Salvador da Bahia is provably the most sought after tourist destination in Brazil.
Located in Bahia de Todos os Santos (Bay of All Saints), it's been the most important port in the Southern Hemisphere until the 18th. century, and first Brazilian capital - ended in 1763 - when it was moved to Rio and later to Brasilia, since 1960.
An estimated 1.3 million slaves were brought from Africa before slavery was abolished in 1888.
No wonder that African cultural influence is so visible anywhere and everywhere.
From spicy dishes - vatapá, acarajé, carurú, bobó de camarão, etc. - to its religious syncretism, reflected through Candomblé (Brazilian voodoo) and the ritualistic fight/dance of Capoeira.
Salvador da Bahia will cast a spell on you.
Here the party never ends. Salvadorians make their parties in the streets. there is always something to celebrate, particularly between New Year's Eve and carnaval (Carnival).
Religious events turn into parties as well...
And talking about carnival, you wouldn't want to miss it - that is, if you don't mind to share it with two other million people. Actually, it's considered to be the biggest street festival in the world.
The three official circuits are swept by the "trio-elétricos"...
If you are lucky enough you may even come across Gilberto Gil's band - who is also Brazil's Minister of Culture nowadays.
Nature is another enchanted word in Salvador da Bahia.
From the Coconut Coast in the North to the Whale Coast in the South, you will find canyons, forests, rivers, waterfalls, caves, beaches and more. Myriad options for sports, nature and adventure...
Beaches have an enormous ecological diversity: from the calm inlets and open sea inlets to the ones surrounded by reefs, forming a natural swimming pool.
With almost 50 km. of beaches, you have many to choose from. Among others...
For surf lovers, Itacaré is your place.
Salvador da Bahia's predominant hill and valley topography has divided the city in cidade alta (upper city) and cidade baixa (lower city), connected through Plano Inclinado Gonçalves (cable car) and world famous Lacerda lift.
The Historical Center - declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO - has thousands of 16th., 17th., 18th. and 19th. centuries houses and colonial buildings.
It's divided in three main areas...
Places not to be missed...
Forts are also a very interesting sight.
Under Portuguese rule, several forts were built along Bahia's seashore...
Salvador da Bahia is a unique travel experience and one of the most joyful, exhilarating and culturally diverse cities you will ever encounter in South America...
Through Luis Eduardo Magalhães Int. Airport.
BR-101 and BR-116 highways cross Bahia from North to South.
Hundreds of cruise ships stop in Salvador particularly in summer.