 1850, when it was replaced by coffee. In 1551, father Afonso Brás founded São Tiago School and Church, in Vitória. This building, after successive reforms, became the current Palácio Anchieta, seat of the State Government.
With the arrival of Jesuit missionaries, the localities of Serra, Nova Almeida and Santa Cruz were founded in 1556. Padre José de Anchieta was outstanding in the task of catechizing the region Indians, and founded the city of Anchieta, having chosen to live in Espírito Santo until the end of his life.
In 1558, the coming of Friar Pedro Palácios would result in the foundation of the main religious monument of the State: the Penha Convent, in Vila Velha. It is a homage to Our Lady of Penha, Espírito Santo patroness.
Espírito Santo is located in the Southeast region of Brazil, bordering the states of Bahia at north, Minas Gerais at west, Rio de Janeiro at south, and the Atlantic Ocean at east. It is at west of Greenwich Meridian and at south of Equator, with time zone of three hours less in relation to the world GMT hour. Its capital is Vitória. The state territory comprises 46, 184.1 km², the estimated population in 2015 is 3,929,911 (Source: IBGE). Those born in Espírito Santo are called ‘capixaba’ or ‘espírito-santense’.
The state relief is characterized by coastal flatland (40% of the territory) and hills (inland). Its relief is formed by crystalline rocks, chiefly gneiss and granite. Along the Atlantic coast, there is a stretch of plain and towards inland, the plateau originates a highland area, with altitudes superior to 2,000 meters.
With varying width, Espírito Santo marshland follows along the whole capixaba coast, from Bahia border to the border with Rio de Janeiro. The coastal region is rocky at the south with arenite sea cliffs, and also at its central part, with large hills and granitic bassets at seashore, being also cut with bays and inlets. It is sandy at north, with long open air beaches covered by undergrowth vegetation. Highlight to Itaúnas dunes, at Espírito Santo extreme north.
At 1,140 km from the coast, in the Atlantic Ocean, is Trindade island, and Martim Vaz islands, 30 km from Trindade. In the whole, there are 73 islands located along the state coast, 50 of them in Vitória.
Another relief unit are plateaus and hills, occupying 60% of the state territory. Espírito Santo is crowned by mountain massifs, among which Serra do Caparaó peaks are outstanding, in the state southeast, next to the border with Minas Gerais, where is Pico da Bandeira (2,892m), the third highest peak in the country, located in Ibitirama municipality.
Castelo city holds Forno Grande peak, an imponent rocky basset 2,070 m high, the highest spot of Serra do Castelo. There are several smaller bassets, however important, like Pedra Azul, with 1,822 m, also known as Pedra do Lagarto (the lizard stone), due to a salience shaped like a lizard climbing along its hillside. At the background, in the same granite and gneiss rocky formation, we can view Pedra das Flores, 1,909 meters high.
At northeast, the highlands reduce a little, however there are some rocky elevations, the ‘capixaba pontões’, among wich the formations in Pancas city are outstanding.
Espírito Santo state climate is humid tropical, with average annual temperatures between 22º and 24º C and rainfall volume superior to 1,400 mm per year, particularly concentrated during summer.
Doce River is the most important in the state, with 853 km from the fountainhead. It starts in Minas Gerais state and runs to the Atlantic Ocean, in Linhares city. São Mateus river, at the north, Itaúnas, Itapemirim and Jucu rivers are also outstanding, in addition to Santa Maria da Vitória river, which runs to Vitória bay and Itabapoana river, separating Espírito Santo from Rio de Janeiro.
Linhares municipality counts on 69 ponds, forming the largest pond complex in the southeast region. The most famous of them is Juparanã, 38 km long, the largest in Brazil in fresh water volume and the second largest in geographical extension.
Espírito Santo vegetation comprises tropical forest and coastal vegetation.
Espírito Santo is a melting pot in terms of cultural diversity. The rich combination is a mix of indigenous and African usages and traditions, and those from the different immigrants (Italian, German, Pomeranian, Lebanese, among others) who settled in the state. Cultural manifestations are unique and can be observed through the dances, feasts, handicraft and usages of each municipality.
Congo is the most traditional capixaba rhythm, known across the whole state. It refers to slaves, devotion saints, love, and the sea. Besides Congo, Ticumbi is also remarkable, with violas and tambourines, and singing with verses and rhymes praising St Benedict. The National Meeting of Folia de Reis and Boi Pintadinho, during Carnival, in Muqui municipality, are other traditional capixaba cultural manifestations.
The clay pot is the greatest representation of capixaba handicraft and culture. Of indigenous origin, it is a tradition passed down from mother to daughters for at least 400 years. The clay pot fabrication is protected by the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan).
Espírito Santo counts on a rich historical-cultural heritage as well. It is possible to travel between past and present in houses of Muqui, with over 200 buildings protected, in São Mateus Port, in Santa Leopoldina, which received D. Pedro II visit, in Penha Convent, and in buildings in Vitória centre.
Espírito Santo has a strong vocation to religious tourism. In addition to monuments, manifestations occur during the whole year and respond for a large part of the touristic movement in the state. The most important of them is Penha Feast, a homage to the state patroness, which receives around 1.5 million tourists and visitors during the eight days of celebrations, in Greater Vitória, particularly at Penha Convent.
Another very popular religious manifestation is Festa de São Benedito St Benedict Feast), a tradition celebrated in several municipalities of the state. In addition to those, Passos de Anchieta (Anchieta Steps), Corpus Christi Feast in Castelo with its carpets and Circuito Caminhos da Sabedoria (Wisdom Path Circuit) reflect this search for faith and spirituality, always so present in the state history and culture.
With regard to monuments, in Vitória, the Metropolitan Cathedral – built in the 20th century, in Neo-Gothic style, with its precious stained glass windows -, and St Antônio Basilica-Sanctuary – built during the sixties, with three cupolas, in baroque style, a replica of an Italian temple form the 16th century consecrated to Mary, in the Italian city of Todi.
Rosário church, in Vila Velha, is the oldest Brazilian church, still active, a construction started in 1535, soon after the done arrival, as chapel. At that time, a larger aisle was built, being name Santa Catarina Church, which was later replaced by Rosário Church. Rosário Church is also protected by “IPHAN” (Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage).
Another capixaba historical church is the Three Magi Church. Located in Nova Almeida, Serra, the church is one of the chief specimens of the Brazilian Jesuit architectural patrimony, for being one of the edifications that suffered less interferences along the centuries after its construction. The architectural complex is formed by a square and is built at 40 meters of altitude against sea level.
Our Lady of the Assumption Church, or the National Anchieta Sanctuary, in Anchieta, is one of the oldest in Brazil, and, according to the tradition, its construction occurred thanks to Saint José de Anchieta. It was built in the 16th century by the catechized Indians.
Other municipalities also count on very important historical/religious monuments, among them, it is worth highlighting: Tirol Church, in Santa Leopoldina, built in 1898, in Neo-Gothic style; Our Lady of Penha Mother Church, in Alegre municipality, built with potter’s earth and wood in 1851; Our Lady of Neves Church, built by the middle of the 17th century, in Praia das Neves, Presidente Kennedy; and Our Lady of Amparo Church, the chief historical milestone in Itapemirim municipality, inaugurated in 1885.
The state also holds the Zen Monastery Morro da Vargem, the first Buddhist monastery in Latin America, located in Ibiraçu municipality.
– Penha Convent:The most visited touristic atraction in the state is in Vila Velha, Penha Convent, one of Espírito Santo icons, is a sanctuary built by slaves in 1558, on top of a large cliff. Together with Our Lady do Rosário church; the Convent is part of Prainha Historical Site, in Vila Velha.
It is considered the chief religious monument of the state and is a symbol of devotion to Our Lady of Penha. According to a popular version, the picture of Our Lady had disappeared from the cave where the Freier lived and so appointed the place where the Convent should be built, at the top of a 154 m hill. “Ermida das Palmeiras” edification was built around 1560.
– Anchieta Steps: The “Anchieta Steps” walk is the first Christian route in Americas and rescues the route covered by Father José de Anchieta (today Saint José de Anchieta) in his last years of life. During the Corpus Christi Holiday, walkers cover the 105 km, for four days, to repeat the Father route. Around 4 thousand people participate in the event.
– Alardo: Called ‘Bate-flechas’ or dance of the arrows, the folkloric and religious expression praises Saint Sebastian and Saint John the Baptist. The group usually performs in backyards, wearing common clothes, but some like to dress like Indians, with palm skirts, colorful plumes or panaches, beaded necklaces, feather ornaments in arms and ankles. The instruments look like a small music band, but somo groups use only drums. Each dancer holds two arrows that embellish the evolutions and work as rhythm marks, following feet beats.
Boi Pintadinho: In Espírito Santo, the ‘boi pintadinho’ group (painted bull), bumba-meu-boi or boi-janeiro is formed preferably by men. In men groups, drag queens attend, generally using masks. The main characters are the bull, the little she-mule, and the bull guide (cowboy or bullfighter). The bull is built by the group members; the head is bull skull or its reproduction in card board and small bamboos, covered with fabric and always adorned; the body, formed by a bamboo frame, or wood frame, is dressed with colored fabric. The man who performs the dance stays inside it, plays with the public, runs and butts. The little she-mule’s head is made of card board and bamboo frame covered with fabric, with a hollow for the handler, who can be seen from above the waist; sometimes it has two lateral legs, pretending to be a mounted horseman. The guide, usually wearing cowboy clothes, pulls the rope that guides the bull and its movements.
– Capoeira: Capoeira, among other meanings, is fight, for Angolans. For a long time, this was also its chief role in Brazil, used as defense by the slave against the white man who would persecute him. It later started to be a kind of entertainment (play) in feast meetings. Over time, it lost its fight character, acquiring a systematized game technique, with creation of capoeira academies. The first of them was Mestre Bimba’s, founded in Salvador (BA), in 1932. The instrumental set (berimbau, tambourines, guiros, agogôs, timbrels, atabaques) follows the vocal, with own songs repertory and/or borrowed from other manifestations, and leads the rhythm, supporting the beats. As the song, and ginga (swing), capoeira moves are heritages that survive with innovations.
– Congo Band: The most important traditional popular cultural manifestation in Espírito Santo, the Congo Bands, has indigenous origin, however, as of the 19th century, the participation on blacks in the “Indian bands” was recorded, and so, the appropriation of the African slave and native Indians, with syncretism, started to have Saint Benedict as devotional Saint. It is considered a folkloric manifestation, for being a musical group with a simple structure, with dancers and a guide (master), who performs his own choreography, without dramatic text, and other people can be included to participate in this typical capixaba manifestation. Congo Bands’ rhythm is market by drums and guiro. Guiro (casaca) is the typical instrument of Espírito Santo Congo Bands. Drums mark the strong rhythm. When they are not moving around, Congo performers seat on their drums forming a circle; when in movement, the drums are hanged by straps supported on shoulders.
– Folkloric dances: The European costums and traditions are present in Espírito Santo inland hills, with Italian, Pomeranian, German, Dutch and Polish dances that resisted over time, and were passed down to new generations, and are renewed. They were incorporated to the capixaba popular culture and their presentations are demonstrations of pure joy. Many dances require pairs, other are performed in circles, sometimes they involve lines. Though folkloric dances are preserved by repetition, they change over time, but the basic steps and moves, and the music are always very similar to the original style.
– Folia de Reis: Folia de Reis is a Portuguese origin feast, tied to the celebrations of Christmas catholic cult which, brought to Brazil, became stronger during the 19th century, in regions where coffee growing prospered. The tradition of visiting houses is performed by organized groups, many of them motivated by social and philanthropic purposes. Each group is composed of musicians playing instruments, most of them home-made and artisanal, such as drums, guiro, flute and fiddle (type of country violin), in addition to the traditional country guitar and accordion. Songs are always about religious themes, except for the traditional stops for dinner, lunch, or rest of revelers, where lively feasts with singing and typical regional dances are held, like catira, moda de viola and cateretê.
– Jongo: Jongo involves singing, dancing and drums. Of African origin, it came to Brazil through black slaves. Considered the most primitive root of samba, it was diffused across coffee growing regions, a fact that explains its existence almost exclusively in the country southeast. Twelve women, wearing white shirts, skirt, and blue kerchief on the head form the Jongo. Three men follow the group playing drums and one guiro.
– Pastorinhas: Pastorinhas or ‘lapinhas’ are Christmas eve pastorals, traditional characters in many places where cultural roots are kept. With their bows and flower baskets, they ball in front of the nativity scene. Wearing straw hats and dressed with white shirts and plaid skirts, or all in white, they sing their Christmas songs. After the church mass, they cover the streets singing their songs followed by the Catholics, faithful to their devotions. In houses where there is nativity scene, they stop and sing announcing the birth of Jesus – the Saviour of the world. Liqueurs and cookies are served by the house owners. Singing their gratefulness they wave goodbye and proceed to the divine mission of spreading the good news of the arrival of the expected Messiah.
– Reis de Boi: ‘Reis de Boi’ is a ceremony to pay homage to The Three Magi. It is performed during Christmas cycle, extending until Saint Balise day, celebrated on February 03. The ceremony has two parts: one to praise the Three Magi and the other is a drama. It is the most popular folkloric expression in the north of Espírito Santo, witn the “Boi” (bull) as the chief attraction. The “cowboy” drives terrifying animals – group members wearing masks of wolf, ghost, werewolf, seahorse, and others who are part of the collective memory. As soon as the animals come into the scene, children run away frightened and fascinated at the same time. This mix of fear and fascination ensure the celebration popularity. With a stick the march starts, ruling the cowboy tap-dance, who wears an old clothe with the coat inside out, pocket outside and mask. After the exhibition, it stops, breathless, and speaks – tells from where he comes, and tells happenings that everybody knows, but as a satire. Then they sing the call of the “Boi”, which enters the scene dancing, making fun, going round and giving butts. In some groups, when the singing is finished, there is the death and resurrection of the Bull. As soon as the feast star falls the accordionist starts to play the song for the bull division. A chorus sings a burden at each piece sold.
– Ticumbi: Ticumbi is a feast existing in the north of Espírito Santo for over 200 years. At each year the groups choose a theme, represented in their songs, dances and evolutions. The performance moves are choreographed.
The celebration dramatization is simple: the “Reis de Congo” (kings of Congo) and the “Reis de Bamba” (kings of Bamba), two black majesties, want to celebrate, separately, the Saint Benedict feast. There are embassies from both parties, with daring challenges recited by the “secretaries” who play the role of ambassadors. Since no agreement or conciliation is possible, war starts – an exciting fight danced between the opponents. Following the tradition, the Kings of Combo win the contest, submitting the Kings of Bamba and their subordinates to baptism. The celebration ends with the feast paying homage to Saint Benedict, when the members sing and dance the Ticumbi. To perform the Ticumbi, the group is dressed to the occasion. Members wear long white lace-trimmed gowns, with colored ribbons and white trousers with a red lateral line. The head is covered by a white kerchief, a showy helment ornamented with silk paper flowers and long colored ribbons. The king use cardboard paper crowns, richly ornamented with golden or silver paper, showy chest with little mirrors and bright paper flowers, a long cap, and a long sword. The rhythm of scenes is governed by tambourines and tin rattles, called “ganzás” or “canzás”. The guitar is played while the warriors sing.
The traditional capixaba handicraft involves different expressions and historical references, cultural and regional, which are materialized in a creative and unique by the hands of the capixaba people. The origin is the artistic heritage of several ethnic groups that have inhabited the state, like, first of all, indigenous, then the Portuguese colonizers, the black African, and later, the European immigrants.
The handicraft products of Espirito Santo are transformed according to usages, stories and culture of each region and also according to the social and economic situation, being source of income to many families. The diversity includes products made of clay and potter’s earth, musical instruments, shells, stones, and vegetal fibers, sculptures in wood and lacework, functional and decorative.
Espírito Santo counts on around 410 km of coast, and the artisans from coastal cities and villages have developed the sea shell handicraft. Sea shells become art in capixabas’ hands; necklaces, plates, ashtrays, courtains, frames, fittings, souvenirs, among others, are produced, chiefly in Piúma, responsible for the majority of sea shell handicraft products in Brazil.
Another raw material to capixaba handicraft comes from the sea: fish scale handicraft. Having come from Portugal, the practice requires care and skill, and is a long process involving many steps to get to the final product. And the look is delicate, extremely resistant and durable.
The tradition of ceramics art originally indigenous in Espírito Santo, chiefly from three groups: Tupí Guaranis, Aratus and Unas. The raw material, clay, is found across the whole state and is very used in the red ceramics handicraft, chiefly in the north. The pieces are made with a wood lathe, and the potter’s earth allows the creation of the most different pieces, with different techniques, for decorative or utility products.
This type of art has created the most known icon of capixaba handicraft: the clay pot. It is different from the red ceramics, because the final product presents black color, result of the confection and burn process. The potter’s earth used, tabatinga, is extracted from mangrome swamps in Vitória region, and is shaped to create different products like kettles, frying-pans and pots. After being modeled, the pots are dried in the shade, scraped, polished and burnt on fire. Then they are wet with a liquid called ‘mangue vermelho’ (red swamp), rich in tannin, which provides the dark color and resistance.
The clay pot matches perfectly with the most famous dish in Espírito Santo cookery, ‘moqueca capixaba’, prepared exclusively in this pot. This traditional handicraft can be found all over Espírito Santo, particularly in Vitória, where there is an exclusive space for ‘paneleiras’ (women who produce clay pots), who pass down the tradition to other generations.
Other indigenous techniques are plant fiber braid, used to create products like baskets, and the mounting with seed, mainly for confection of complements. This type of art can be found in the whole state, particularly in Aracruz villages.
Handicraft made with wood can be found across the state, with the most different techniques, references and purposes. The art of wood carving suprises with the sculputures made by artisans, comprising miniatures and household appliances, and large decoration objects.
Another type of wood art, very strong in Espírito Santo, is luthiery. The technique is outstanding for its high level of precision and subtle execution to produce musical instruments like violin, violoncello, viola, string bass, guitars and ukuleles. João Neiva municipality is a large producer of luthiery handicraft.
Cachoeiro de Itapemirim is also reference in this type of art. Birds’ peeps are the city mark, and the factory, founded in 1903, is the only one in Latin America. The peeps are sculptured in 36 different models, and reproduce the sound of countless birds.
The most famous musical instrument in capixaba culture, guiro, is also a product of the local handicraft. Carved in wood, the artisans sculpture a human head at the top, and the body is where the sound is produced, with the neck as the place to hold the instrument. The sound is produced by the friction of the rod through the cuts made in parts of the body. The guiro is present in most Congo bands, particularly in Serra and Vila Velha, reflecting the African influence in capixaba music and congo.
Several techniques and influences are part of capixaba fabric or thread handicraft. This type of art can be found in all capixaba cities, in different styles. Techniques like crochet, ‘brolha’, macramé, tricot, lacework, embroidery, cross stitch, ‘fuxico’, among others, become towels, carpets, blankets and clothes.
Espírito Santo counts on many natural riches, from north to south. The options vary from the ocean to the mountains, from muddy mangrove waters to crystaline waters of ponds, from old hills covered with unexplored forests to rocky peaks, among other several attractions with unique landscape characteristics, providing the tourist with wide possibilities to appreciate and Interact with nature.
With around 410 km long, Espírito Santo coastal area presents the most different types of beaches. Here one can find dunes, desert and semi-desert beaches, inlets, warm and crystaline waters, and also the famous medicinal monazite sand beaches.
The metropolitan zone counts on many beaches like Guarapari, Curva da Jurema, Camburi, Praia da Costa, Itapoã, Coqueiral de Itaparica, Jacaraípe and Manguinhos. Capital of Espírito Santo, Vitória counts on 105 km² of beaches. At the south, Piúma, Iriri, Marataízes and Itapemirim beaches are outstanding. To the north, beaches like Regência, Barra do Sahi, Pontal do Ipiranga, Coqueiral, Praia dos Padres, Guriri, Itaúnas and Riacho Doce, are some of the most visited.
In Serra municipality, the beaches preserve bucolic characteristics. Manguinhos and Carapebus are must-see. Famous for the purity of water, wide biodiversity, Guarapari city beaches, in the south, are recommended for sports diving. In addition to the marine life, shipwreck spots are worth observing.
Aracruz city is famous for its inlets forming paradisiac and crystaline water beaches. The place is known as the ‘capixaba Caribbean’. There, the Ecological Reserves of Piraquê-Açu and Piraquê-Mirim mangroves are found, in Santa Cruz district. In Conceição da Barra, to the north, one can visit the dazzling dunes of Itaúnas, facing the warm waters of the sea. Itaúnas beach completes the touristic complex of Vila de Itaúnas, which comprises the Dunes, aspects of its popular culture and fauna and flora preservation policy of Itaúnas State Park.
– Domingos Martins: Highlight to ‘Cascata do Galo’ with 70 meters of waterfall, ideal for rappel.
– Santa Leopoldina: Véu da Noiva (bride’s veil) waterfall: the 100 meters fall enchants and attracts visitors. Cachoeira da Fumaça (smoke waterfall): The water streams down large walls of rocks with very steep slopes. It has natural pools, chutes with beautiful stones and stone sheets. Wonderful chutes and waterfalls in Santa Maria da Vitória river complete the exuberant landscape..
– Cachoeiro de Itapemirim: With its pure and crystaline waters, perfect for bathing and contemplation, it hides, behind its rocks, cracks where thousand of black swallows that, flying in flocks, produce a noise similar to that of the falling Waters. The waterfall is 100 meters high.
– Viana: Vale das cachoeiras: a series of beautiful waterfalls, very good for bathing, one after the other in one single valley. Highlight to Piapitangui waterfall, with a large well, and water streaming through inclined stones, and Aloísio waterfall, at the bottom of a small valley, with a shallow well.
– Guarapari: Cachoeira do Turco, in Buenos Aires district. Surrounded by green, the path to the place provides beautiful landscapes.
– Alfredo Chaves: The main attraction in Matilde district is Engenheiro Reeve waterfall, known as Matilde waterfall, 70 meters high. Another exuberant waterfall is Vovó Lucia. With two waterfalls, the traveller may adventure a 60 meter declivity.
– Alegre: Cachoeira da Fumaça (smoke waterfall) is one of the most famous in the state with its majestic 144 meters of water falls, besides its easily accessed tracks through preserved areas of Atlantic Forest. It is located inside Cachoeira da Fumaça State Park.
– Iúna: The municipality counts on several waterfalls: Rio Claro, Braz, Jesuítas, Chiador, São João do Príncipe, Recanto do Príncipe, Poço das Antas and the group of waterfalls called Hidrolândia. Highlight to natural ponds with crystaline waters formed by the waterfalls.
– Divino São Lourenço: The city counts on over 15 waterfalls, like Cacheira Bonita, Cachoeira da Mangueira, Cachoeira das Andorinhas, Cachoeira do Portal do Céu, Cachoeira do Granito, Cachoeira Alta and Cachoeira do Lajedão.
– Marataízes: The municipality counts on many natural beauties: beaches, ponds, islands, mangroves and cliffs. Highlight to Lagoa do Siri, separated from the sea by a small stretch of sand. One of the most visited places of the city the pond (Lagoa do Siri) has a narrow stretch of golden sand, quiet waters and many coconut trees ornamenting the landscape.
– Linhares: The green of the Atlantic Forest matches the blue green of the municipality ponds. Known as the Paradise of Waters, Linhares counts on 69 ponds, forming the largest pond complex in Latin America. The most famous of them is called Juparanã, 38 km long, the largest in Brazil in fresh water volume and second largest in geographic extension.
– Mucurici: Mucurici balneary, located at the north, has leisure area with promenade, sports courts, place for events, bars, and a beautiful pond.
– Anchieta e Itapemirim: Mãe Bá and Sete Pontas ponds are the most visited and count on centers for production of regional handicraft.
Located at BR 101 margin, in Itapemirim city, the Frade and the Freira (Friar and Nun) are two rocky mountains, with shape that reminds a friar and a nun. Its highest point has 683 meters.
Pancas municipality, located at northeast, with its irregular rocky formations, is ideal for adventure sports practice. Highlight to Pedra do Camelo (camel stone) and Pedra Agulha (needle stone).
Between Itaguaçu and Laranja da Terra cities stays one of the most beautiful rocky formations of Espírito Santo, Pedra dos Cinco Pontões (five peaks stone). The highest peak of the stone reaches 500 meters and each one of the five has at least one access way.
Aghá mount is located in Itapemirim municipality, with around 340 meters high, and is used as a milestone for navigation across the whole south coast.
Fonte Grande Municipal Park, located at the central massif of Vitória Island, creates a contrast with the metropolis movement and is an invitation for those who want to relax enjoying nature. In the capital, the park is the last large area with vegetation typical of Atlantic Forest hillsides.
Morro do Moreno, in Vila Velha, 274 meters high, is seated at the entrance of Vitória bay, beside the third bridge. The place is full of tracks amid the city busy life.
Pedra Azul (blue stone) massif, in Domingos Martins, has a 1822 meter high peak. It is also known as Pedra do Lagarto (the lizard stone), due to a salience shaped like a lizard climbing along its hillside. At the background, in the same granite and gneiss rocky formation, we can view Pedra das Flores, 1,909 meters high.
– Pedra Azul State Park (Pepaz): Located in Domingos Martins municipality (ES), it is a natural reserve covering several tracks, and much diversified fauna na flora. The greatest attractions of the park are its rocky formations, particularly Pedra do Lagarto united to Pedra Azul and Pedra das Flores.
– Itaúnas State Park (PEI): Protected by Unesco as National Heritage of Humankind, has 25 km of beaches, covering several ecosystems – like Atlantic Forest, river, beach, mangrove, sandbank and swamps, dunes – and endangered species.
– Paulo Cesar Vinha State Park (PEPCV): With wide diversity of environments in its area, like ponds, dunes and swamp flats, besides several vegetable formations. The park faces the sea and is famous for having a pond beside the beach, with dark color and warm water, the Caraís pond.
– Cachoeira da Fumaça State Park (PECF): Located in Alegre city, the park, with a lot of green areas, counts on Braço Norte Direito river, which contributes to create a beautiful landscape, along with the 140 meter high Cachoeira da Fumaça.
– Forno Grande State Park (PEFG): The Park holds the second largest apex of Espírito Santo state, Forno Grande peak, 2,039 m high, in addition to waterfalls and tracks. Located in Castelo, the place counts on special biological riches.
– Mata das Flores State Park (PEMF): This forest remainder located in Castelo promotes the formation of an ecological corridor from its territory to Forno Grande and Pedra Azul state parks’ domains.
– Caparaó National Park: Here we find one of the largest Brazilian natural heritages: Caparaó National Park, which shelters Bandeira Peak, the third highest in the country, with 2,890 meters. The park capixaba side official entrance gate is located in Dores do Rio Preto municipality. In addition to tracks, visitors can also enjoy baths in waterfalls and natural pools; observe dazzling views of Caparaó Hill and region, with beautiful views at dawn and at sunset.
O Brasil, em particular, precisava de braços para movimentar suas riquezas, uma vez que seu sistema de produção escravista começava a definhar. A proibição do tráfego de escravos a partir de 1850, na opinião dos proprietários de terras, gerou escassez de mão de obra, o que poderia prejudicar a economia.
A partir da chegada dos imigrantes, no século XIX, o Espírito Santo ganhou nova configuração geográfica. As barreiras naturais apresentadas, principalmente pela Mata Atlântica, foram rompidas e o interior, sobretudo o Norte do Estado, até então intocado, recebeu novos habitantes.
O Espírito Santo recebeu imigrantes de diversas regiões da Europa, principalmente da Alemanha e da Itália que, junto com os portugueses, africanos e indígenas aqui residentes, imprimiram os traços principais da cultura capixaba. Igrejas, casarios e calçamentos guardam ainda marcas das influências desses povos.
Municípios como Santa Teresa, Domingos Martins, Santa Maria de Jetibá, Venda Nova do Imigrante e Marechal Floriano possuem fortes traços da herança dos imigrantes europeus. Também os sítios históricos de Muqui, Santa Leopoldina, Mimoso do Sul, Porto de São Mateus e Vitória são parte viva da história capixaba.
Espírito Santo comprises ten Touristic Regions which, with their diversity, gather leisure, business, events, gastronomy, culture, history and natural beauties. The unique combination of sea and mountains, the contrast between tradition and modernity, busy life and quietness, sports and cultural events, create a must-see route, full of adventures, discoveries and a lot of fun.
The peculiarities of each municipality are revealed through the beautiful beaches, amazing waterfalls, diversified culinary, entertainment and, particularly, the different types of climate. In 40 minutes one can leave the hot climate of beaches and the authentic capixaba moqueca, to appreciate the coziness of the mountains, with a right to German and Italian dishes and a good wine.
All that without mentioning the most varied attractions, like radical sports – rafting, rappel and free flights, ecoturism, agritourism, nautical tourism, religious, cultural and musical feasts, and the historical/cultural heritage.
Comprising six municipalities, the Metropolitan region counts on a variety of touristic attractions, attracting the most different tastes, from the bustling of the city to country resorts. Beaches, gastronomy, religious tourism, folklore, historical heritage, theaters, museums, adventure tourism, ecotourism, parks, events, sports sea fishing, agritourism, bustle and musical riches, they are all part of the region touristic, business and leisure options. Moreover, this route counts on the largest airport of the state, a large hotel chain and convention centers for business events.
Municipalities: Cariacica, Guarapari, Serra, Viana, Vila Velha e Vitória.
The Capixaba Mountains’ Region comprises eight municipalities with strong European influence. Descendants keep German, Italian, Austrian, Pomeranian and Polish traditions inherited from immigrants. Their natural beauties and balmy climate provide the region with a special charm. With their culture, history, music, dances, gastronomy, typical feasts, agritourism, and hospitality, the cities and their residents enchant visitors. During winter, it is the most visited region in the state.
Municipalities: Afonso Cláudio, Brejetuba, Castelo, Conceição do Castelo, Domingos Martins, Marechal Floriano, Vargem Alta e Venda Nova do Imigrante.
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Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, history and culture are some of the touristic attractions of the eight cities that form the Immigrants’ Region. The municipalities of this region were colonized by European immigrants and their descendants, who live here preserving their traditions. The growing of grapes, apples and strawberries are outstanding with family agriculture, and sites open to visitation, where visitors can even harvest fruits. The region offers agritourism, ecotourism, adventure sports, gastronomy, entertainment and typical European feasts celebrating the immigrants’ traditions.
Municipalities: Ibiraçu, Itaguaçu, Itarana, João Neiva, Santa Leopoldina, Santa Maria de Jetibá, Santa Teresa e São Roque do Canaã.
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Ideal for adventure tourism, ecotourism and agritourism, Caparaó Region is formed by eleven municipalities located around Caparaó National Park. The regions comprises part of Serra do Mar and Serra da Mantiqueira, Pico da Bandeira, the third highest peak in the country, land Cachoeira da Fumaça State Park. The National Park and its surroundings enchant due to the natural beauties, bucolic landscapes, mysticism, gastronomy, culture and history.
Municipalities: Alegre, Divino de São Lourenço, Dores do Rio Preto, Guaçuí, Ibatiba, Ibitirama, Iúna, Irupi, Jerônimo Monteiro, Muniz Freire e São José do Calçado.
Comprising six municipalities, the region is located in capixaba north coast. It has natural and cultural riches invinting tourist to discover the history and experience the beauty of countless and beautiful beaches, rivers and lakes, and at some points, the meeting of the two. The region holds the largest pond complex of the Brazilian southeast region, dunes facing the sea, and also reserves of Tupiniquins and Guarani tribes, in addition to biological reserves.
Municipalities: Aracruz, Conceição da Barra, Jaguaré, Linhares, Rio Bananal e São Mateus.
The region is formed by seven municipalities and offers different touristic options like adventure, ecotourism, rural tourism, religious, cultural, gastronomic, business and events’ tourism. Business tourism is the stronger in the region due to the economic potentials concentrated in marble and granite markets; garment manufactures and diversified rural production. The natural beauties and the attractions, chiefly religious, are outstanding in this region.
Municipalities: Baixo Guandu, Colatina, Governador Lindenberg, Mantenópolis, Marilândia, Pancas e São Domingos do Norte.
Formed by four municipalities, it is located in the far north of the state. The region is rich in natural beauties and cultural expressions and has received this name due to its strong fruit production (sweet), its flat and fecund lands, for its Brazilian character and chiefly due to its delicious sun-dried beef, considered the best in the state. It counts on rivers and waterfalls for fishing and adventure tourism like rafting. Agritourism, handicraft, and family agriculture are the main activities of the region.
Municipalities: Montanha, Mucurici, Pinheiros e Ponto Belo.
This is a privileged touristic region, comprising four cities that combine leisure, natural beauties, culture and good businesses. The main Brazilian pole of marble and granite is there, and also a historical heritage with palaces spread across the cities, some of them protected. Houses depicting the colonial time culture are also outstanding, preserving Lebanese, Italian and Portuguese immigrants’ habits and traditions, besides a rich history that began with coffee production and exportation during the colonial period. All that surrounded by mountains and valleys, and breathtaking landscapes.
Municipalities: Atílio Vivácqua, Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Mimoso do Sul e Muqui.
On one hand, beautiful beaches, some of them semidesert with cliffs, ideal for zip-lining. On the other hand, beautiful waterfalls, an invitation to radical sports like rappel and rafting, in addition to ramps for free flight and tracks. The region, located in capixaba south coastal area, is formed by six municipalities which, in addition to natural riches, was influenced by European immigrants, with handicraft, culture, dance, history, music in typical feasts and the lively carnival blocks.
Municipalities: Alfredo Chaves, Anchieta, Iconha, Itapemirim, Marataízes e Presidente Kennedy.
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Formed by four cities in the far northwest of the state, the region is strong in marble and granite segment. It counts on different attractions like handicraft, historical and cultural heritage, waterfalls, agritourism, ecotourism and typical feasts. In gastronomy, the sun-dried beef is outstanding in the region.
Municipalities: Ecoporanga, Nova Venécia, São Gabriel da Palha e Vila Pavão.
Get to know all stories, curiosities and touristic attractions of Espírito Santo, which counts on 64 destinations, from north to south, with the most different and surprising options of routes and travels!
Pure air, bucolic landscapes, horses, fresh cow milk, bath in the river, tracks in the woods, sound of birds, homemade food and, particularly the dolce far niente. In the last years, the rural tourism, or agritourism, has been consolidated as economic activity and leisure option, without losing its essential characteristics, and adding sophistication to the professional reception.
The funny people, fond of feasts, have found in agritourism a means to preserve their culture and live in the countryside. Agritourism appeared to add value to the rural man work, and to fix him in his land. Thus, farmers/owners can pass down their way of life to urban people.
In the whole, there are 31 circuits in Espírito Santo involving agritourism. Properties are found both in the Greater Vitória and in the countryside, and offer an excellent opportunity to know and experience the country residents’ routine and the natural beauties of capixaba geography.
Today, the interest is not only in buying the product, but in knowing the fabrication process as well; seeing cows in the corral, the milk being cooled, the cheese curing in the cold chamber, the stone mill to produce maize flour, the coffee drying in the yard. All of a sudden, all that became attraction, and doors and gates are definitely open. In a spontaneous way, this new tourism modality was born in the community and expanded to several other regions of Espírito Santo.
The agritourism way in Espírito Santo is unique and specific to the world of experiences of the rural tourism. The work is carried out by families, and is turned to agriculture, making of rural life an attraction and, in addition to producing, it transforms the products, adding value to them, trading them, generating more income and creating job opportunities in the rural zone. All that combined with natural beauties, environmental preservation, and preservation of habits and culture, keeping the tradition inherited from ancestors.
Agritourism in Espírito Santo offers a wide range of products: jams, candies, cookies, breads, coffee, maize flour, socol (type of cured, dried pork meat), milk, cheese, curd cheese, yoghurt, wines, liqueurs, cachaças, handicraft and embroidery.
– Agritourism in Capixaba Mountains region
The rural tourism in Capixaba Mountains offer quality services, value and respect the environment and the local culture. The tourist contact with the country life brings health and environmental education, besides being a source of income and gastronomic pleasures.
The Capixaba Mountains region is a national reference in agritourism development, particularly Venda Nova do Imigrante municipality, awarded by the Tourism Ministry due to its Pioneer actions in agritourism, in 2006, having received the title of National Tourism Capital.
The Agritourism in Capixaba Mountains counts on infrastructure with tea houses, a more than perfect colonial coffee, ecological tracks and horse rides. In addition to the contact with the country life and the access to home-made products, the visitor can participate in harvests and observe the processing of products, experiencing the immigrants’ tradition.
Agritourism was a significant factor to the region development. Communication and transport difficulties forced Italians to manufacture several products at home, like cheese, bread, wine, cookies, sweets, pasta, rum, and mills for corn and coffee.
By the end of the 80s, the situation of Italian descendants’ families in Venda Nova was not very promising. The main possibilities were going to the city or staying in the countryside without great expectations of growth.
Venda Nova do Imigrante: Known as the national capital of agritourism, Venda Nova do Imigrante provides its visitors with the chance to learn the rural life routine. The properties, some of them open to visitation, produce cheese, liquors, cachaça, socol and coffee.
Domingos Martins: The municipality, which was German-colonized, is traditionally one of the most visited places of the state. Counting on excellent infrastructure, properties like tea houses, colonial cafés, and the visitor can have contact with the country life and have access to homemade products, and can also participate in harvests and observe the processing of products, experiencing the immigrants’ tradition.
Serra: The municipality of Greater Vitória Metropolitan Region, has, at Mestre Álvaro feet, its chief agritourism properties. Bucolic landscapes combined with cozy enterprises are an excellent leisure option, chiefly for children. In addition to the traditional culinary products like coffee, breads and cookies, the visitor can also have fun in mini-farms and horse rides.
Viana: Though being part of the Metropolitan Region, Viana keeps countryside atmosphere. The municipality received Portuguese, Italian and German immigrants, in addition to black and indigenous peoples who already inhabited the region. The agritourism and rural tourism are outstanding. And for those who want intense activity, it is possible to practice radical sports like trekking, free flight, tracks, motocross and also enjoy the city natural beauties.
Dores do Rio Preto: where the capixaba access to Caparaó National Park is located. There is still the option of visiting Pedra Menina community. Structured camping areas, with panoramic view to Caparaó river valley are excellent options to visitors. There are also excellent inns and board and lodging houses available in the region.
For those who are adventurous, Espírito Santo is a great destination. Its physical and geological formation favors the adventure tourism. Waterfalls, mountains, rivers and mild temperatures facilitate the practice of radical sports, like free flight on natural ramps, nautical sports, rafting and mountaineering.
Afonso Cláudio and Castelo cities are important touristic sites of the highlands with amazing natural riches: waterfalls, mountains, rivers and mild temperatures that facilitate the practice of radical sports, like free flight with paraglide on natural ramps, with a wonderful view.
To practice trekking, climbing and mountain bike, the destination is Itabira Municipal Park in Cachoeiro do Itapemirim municipality. Domingos Martins city, on the other hand, is the right address to those who want to practice rafting and buoy-cross in Jucu river. Pedra Azul State Park tracks are imperative, and there the tourist can enjoy a horse ride to Pedra Azul natural pools.
The beaches in the Metropolitan Region are ideal locations to practice kite surfing, surfing, sail, hobie cat, body boarding, and in the vast Vitória mangrove, the funny thing to do is wakeboarding. Famous for their pure waters and diversity of species, Guarapari city beaches, to the south, are recommended for sports diving. In addition to the marine life, it is worth observing shipwrecks’ spots. Between Rasas and Escalvada islands remain the rests of Victory 8-B ship, sank in a controlled way to be an artificial reef.
– Challenging gravity
The state countless waterfalls are too much visited for rappel practice, with right to contact with nature, beautiful landscaps and freshness of waters.
Cachoeira Alta (high waterfall), in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, is 90 meters high and enchants the brave ones. How to get there: leaving Cachoeiro, take ES 482 conducting to Jerônimo Monteiro, then follow ES 166. At km 6 you find the entrance to São Vicente community. From ES 166 to São Vicente, you will cover 15 km.
Another exuberant waterfall to practice this Sport is Vovó Lúcia waterfall, in Alfredo Chaves. With two waterfalls, the traveller can adventure 60 meters downwards. How to get there: go by BR 101, then ES 146 until Alfredo Chaves. Then follow to Ibitirui, 16 km from Alfredo Chaves seat.
The 50 meters descent in Morro do Moreno, Vila Velha, Touristic Metropolitan Region, is recommended for those who want to try rappel for the first time. The calm descent, provides a spectacular landscape including several touristics sites of Greater Vitória, like Penha Convent, the third bridge, Mestre Álvaro and Vitória bay. How to get there: access via Desembargador Augusto Botelho street (return street to Vila Velha center), then take João Joaquim da Mota street and go straight ahead until the end. At right, take Xavantes street. Climbing must be on foor or 4×4 car.
In Espírito Santo south, another famous touristic spot, visited by mountaineers, is Frade and Freira (Friar and Nun) stone, in Itapemirim, 683 meters high, challenging the bravest ones. How to get there: access at Km 400, of BR 101 South.
Pancas municipality is also an appropriate destination to those who are fond of adventure, located in the touristic region of Doce Pontões Capixabas, at northeast, with its irregular rocky formations, is ideal for rappel practice, mountaineering, and other adventure sports.
Also in Pancas, “Clementino Izoton” free flight ramp is located. With its 658 meters high, it is considered one of the best ramps to the modality in the country. How to get there: leaving Colatina city, follow Rodovia do Café (ES 341) until Pancas city, towards Alto Mutum district, 14 km further. Access by car, preferably, but one can get there on foot, however, it is not recommended due to the difficulties.
Between Itaguaçu and Laranja da Terra, the tourist will meet one of the most beautiful rocky formations of Espírito Santo, Pedra dos Cinco Pontões. The stone highest peak reaches 500 meters and each of them counts on at least one access. Rappel, base jump, climbing, tracking, bicycling, are some of the modalities practiced there.
– Adrenalin in the air
Considered one of the best free flight ramps worldwide, with 902 meters, Ubá ramp is located at 28 km from Castelo, municipality at the south, and attracts sportists from the whole world seeking new challenges. How to get there: leaving Vitória via BR 262, at Venda Nova do Imigrante take ES 166. In Castelo, take Estrada de Prata (silver road).
Distant 9 km from Alfredo Chaves, in Cachoeira Alta district, there is another free flight ramp, majestic with its 450 meters and exuberant nature. How to get there: leaving Vitória by BR 101, the access to the district is located at 3 km from the city center, in BR-101, towards Vitória. Take the dirt road at left, and follow the signs to reach your destination.
In Baixo Guandu is Manjolo ramp, 720 meters high. The peak is ideal for simultaneous flights. How to get there: leaving Vitória, follow BR 101 North, in João Neiva, take BR 259 towards Minas Gerais. The ramp is 20 km distant from the municipality. Take Baixo Guandu city exit towards Itaguaçu. From the access roundabout, 12 km will be covered, entering the bifurcation at the bus stop and following other 8 im of dirt road. The access to the ramp is directed with signs.
In the south of the state we find one of the largest natural heritages of Brazil: Caparaó National Park, which shelters Bandeira Peak, the third highest in the country, with 2,890 meters. The park official entrance gate is located in Dores do Rio Preto municipality. In the park, trekking is one of the most activities practiced by those who love adventure. How to get there: follow BR 262 towards Minas Gerais.
Espírito Santo counts on many natural riches, from north to south. The options vary from the ocean to the mountains, from muddy mangrove waters to crystaline waters of ponds, from old hills covered with unexplored forests to rocky peaks, among other several attractions with unique landscape characteristics, providing the tourist with wide possibilities to appreciate and Interact with nature.
In the south of the state we find one of the largest natural heritages of Brazil: Caparaó National Park, which shelters Bandeira Peak, the third highest in the country, with 2,890 meters.
In Capixaba Mountains region is Pedra Azul State Park, in Domingos Martins, an imperative for those who enjoy a good ecological walk contemplating the beauty places, or a good horse ride to Pedra Azul natural pools.
Also in the mountains region, surrounding Vargem Alta city, a considered extinct bird was found. ‘Saíra Apunhalada’ (Nemosia rourei) is approximately 10 cm long; however it is highly important to the region forest preservation, and to attract bird observers.
In Conceição da Barra municipality, located 256 km to the capital north, is Itaúnas State Park. With an area of around 3,600 hectares, it presents different ecosystems, like Atlantic Forest, beaches, river, mangrove, barren tableland, sandbank and swamp, in addition to sheltering varied fauna with endangered species.
For those who prefer a more bucolic and desert area, Conceição da Barra is also the ideal place. There one can visit Riacho Doce beach, at the border with Bahia state. According to specialists, one of the most beautiful desert beaches in Brazil.
In addition to large preservation areas, touristic sites or municipal parks invite capixabas and tourists to good walks. Aghá mount is located in Itapemirim municipality, with around 340 meters high, and is used as a milestone for navigation across the whole south coast, because one can see it from several kilometers.
Fonte Grande Municipal Park, located at the central massif of Vitória island, creates a contrast with the metropolis movement and is an invitation for those who want to relax enjoying nature. In the capital, the park is the last large area with vegetation typical of Atlantic Forest hillsides.
Morro do Moreno, in Vila Velha, 274 meters high, is located next to the city center. Penha Convent is at its side, located on the top of a hill. The two hills welcome all those who visit Vila Velha from Vitória, crossing the third bridge. They are the city landmarks.
Pedra Azul State Park (Pepaz): Located at km 89/90 of BR 262, in Domingos Martins municipality (ES), distant 89 km from the capital Vitória (ES).
Itaúnas State Park (PEI): With around 3,600 hectars, Itaúnas state park covers different
ecosystems – like Atlantic Forest, barren tableland, dunes, river, beach, mangrove, sandbank and swamps, in addition to sheltering varied fauna and endangered species.
Paulo Cesar Vinha State Park (PEPCV): The park is surrounded by the Environmental Protection Area (APA) of Setiba, which works as a mitigation zone, and is intended to conserve the marine region of Três Ilhas archipelago. The park faces the sea and is famous for having a pond beside the beach, with dark color and warm water, the Caraís pond.
Cachoeira da Fumaça State Park (PECF): Its original covering is Seasonal Semideciduous Forest type, which, over the years, was recomposed, with planting of native/fruit trees. Braço Norte Direito river, in addition to contributing to the place beauty with the 140 meter high Cachoeira da Fumaça, is Itapemirim river tributary.
Forno Grande State Park (PEFG): Protects the second largest apex of Espírito Santo state, Forno Grande peak, 2,039 m high, in addition to waterfalls and tracks. The place counts on special biological riches and also shelters endangered animal species like puma, ocelot, and wooly spider monkeys.
Mata das Flores State Park (PEMF): This Atlantic forest remainder located in the warm lands of Castelo promotes the formation of an ecological corridor from its warm lands to the high and cold lands of Forno Grande and Pedra Azul state parks’ domains.
Caparaó National Park: Shelters Bandeira Peak, the third highest in the country, with 2,890 meters. The park official entrance gate is located in Dores do Rio Preto municipality. Located at the border of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo states, the park is one of the destinations most visited by mountaineers in Brazil.
The 410 km of unforgettable beaches are Espírito Santo highlight. The tropical climate invites all to observe the natural beauties and taste the typical capixaba moqueca or capixaba pie. The seashore receives the highest number of visitors, who can feel the wind and listen to the sea, or participate in the bustle.
The 14 seashore cities count on diversified beaches. Here one can find dunes, desert and semidesert beaches, inlets, warm and crystaline waters, and also the famous monazitic sand beaches, visited for their medicinal properties. Nautical sports are frequently practiced in Espírito Santo coast; surf, wind surf, wakeboard, diving, schooner sails and banana boat are great attractions of capixaba coast.
The metropolitan region sheltes beaches like Guarapari, Curva da Jurema, Camburi, Praia da Costa, Itapoã, Coqueiral de Itaparica, Jacaraípe and Manguinhos. To the south, Piúma, Anchieta, Marataízes and Itapemirim beaches are outstanding. To the north, Regência, Barra do Sahi, Pontal do Ipiranga, Coqueiral, Praia dos Padres, Guriri, Itaúnas and Riacho Doce beaches are the most visited.
– Nautical Tourism
Ocean fishing and nautical sports are Espírito Santo highlights. Fishermen from the whole world are attracted by the amount and the size of the state coastal region. Leisure sailers, hobie cat and small vessels find privileged lines with currents and winds.
The beaches in some municipalities of the Metropolitan Touristic Region are lively and known for their variety of styles, from urban to bucolic, and alto for the practice of nautical sports. The climate, the structure with piers and marinas, wind conditions and, of course, the view, make of Vitória, Vila Velha, Guarapari and Serra cities good options for the practice of kitesurf, windsurf, surf, sailing and bodyboarding.
On Capixaba Mountains, rafting and buoy-cross dominate Jucu river waters. Excursions leave from Domingos Martins city. Those who prefer a quieter sail can try the schoones in Greater Vitória or in Guarapari.
Diving in Espírito Santo: Famous for the purity of water, wide biodiversity, Guarapari city beaches, in the south, are recommended for sports diving. For those who like diving, Três Ilhas archipelago, in Guarapari, keeps many surprises. Their calm waters are appropriate even to night diving. In addition to the marine life, shipwreck spots are worth observing. Between Rasas islands and Escalvada island are the remains of Victory 8-B ship, sank in a controlled way to serve as artificial reef.
Another wreck ship there is Bellucia, which, in 1903 hit the Escalvada island and was split in two. The steel ship was built in England in 1888. It was steam driven, with 102 meters long and weighing 2,730 tons.
The Blue Marlin is the most sought-after fish in ocean fishing. With cobalt blue back and pointed beak, it is outstanding for its speed and bravery. Due to that, it became the symbol of challenge, mistery and adventure.
It is possible to find it on the surface during the day. At night, the Marlin looks for deeper water and doesn’t look for food. The largest ones may weigh over 650 k and measure 4 meters.
To capture it, heavy materials are required, like up to 130 lb lines, fishing rods and spinning reels with 700 m of line. With regard to natural baits, the preferred ones are farnangaios and sororocas. Among the artificial baits, the best are squids.
Considered the world capital of Marlin, Vitória counts on two international records for the capture of blue and white marlin: the world record of blue marlin is a 636 k fish captured in February 1992, in Vitória. The white marlin record is a 82.5 k fish, captured in December 1979, also in Vitória.
The best fishing season for the blue marlin is from October to March, while the white marlin is November, but the fishing is abundant throughout the year.
Capixaba gastronomy is a result of many influences from local inhabitants like Indians, Portuguese, African and European immigrants. The fishing tradition and the inherited indigenous and black culture have strongly influenced the capixaba culinary. With the coming of European immigrants, new dishes were added to capixaba cookery.
From the Italians, those who exerted the strongest influence, we have ‘anholini’, ‘tortei’, the pavese soup, risotto and polenta. From the German we received a culinary based on potatoes and pork meat. The Portuguese left us delicious dishes based on cod fish, olive oil, potato and sweets prepared with eggs. Minas Gerais has also brought their typical dishes, like ‘péla-égua’ and ‘feijão tropeiro’ (Cattleman’s Beans).
With the difficulty to find certain ingredients, recipes were changed, acquiring a very Brazilian taste. Other foods also appeared: breads, cakes, pies, sweets, jams, liquors, cheese, curd cheese and different cured and dried meats, today are part of capixaba culinary. The ‘brote’, typical German bread, socol, cornbread, rice balls, manioc and coconut balls, mutton corn pap, butter fat biscuits, starch biscuits, milk pudding, sweet rice, coconut candy, beiju, cuscuz and mentira.
Among the most famous typical dishes of Espírito Santo, are capixaba moqueca and capixaba pie. Internationally famous, the capixaba moqueca is the most known dish of the state culinary. Then comes the capixaba pie, prepared with different sea foods, like shredded crab, shrimp, oyster and sururu, and also cod fish and heart of palm; a traditional dish during the Holy Week in all capixaba homes.
The crab is a very sought-after crustacean in capixaba culinary. The technique for capturing them is the same used by Indians, who ate them a lot – the person enters the swamp, sinking into the mud and catches the crab carefully, to avoid being bitten.
The capixaba moqueca is one of the icons in Espírito Santo. Known for its unique taste, the dish is an essentially capixaba institution. The name “moqueca” refers to a style of preparation, which is cooking without water, only with vegetables and sea foods, traditionally fish, crab, shrimps or sururu.
Differently from the Bahia moqueca, the capixaba does not include palm oil or coconut milk. The capixaba moqueca is prepared in clay pot, another capixaba icon. The clay pot is also acknowledged as intangible heritage by Iphan (Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage).
The moqueca is a tradition introduced by Indians over 400 years ago, and according to renowned chefs, its recipe meets the four gastronomy standards of a quality dish: taste, color, aroma and consistency.
The most traditional typical dish of Espírito Santo gastronomy, the capixaba moqueca, has its special day for celebration and degustation. The homage was created through municipal Law 8.213/2012, instituting the Moqueca Day in Vitória municipality on September 30. The law was inspired by a phrase by journalist and writer Cacau Monjardim: “Moqueca is capixaba. The rest is fish stew”.
The phrase appeared between the years 1970 and 1971, after a travel to Bahia by the journalist. He was then the president of the former Capixaba Tourism Company (Emcatur), and was invited to go to Bahia to taste the local culinary. While tasting the Bahia moqueca, Cacau found the taste strange and the dish very heavy.
It is worth remining that the state law 7.567/2003 has instituted moqueca as a food typical of Espírito Santo.
Sede de grandes empresas, o Espírito Santo tem se destacado no cenário nacional no competitivo mercado do turismo de negócios e vem crescendo nesse segmento. Sua localização geográfica privilegiada, distante cerca de mil quilômetros de três grandes centros urbanos e a menos de uma hora de voo desses locais, e a proximidade com os principais polos econômicos e mercados emissores do país são fatores estrategicamente vantajosos.
Espírito Santo has been outstanding in the national scenario in the competitive market of business tourism. Seat of large companies, Espírito Santo is increasingly growing in this segment. Its privileged geographical location, around 1,000 km of three large urban centers and less than one-hour flight from these locations, besides the proximity to chief economic poles and markets in the country, are strategically advantageous factors.
The state counts on excellent hotel infrastructure and for conventions, besides a diversified commerce and services sector, in addition to a large and modern port complex. All these attributes make of Espírito Santo an ideal place to hold events and do business.
Large size events, already consolidated, like the International Fair of Marble and Granite, Expovinhos (wine exhibition), Vitória Moda (fashion), Vitória Cine Vídeo, MecShow, Expotur and Sabores (tastes) are reference in the State. These events attract significant demands and generate great businesses to organizers, exhibitors, suppliers and the whole tourism production chain, since several sectors are involved.
Each region of Espírito Santo has its own characteristics, traditions and usages, which are represented in the most different types of feasts, events and cultural manifestations. Moreover, with the growth in demand of some tourism niches and segents, directed events appeared that were consolidated and are still growing.
The local tourism is growing largely, and a proof of that is the variety of events occurring simultaneously, for all tastes and persons, always full and lively, attracting increasingly more tourists. Cultural, religious and gastronomic feasts are some of the favorite.
Some outstanding feasts are: