send us a message photos and videos of our place and the region ecotourism, courses, conservation projects general information, prices, photos Great spot in Bahia Introduction to our mission


You can participate in our activities even if you are not staying in our Camping site (we can help you to get other accomodation in Trancoso).



Horse riding



Swimming : Sea or river

Canoeing / Kayak

Visited natives



Language learning

English for brazilian and south american visitors

Portuguese for foreigners

Science learning

Physics / Chemistry / Biology / Maths



Conservation and Development Projects


Soil chemistry / physics

Medicinal plants

Aloe vera processing

Video / photography

Buy a piece of land (cheap) and prevent it from being deforested




Going down Trancoso river, for 2 hours, from the highway until Trancoso beach.

No effort is needed at any point because the journey is downstream. Great opportunity to see an untouched nature, throughout the journey.

Prices from £ 15 / person, including transportation, guidance and canoe rent.

Up to 6 individual canoes are available.

Trancoso river


The warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, at Trancoso, welcome a good swim!

We will show you the best and safest spots to enjoy swimming as an exercise or only for relaxation.

Trancoos river is also suitable for swimming. There are also other rivers in the region, like Caraiva river or Corumbau river.


Horse riding

You can ride from our site to the beach, or to Trancoso town, or explore the by roads!

Horses are available at our neighbouring farms at low cost (very different from renting a horse in the tourist crowded trancoso town center).

There are very calm and slow horses for beginners.




Explore the by roads, the beach, move to neighbouring villages and even to Espelho beach (considered one of the most beautiful and exotic in Brazil).

A mountain bike is more appropriate.




Explore virgin forest and admire the fauna and flora of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Some of the animals you will meet are shown here.

Starting in our site, there are various paths that enter the forest. You can also follow the river, as it is shallow enough to walk on.

You can also take the 15 km journey along the beach to the next town, Arraial d'ajuda, or take the opposite direction and walk 8 km to Caraiva, another stunning beach town.

From caraiva you can follow to the Indian reserves along the beach (next).


Visit to indigenous tribes

Come to visit this amazing population that lives in complete harmony with nature. Although they are the owners of an immense piece of land, they don't have any money and they live on fishing, agriculture and handcrafts.

You can even talk to the "paje" of the tribe (we can act as interpreters), who possess a huge wisdom about their fauna and flora, including medicinal plants.

You will have the opportunity to buy some of their amazing jewelry made with seeds and other objects made of wood, coconut shell and other materials.

Our partner site cocoart brings more information about them.

The tribe can be reached by walking, horse riding or bicycle.



Language learning

English for brazilian and south american visitors

English courses are coordinated by Dr Ricardo (more info at and can be taken individually or in group.

They are ideal for people who already know English and want to improve conversation skills, grammar and writing.

The fees depend on the course required . To have an idea, a course for a group of 3 people could cost as little as R$15 per person per hour. This fee includes any time used to plan the course and to mark written work.

These courses must be booked by 31/12/10, so that we have the time to plan the course and prepare the learning resources to be taken.

(you can take courses even if you are not staying in the camping).

Please use the contact form if you would like to ask more information about the courses.

Science learning

Physics / Chemistry / Biology / Maths

Secondary or degree level. Courses coordinated by Dr Ricardo in collaboration with other researchers on site.

For more information about Dr Ricardo's work on science education please visit

The fees depend on the course required . To have an idea, a course for a group of 3 people could cost as little as R$15 per person per hour. This fee includes any time used to plan the course and to mark written work.

These courses must be booked by 31/12/10, so that we have the time to plan the course and prepare the learning resources to be taken.

(you can take courses even if you are not staying in the camping).

Please use the contact form if you would like to ask more information about the courses.



Conservation and Development Projects

Develop your project in this amazing natural area, inside the Atlantic Forest and close to the Ocean. Projects will have the supervison of Ricardo Esplugas, PhD, who is present on the site.

Soil chemistry / physics: we are interested in developing techniques to measure and correct soil pH and also to educate the local community in this respect

Sapirara is an agricultural town. It is known as Pineapple land. Pineapples grow very well and Sapirara because of a combination of climate (hot) and appropriate soil. Pineapples require an acidic soil, and that is just what you find in Sapirara. However, the high acidity of the soil can be a problem when other crops need to be grown.

Research conducted by Dr Ricardo has found that , according to acidity, 3 main types of soil can be found in the area: there is a very acid soil in the deforested areas, an acid soil which is a layer of clay that is just beneath the surface and finally a neutral and very fertile soil in the forest and in the transition areas.

The yellow clay layer has good mechanical properties and has been used to build houses.

The very acidic soil can be treated with lime (calcium carbonate) so that its pH is increased, and brought close to neutral levels. It is necessary to work out how much lime must be applied and how long will take the process of neutralization.

Dr Ricardo has also collaborated with neighbouring farms, by analysing their soils and assessing the present degree of acidity and how successful have their treatments been. In many cases it has been found that the amount of lime used was not enough to achieve the desired soil pH.

The good news is that many people, including ourselves, have been successful at treating the Sapirara soil in order to develop a range of crops (and not only the acidity loving ones).

The use of ash is an interesting alternative to lime. In fact, ash is even better than lime because it brings trace nutrients, as well as correcting pH levels.

Jilo, a very tasty brazilian vegetable (photo on the right), has been successfully grown on the deforested area after soil treatment.

The yellow soil shown above is the acidic clay layer and the black soil at the center (very fertile) was brought from the transition area. A banana tree is planted in this site.

Medicinal Plants : developing a medicinal garden employing some of the innumerous species that grow in the area. Educate the local community in this issue. Further develop the existing Aloe Vera plantation.

There is a long list of medicinal plants that grow in this area of the Atlantic Forest. A list of those is found in this page.

This knowledge has been developed firstly by indigenous people and then furthered by university researchers. The "paje" of the local indigenous tribe is very friendly and he is an expert on the issue. He is a valuable resource to be included in this project.

Once we have extended our expertise on the issue of growing medicinal plants, we intend to pass it on to local residents, so that they can benefit from this wonderful medicines that are native to the area and also grow their own.

Brazilians rely heavily on pharmacy drugs, which in many case are not as good as their natural counterparts. Furthermore, they are expensive in Brazil. A pack of Paracetamol costs at least 5 times more in Brazil than in the UK. In rural northern areas, like Sapirara, the cost is even higher, because most of the brazilian industry is located in the south region, and the logistics is precarious.


Aloe Vera: processing the leaves to produce juice, creams and other products. Develop growing and vegetative reproduction.

We have around 500 aloe vera plants at the moment, but these number is increasing fast due to vegetative reproduction. We aim to plant separately all the offsprings and to optimize soil conditions.

The climate in Bahia is perfect for this crop (very hot and a lot of sun).However, this is not a common crop in the region.

The bulk of aloe vera production in Brazil is controlled by only one company, which focus on juice production. We want to develop creams and similar products, by researching what substances are needed to preserve the product, preferably at room temperature.


Ecology: monitoring and preserving threatened species

The Atlantic Forest presents a very rich flora and fauna. Some of the animals present are shown in here.

Due to extensive hunting, in addition to deforestation,various species of animals are under threat. We want to monitor various species and also construct ways of interacting with them.

There are various species of monkeys, of all sizes, that often arrive noisily in our trees. We would like to get closer to them and support their development where possible, to make sure they thrive in the harder times to come.

We are already engaged in the preservation of coconut piacava, which is a coconut tree that grows inside the forest and is under threat. We made a video about it, that can be seen here.


Video / Photography : documenting the region and our initiatives

We are engaged in documenting our projects by using photo, video and the internet. So far I have managed to publish on the internet only 3 videos about the region and the ecobrazil project, which can be seen here.

More work needs to be done in this direction and so we invite photographers and videomakers to join us in this endeavour.

Plant Nursery : exhibiting the species of the Atlantic forest

We aim to have a garden where many of the most interesting and important species of plants in the atlantic forest are united for ornamental and educational purposes.

This project already has the collaboration of our colleagues, in the local indigenous tribe, who possess an impressive nursery (photos on the right) which includes fruit trees and plants to yield seeds for necklaces and other handicrafts produces by the local indians.


Wine production: develop fermentation techniques to make the most of the abundant mangaba crops

Mangaba is one of the very few fruit trees that manage to survive in the dry and acidic soil of Sapirara, without any assistance. As a result, they ar found everywhere; the fruit, mangaba, is delicious. An exotic, sweet and very taste fruit.

There are so many mangaba trees around that most of the fruit ends up being wasted. The idea is to use all this fruit to make mangaba wine.

The fermentation process is more difficult to be attained than in the case of grapes, so that new techniques must be developed to make it possible for us and for the other villagers.

Another technology that would be interesting is fruit drying ,including sun drying, as we have lots of very hot sun.

Astronomy: take advantage of a clean sky

Our site is located a few km from any urban centre, so that at night it is completely dark and unpolluted. As a result the sky provides a magnificent display.

The Milky Way displays its beauty along with an infinity of other stars.

It is a great spot to bring a telescope and make obsevations.