Hanging with Hippies in Arembepe



I took a brief break from the hustle and bustle of Salvador and headed to Arembepe, a small coastal town less than 50 kilometres away.

Arembepe became famous in the 1960s as a popular hippie hangout. Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger and Roman Polanski are amongst the town’s more famous visitors.

Then its moment passed and Arembepe went back to being a sleepy fishing village once again. The tourists who make it here these days are mostly weekenders from neighbouring Salvador.

The town gets lively at weekends with people drinking and dancing in the main square and live music blaring out. However during the week it goes back to sleep again.


Pointing the way…

It still has the hippie village on the outskirts of town, Aldeia Hippie, where a few people still live in little huts without electric or water, eking a living by selling artisan products or renting out huts or tents to passing visitors.


The entrance to the hippie village

You are free to go take a look around. You walk along the beach for around 20-30 minutes and you will come to the village. You can see the hut where Janis Joplin stayed (allegedly), although the hut looked far too new to have been there in 1970 when she was here. Undoubtedly she stayed in a hut here, but I doubt it’s the one they claim.

Nevertheless it makes an interesting little trip and the people are all super-friendly.

Apart from that I just walked and enjoyed the beach, which seems to go on forever. This stretch of the coastline is known as the coconut coast. It’s a pretty sight; a long stretch of sand and surf dotted with palm trees. Away from the main part of the town the beach is virtually deserted.


The beach


Protected from the waves, this part has formed little natural swimming pools

There is a small sprinkling of shops, but nothing much: an ATM or two, a few shops selling the usual beach paraphernalia and a few supermarkets. There are a handful of restaurants, mostly offering fish and sea food (well this is a fishing village after all) and that is about it.



My little guest house was lovely; a little turquoise house with everything inside painted turquoise too.  A reminder for me to try and put more turquoise in my life.

6 replies »

  1. Now that’s my kinda hangout. Looks like the perfect spot to chill out, recharge, and sing a bit of Joplin. “Oh Lord, won’tcha buy me, a Mercedez Benz, my friends all drives Porsches, I must make amends…” 🙂

    • Haha yes I have seen that before. The men here do wear the skimpiest of shorts on the beach (whether they have the body for it is irrelevant). But then so do the women; I feel decidedly overdressed in my normal bikini, since every other woman is using a string with 2 little triangles of fabric as a bikini top.
      You’re obviously not old enough to remember 🙂 but as someone who grew up in the 70s watching beauty contests on the telly, the girls always paraded on in their bikinis to the sound of ‘the girl from Ipanema’ played by the BBC light orchestra, or some such rubbish. This is what I’ve had trapped in my head.

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