Brazil is famed for its colourful and contagious atmosphere, spanning dance, music and art – something you’ll find at its finest in the state capital of Salvador. While one aspect of holidays to Bahia should be centred around experience this region’s immense culture and history, another should be based on outdoor exploration, allowing you to immerse yourself in some of the world’s most diverse and enthralling landscapes.
The entire state of Bahia is a playground for both culture vultures and lovers of the great outdoors, offering up a combination of cities of immense history, and destinations immersed in stunning natural beauty. Whatever you envisage yourself doing during your holidays in Bahia, embracing both notions will see you greatly rewarded. For the beach bums among you, head to the beautiful city of Ilheus, where you can indulge in both golden strips of sand and striking churches and cathedrals, while the beaches at Cumuruxatiba will mesmerise even those that don’t worship the sun, sand and sea.
Try your hand at some outdoor adventure during your time in the state, whether amid the captivating rainforest settings or on the waters of a raging river. Itacare is a great option, boasting fantastic white water rafting opportunities, as well as fantastic surfing, all in a location immersed in Atlantic rainforest. The Chapada Diamantina is another wonderful destination for those seeking outdoor exploration, home to some of the most remarkable landscapes in Brazil, spanning forests, lakes, rivers, canyons and caves. No trip to Bahia is complete without a visit to the state capital Salvador, particularly to absorb the myriad of sites encountered in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage old town. Tick off the Sao Francisco Church and Covent, the cathedral and the Ordem Terceira do Carmo Church, before ducking into some of the city’s museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art or the stunning mansion that is the Carlos Costa Pinto Museum.
Long stretches of white sandy beaches are scattered all the way along the Bahia coastline. There are exciting beaches in the main city of Salvador, beautiful beaches with seafood restaurants and bars at Porto Seguro in south Bahia, and plenty of picturesque and desolate beaches elsewhere along the coast lapped by crystal clear emerald water.
Visit Bahia between July and November and a whale watching trip is a must. The warm waters of the Atlantic off the southern coast of Bahia are the breeding grounds for humpback whales so it’s the perfect place to spot these incredible creatures on a boat trip. Discover what's below the ocean on a diving or snorkelling adventure or stick closer to dry land and try an array of water sports.
Wherever you stay along the coast, whether in fun-packed Porto Seguro, historic Salvador or a traditional fishing village, you'll be able to find an ocean-side seafood restaurant. After a long day spent sunbathing and swimming, brush off the sand, slip on your flip flops and head to whichever restaurant takes your fancy.
The Bahia coastline with its palm tree lined white sand beaches and crystal clear water is spectacular. The city beaches of Salvador and Porto Seguro are popular and dotted with beachside bars and seafood restaurants, however you only need to travel along the coast a bit to find desolate beaches with peaceful surroundings of just the ocean and the tropical Atlantic Forest.
After soaking up the sun and spending time lounging on the beach, cool off in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches in the bay of Salvador have calm clear water that's perfect for swimming. Explore the coastline more and head out to sea on a snorkelling or diving trip. Charter a boat and go fishing or try a variety of water sports.
Whether you want a romantic candlelit meal or an exciting evening out trying a selection of local dishes, there will be a place to suit in Bahia. Salvador has a variety of restaurants serving everything from seafood and pasta to barbecued meat and traditional Bahian classics. The coastal city of Porto Seguro is a great place to feast on seafood and local cuisine.
The Pestana Bahia Hotel has an ideal location just 15 minutes from the main tourist attractions and offers guests two outdoor panoramic swimming pools, sauna, fitness centre, pool bar and restaurant. It is an ideal choice for couples seeking a little bit of luxury during their holiday.
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The historic centre of Salvador is a feast for the eyes with wonderful architecture, stunning churches and beautiful old colonial buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Take a stroll along the streets and through the attractive plazas to fully discover the city. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend a lazy few hours in the Metropolitan Park Pituaçu where you can go boating on the lagoon.
Enjoy a day trip to Praia do Forte, a beautiful stretch of beach with a sea turtle conservation project, or take a schooner trip to Ilha dos Frades and Itaparica where you can go swimming and snorkelling. Go on an excursion to the picturesque village of Morro de Sao Paulo on the island of Tinhare and explore the island's walking trails or go diving. Make sure you stock up on souvenirs to take home from the 17th century Mercado Modelo market in Salvador.
Make the most of Savador's history and dine in the slave quarters of an 18th century sugar warehouse, now the Restaurant Solar do Unhão. The Italian Ristorante Al Carmo is housed in a delightful building from the 19th century and has a good selection of pasta dishes. Try the local cuisine at Senac where you can choose from a buffet selection of Bahian dishes.
With powdery white sand and clear emerald water, families will love spending time on Bahia's picturesque beaches. Salvador has lovely city beaches that are manned by lifeguards and there are beautiful tropical beaches further down the coast at Porto Seguro. Southern Bahia is one of the best places in Brazil to go whale watching, so take the family on a trip they'll never forget between July and November to spot majestic humpback whales.
Cool off in the surf of Salvador and Porto Seguro's Atlantic Ocean beaches. The beaches on Salvador's bay such as Porto da Barra have calm water so are great places for the whole family to go swimming. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the Mercado Modelo market in Salvador that dates back to the 17th century selling goods such as crafts, local produce and semi-precious stones.
Whether you fancy a fun-filled beach break in Porto Seguro or a cultural holiday mixed with beaches in Salvador ensure the family gets a taste of the local cuisine in one of Bahia's many traditional restaurants. After spending a day at the beach relax over a delicious meal with a view at a seafood restaurant on the coast.
The Monte Pascoal Praia is a great choice for families wanting to be close to the beach and the city centre. The hotel has 83 well-equipped rooms some offering a sea view as well as an outdoor swimming pool, beauty salon and Jacuzzi for guests to make use of.