Home to the largest, best-preserved colonial quarter in the Americas, Salvador (pop. 2.5 million) was founded in 1536 and soon became Brazil’s most important port and first capital. For over two centuries, Salvador thrived on the flourishing commerce of sugar cane, gold and diamonds, which resulted in the building of several Baroque churches, ornate mansions, and plazas. During this time, prompted by the increasing labor demand, African slaves were brought in to work the plantations. They brought with them their rich culture and traditions that still survive throughout Brazil, but mainly in Bahia, where the influence permeates all aspects of life - from exotic cuisine to spectacular Capoeira ritualistic dances, to rich musical heritage, to the spiritual Candomble religion. Today Salvador offers a spicy mixture of modernity and tradition, an idyllic place to relax on its inviting beaches as well as a cultural enclave embodying the very spirit of Brazil.
Three to five nights.
When to go
Salvador is a typical hot and moist tropical city with an average year temperature of 76ºF and very slight monthly thermal variations, which makes it a perfect place to visit anytime of the year. The city’s favored oceanside location guarantees a soft breeze constantly blows, making the weather truly pleasant.
• Pelourinho Walking Tours: Stroll Salvador’s lively, colorful colonial quarter.
• Schooner Tours: A full day excursion around beautiful All Saints’ Bay.
• Cachoeira Full-day Tour: Travel back in time to the Brazil of yesteryear —traditional markets, colonial flavor, cigar making, and a special meeting with the centuries-old Boa Morte Sisterhood.
• Traditional Shows: Watch and learn about Capoeira and other spectacular dances of undeniable African origin.
• Mao de Santo: Have your future told by a local spiritual leader from the Candomble religion.
• Olodum: Attend a popular rehearsal of this worldwide famous drum ensemble.
• Carnival: Simply, one of the largest celebrations on Earth.