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Salvador and the Bahia Coast Travel Guide

  • Photo: Alfredo Borba / Shutterstock

Plan Your Salvador and the Bahia Coast Vacation

In "the land of happiness," as the state of Bahia is known, the sun shines almost every day. Its Atlantic Ocean shoreline runs for 900 kilometers (560 miles), creating beautiful white-sand beaches lined with coconut palms. Inland is Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina (Chapada Diamantina National Park), with 152,000 hectares (375,000 acres) of mountains, waterfalls, caves, natural swimming pools,

and hiking trails. And in Bahia's capital, Salvador, the beat of bongo drums echoing through the narrow cobblestone streets is a rhythmic reminder of Brazil's African heritage.

Bahia's Costa do Coqueiros (Coconut Coast), north of Salvador up to the village of Mangue Seco, on the border of Sergipe State, has 190 kilometers (118 miles) of beautiful beaches. South of Salvador, from Baía de Todos os Santos and its islands (Itaparica and Tinharé) to Itacaré is the Dendê Coast, where you find the African palms that produce the dendê oil used in Bahian cooking. The midsection of Bahia's coast is known as the Cocoa Coast, because cocoa plantations dominate the landscape and the economy.

Farther south, the Discovery Coast, from Santa Cruz de Cabrália to Barra do Caí, has many sites linked with the first Portuguese explorers to arrive in Brazil. The last bit of Bahia's coast heading south is the Whale Coast, near the towns of Caravelas and Alcobaça, where humpback whales mate and give birth from June to November.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Soak Up the Sun Warm waters year-round and a continuous lineup of beautiful beaches from south to north make Bahia one of the premier destinations in Brazil for soaking up the sun.
  2. Unique Cuisine Bahia's African influence on Portuguese and native Brazilian food has resulted in a distinct regional cuisine.
  3. Carnival Salvador is one of the top spots in Brazil to celebrate Carnival—its trios eléctricos, street parades, and array of big-name entertainers combine for one long, nonstop party you won't forget.
  4. Afro-Brazilian Culture Salvador is the capital of Afro-Brazilian culture and its historic center, Pelourinho, is a World Heritage site with stunning monuments.
  5. Bahian Music The top names in Brazilian music, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Maria Bethânia, who were some of the musicians nicknamed Novo Baianos (New Bahians), are de facto ambassadors of Bahian music.

When To Go

When to Go

Peak seasons for Brazilians to travel are from December to March (South American summer) and the month of July, when schools have winter breaks...

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Travel Tips

Salvador and the Bahia Coast Travel Tips

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