The municipality of Arraial starts just across Rio Buranhém from Porto Seguro. The town is about 4 km (2½ miles) south of the river. It was founded by Jesuits that arrived in 1549 with the Portuguese official Tomé de Souza, the first governor-general of Brazil. Its name is a tribute to Our Lady of Help, a much-revered saint in Portugal. The church and parish were the center of the Catholic church in Brazil for more than a century.
In the 1970s, laid-back Arraial d'Ajuda attracted Brazilian hippies, and then a slew of foreign adventurers moved here, giving the place an eclectic atmosphere and the nickname "Corner of the World."
Coroa Vermelha beach, to the south, is where the first mass in Brazil was celebrated. Other great beaches are Mucugê, Parracho, and Pitinga.