Tourist Guide to Bahia and Salvador

The mixture of races, cultures and faiths, which has received generous doses of joy and syncretism, has given Bahia and Salvador a unique, upbeat atmosphere that attracts Brazilians and foreigners all year round.

It is in the summer, however, that Salvador shines even brighter, with popular festivals that draw crowds behind religious images and, of course, the trios elétricos.

From December until Carnival, many people are honoured – from Senhor do Bonfim to Rei Momo. The faithful and revellers thank you!
Bahia is the historical and cultural cradle of Brazil

The History of Brazil was born in 1500, in Porto Seguro, and Brazilian culture was born in the second decade of the 16th century, with Caramuru, the patriarch of Brazil and the founder of Bahia, according to Jaboatão.

Tourist Attractions in Bahia and Salvador

  1. Beaches, historical heritage and cultural traditions are the main attractions for tourists.
  2. Folklore, cuisine, carnival and religious syncretism are highlights for those seeking to get to know Bahian culture.
  3. Bahia presents its tray of tourist routes and journeys into the history of Brazil.
  4. From centuries-old churches to the typical handicrafts of the inland towns, from the diverse beliefs of its mestizo people to the myths and rites of local folklore, the state opens up into a veritable mosaic of attractions for those wishing to discover Bahia in all its grace and poetry.

Bahia is a Brazilian state rich in cultural, natural and historical diversity, and has several tourist regions that offer unique experiences for visitors.

Some of Bahia’s main tourist regions

1. Salvador and the Metropolitan Region

  • Salvador: Capital of Bahia and one of the oldest cities in Brazil, known for its colonial architecture, Afro-Brazilian culture, urban beaches and popular festivals such as Carnival.
  • Camaçari: Destination known for its beautiful beaches, such as Guarajuba and Itacimirim, as well as the Parque das Dunas.

2. Costa dos Coqueiros

  • Praia do Forte: Famous for its paradisiacal beaches, the Tamar project (sea turtle conservation) and the Garcia D’Ávila Castle, one of the oldest in Brazil.
  • Mata de São João: In addition to Praia do Forte, the region has other lovely beaches and nature reserves.

3. Dendê Coast

  • Valença: Historic town near the island of Tinharé, home to Morro de São Paulo, a famous tourist destination with paradisiacal beaches.
  • Ituberá: Gateway to Camamu Bay, with its beaches, mangroves and islands.

4. Cocoa Coast

  • Ilhéus: Known as the ‘Land of Cocoa’, it offers beautiful beaches, historic cocoa farms and the scenery that inspired the works of Jorge Amado.
  • Itacaré: Paradise destination with beaches, waterfalls, preserved Atlantic Forest and great waves for surfing.

5. Discovery Coast

  • Porto Seguro: Where the Portuguese first arrived in Brazil in 1500, today it is known for its beaches, lively nightlife and proximity to Trancoso, Arraial d’Ajuda and Caraíva.
  • Santa Cruz Cabrália: It offers quiet, unspoilt beaches and archaeological sites.

6. Chapada Diamantina

  • Lençóis: Base town for exploring the Chapada Diamantina National Park, with stunning waterfalls, caves, canyons and trails for nature and ecotourism lovers.
  • Palmeiras: Another important municipality in the Chapada, close to attractions such as Morro do Pai Inácio and Cachoeira da Fumaça.

7. Recôncavo Baiano

  • Cachoeira: Important historical and cultural centre, with colonial mansions, churches and popular festivals.
  • Santo Amaro: Known for its beautiful freshwater beaches, such as Praia de Dona Zilda, on the banks of the Subaé River.

These are just a few of Bahia’s best-known tourist regions, each offering a unique blend of history, culture, nature and leisure for visitors to explore.

Tourism guide to Bahia and Salvador with hotels and hostels, travel tips and beaches.