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The region where the municipality of Cairu is constituted today was originally inhabited by the Aimorés Indians. The penetration of the territory began in the first half of the sixteenth century by Francisco Romeo, administrator of the Captaincy of São Jorge dos Ilhéus, who, enchanted by the mild climate and the gracefulness of the place, started a village there, facing anger two Aimorés. It was made village in 1608, of the most important of the Colony, including being seat of ombudsman of the Captaincy of Ilhéus. Municipality created by Carta Régia, of 1608, dismembered of Ilhéus, receiving the denomination of Village of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Cairú. The Sede, formed parish with the oracle of Our Lady of the Rosary, in 1610, was elevated to the category of city, through State Decree-Law of March 30, 1938.
In a territorial division dated from 1960, the municipality is constituted of 4 districts: Cairu, Galeão, Gamboa (former Gamboa do Morro) and Old Boipeba.
The municipality has a peculiarity in population terms, the residents are distributed in 13 villages on the three main islands of the archipelago. On the Ilha de Tinharé are Morro de São Paulo, Zimbo, Gamboa do Morro, Galeão, Garapuá, Batateira, Senzala and Canavieiras. In the Island of Cairu is the administrative center of the municipality, the city of Cairu, Torrinhas and Tapuias. On Ilha de Velha Boipeba are: Boipeba, Monte Alegra, Moreré and São Sebastião (Cova da Onça). Cairu, Sede, Morro de São Paulo, Gamboa and Boipeba, each have approximately one fifth of the population of the municipality.
This municipality, which once encompassed the territory, where today the municipalities of Nilo Peçanha, Taperoá and Valença, have already produced cassava, beans and maize, migrating gradually to the production of tobacco instead of cassava in the early nineteenth century . Today, Cairu is known internationally, it develops several economic activities, emphasizing the tourism, fishing and the vegetal extractivism.
As an international tourist attraction, Bahia's third most visited destination, Cairu receives thousands of tourists annually from various parts of Brazil and abroad, creating an excellent opportunity for hotel businessmen, restaurants and other merchants to establish themselves, mainly in Morro of São Paulo and more recently in Boipeba, where tourism has also grown, other localities are beginning to arouse interest in visitors, Garapuá is one of them.