Overview

Introduction

The capital of the state of Bahia and Brazil’s third largest city, Salvador offers an exciting mix of pulsating musical rhythms, Colonial buildings, beautiful beaches and African culture. Many consider the 4 day carnival here to be the best in Brazil.

Salvador is located on a peninsula and stands on the enormous bay of Todos os Santos, the largest bay in Brazil and second largest in the World.

The city has so much to offer the visitor! From the moment of arrival, there is an ‘electric’ atmosphere and a creative energy expressed in the regional music, cuisine and capoeira; a stylized art form of combat which is fast becoming popular outside Brazil.

Salvador is a stunning, vibrant city where you will find Brazil’s oldest churches and some of the most beautiful colonial architecture. There is a very obvious African influence and the resultant mix of races, colours and cultures epitomises what Brazil stands for today.

The state of Bahia is one of the most popular destinations for visitors owing to over 1000km of coconut-fringed beaches and a weather forecast of ‘hot and sunny’ practically every day!

Beaches near Salvador

There are many beaches within reach of Salvador; we recommend Praia do Forte which is located approximately 1 hour by road from Salvador airport and the Marau Pennisula which is a 30 minute flight.

Praia do Forte takes its name from the castle built by a Portuguese settler in 1556; it was mainly a fishing village until eco-tourism and the well known turtle reserve developed in 1990’s. It remains a tranquil resort and great emphasis is placed on preservation of the area, the flora and fauna and the wildlife, particularly the sea turtles.

Praia do Forte is also ideal for windsurfing and sailing due to constant fresh Atlantic breezes.The Barra Grande village is the main village of the Marau Pennisula though home to only 500 residents. The beach is considered as one of Brazil’s most beautiful as it is frequented by few and features palm trees, coral reefs and calm waters, making it ideal for snorkelling or taking a boat trip to visit one of the 50 uninhabited islands nearby.

Estrela Community Project - Part of the Travel Foundation

Estrela is a British-Brazilian charity based in Salvador. For over 10 years, the charity has worked in partnership with local community initiatives with the aim of benefitting disadvantaged communities by bringing people together from different cultures, and educating them about Brazilian culture. With support from the Travel Foundation, Estrela has developed grass roots community tours that enable tourists to interact and engage with local Afro-Brazilian women and youths.

At present there are five community initiatives that tourists can visit and they include; a women’s health and cultural group, a socio-educational initiative with children, a youth citizenship network, a performing arts and training project with young adults with learning difficulties and a youth performing arts group. The tours not only provide a culturally rich experience for travellers, but allow people from the community to broaden their horizons, raise self esteem and generate some much needed income. Please note that we are now offering private guided excursions to the Estrela Community projects as part of our Brazilian program. 50% of the cost of the excursion will go directly to the host community project and the remaining 50% for the operational running costs of Estrela. 

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Carnival

Many people forget that Carnival takes place in villages, towns and cities all over Brazil and not just in Rio de Janeiro. In Salvador, the focus is on the more contemporary side of carnival culture with African and electronic music taking centre stage.

Carnival takes place throughout the streets of the city; as well as International visitors, local Brazilians flock from other areas of the country to enjoy the celebrations.

Capoeira

Capoeira began in Angola as a ritual fight and when slaves were brought over to Brazil from Africa in the 16th Century, this ritual was not permitted. The movements of the fight then evolved into a graceful art form of combat, known as the Afro-Brazilian marital art today.

Participants form a roda (circle) and take turns playing instruments, singing, and sparring in pairs in the center of the circle. The game is marked by fluid acrobatic play, feints and extensive use of groundwork using sweeps, kicks and body-throws.

There are regular displays of Capoeira in the city and Saturday is a good day to visit one of the many academies where you’ll find the best displays free of charge.

Tamar Turtle Project

The Tivoli Eco Resort supports the protection of the environment, most notably the local turtle population

Environmental tours to the Tamar Turtle Project and to the ecologically-protected areas (accompanied by a biologist) are available.

Traveller Tips

  • Travel on a Jangada – flat pieces of wood with a sail attached. They float over the coral reefs even at low tide.
  • Try the fish with cashew nuts, Octopus Moqueca (a stew made with fresh coconut milk) and king prawns with coconut 

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I love all the diverse ingredients in Brazil; a nation of people who fully embrace fiestas, the rich architectural heritage dating back to the 16th century and the largest wetlands in the Americas.

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Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT -2hrs

Currency

Brazilian real

Language

Portuguese

Average flight times

11.5 hours. BA direct flight to Rio de Janeiro from London Heathrow

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

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Will Rist
Will Rist

I love all the diverse ingredients in Brazil; a nation of people who fully embrace fiestas, the rich architectural heritage dating back to the 16th century and the largest wetlands in the Americas.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

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  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
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