Salvador Bahia

The city of Salvador, the capital of colonial Brazil for almost two centuries, is today a city of 2 million people. The black African culture, originating with former slaves, is reflected strongly in the city's culture. In fact, 70 percent of the city's population is Afro-Brazilian and ceremonies honor both African gods and Catholic holidays.

Salvador, in the state of Bahia, lies between tropical hills and wide beaches along the bay of Todos os Santos. The city was built two distinct levels, with residences in the hills and office buildings below, and today it is still divided into upper and lower cities, with an elevator to take you from one to another.

Salvador's beaches have been an inspiration for writers and musicians. They provide chairs and umbrellas at kiosks selling a range of tempting food. Many beaches are lit up at night and boast bars and restaurants for the evening crowd.

Salvador has many plazas for loafing and strolling. The city also has a vast number of churches, many with elaborate decor financed years ago in wealthy Portuguese colonial times.

Perhaps you'll want to spend time shopping at the grand Mercado Modelo or visiting numerous museums. Or, you could venture out to Forte de Santo Antonio at the tip of the peninsula, and wander through the lighthouse or the nautical museum, or maybe enjoy the nearby beach.

Hotel choices in Salvador are ample and range from elegant high-rises to family-run apartments. For a treat, you can book a room at The Transamerica Salvador, which provides a breathtaking view of the Atlantic, the beaches, and the city from the pool area. The view is particularly spectacular at night. Public transportation to various parts of the city is available at the bottom of the small hill on which the hotel is located.


The best time to visit the city is between November and April and the month of July (when schools are out).

Things to Avoid

It's best not to wander around at night, particularly if you"re alone. And, of course, watch your belongings carefully.

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