On our custom, Beautiful Bahia Tours see the highlights of the most African influenced city in the Americas, slow down on the beaches of a deliciously off the beaten path, tropical paradise island and admire the natural beauty of an astonishing national park high on the Sinora Plateau all in one 9 day tour. Starting in Salvador da Bahia, stroll the cobblestone streets of Pelorinho (historical center), watch the nightly Capoeira dancers in their circles as the powerful African percussion reverberates off the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s 16th century architecture and try the region’s, traditional cuisine; a spicy, beautiful, fusion of African, Portuguese and Brazilian elements all fused together. From there, head to the tropical island of Boipeba where you can completely disconnect from reality on the over 20 kilometers of deserted beaches for you to roam. Take a boat tour of the bay, eat a freshly caught seafood lunch, nap in a hammock beneath the coconut trees and enjoy a magical sunset. End your trip in the interior of Bahia, high on the Sincora Plateau at Chapada Diamantina National Park. While seeing the many waterfalls, caves, flora/fauna and incredible panoramic views of the valley, lodge in the most inviting of the old diamond-mining towns in the region, Lençóis. The town has charming cobbled streets, brightly painted 19th-century buildings, and appealing outdoor cafés and restaurants for you to enjoy.
Quite possibly my favorite destination in Brazil; Africa and South America blend in the staggeringly beautiful northeastern state of Bahia. The mixture of two seemingly disparate cultures; classic Portuguese architecture and African drum beats, Catholic churches and Candomblé (Afro-Brazilian religion) is unique, and for most travelers, truly intoxicating. Bahia’s capital and largest city is Salvador, a colonial city with preserved churches, cobblestone streets, lively festivals, powerful percussion reverberating off the old stone walls and capoeiristas (practioners of capoeira) dancing against the backdrops of 16th-century buildings. African heritage in Bahia in constantly on display. Another form of beauty in Bahia lies outside the large cities; with more than 900 km of coastline and tropical islands, the beach seems to never end. The state contains charming colonial gems, idyllic coastal villages, perfect for diving, surfing and sunbathing while inland, Chapada Diamantina National Park offers an abundance of nature: waterfalls, rock climbing and peaceful hiking paths waiting to be explored. For foodies, Bahian cuisine is famous throughout Brazil and is getting more exposure on the international culinary scene as well. The fusion of African, Brazilian and Portuguese elements, using the abundant ingredients that grow locally such as: mango, coconut, palm oil, and various types of hot peppers tantalize your taste buds.
Salvador, Bahia has an energy and unadorned beauty that few cities can match. Once the magnificent capital of Portugal’s explorations in Brazil, Salvador is the country’s Afro-Brazilian jewel. Its brilliantly hued center is a living museum of 17th/18th-century architecture, gold-laden churches and an official UNESCO World Heritage site. More importantly, Salvador is the nexus of an incredible arts movement. Wild festivals happen frequently, with drum corps pounding out powerful rhythms against the backdrop of colonial buildings almost daily. At night, capoeira circles form on plazas and open spaces, while the scent of acarajé (bean and shrimp fritters) and other African delights fills the evening air. Elsewhere in town, a different spirit flows through the crowd as religious followers celebrate and reconnect with African gods at mystical Candomblé ceremonies. In fact, there’s no other place in the world where descendants of African slaves have preserved their heritage as well as in Salvador – from music and religion to food, dance and martial-arts traditions; African heritage is Salvador. Aside from the many attractions within Salvador, gorgeous coastline lies right outside the city – a suitable introduction to the tropical splendor of Bahia.
None of our Bahia Tours would be complete without an extraordinary beach. Just south of Morro de Sao Paulo, across the narrow Rio do Inferno, sits Ilha de Boipeba. The rustic village of Velha Boipeba, on the northeastern tip of the island, is quiet and feels similar to how Morro De Sao Paulo did 20 years ago, though this is slowly changing as more cozy b&bs and delicious restaurants open. The island’s coastline is pristine, with more than 20km of incredible, deserted beaches, including Ponta de Castelhanos, known for its diving. This paradise feels almost stopped in time and is a perfect locale to truly disconnect from the real world, live in the moment and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
Located within this national park’s 1520 sq km boundaries, waterfalls cascade over the Sincora Range’s mountains and plateaus, dropping into rivers that wind their way through grassy valleys to form clean swimming holes. A seemingly endless network of walking trails are surrounded by cacti, strawflowers, philodendrons, velosiaceas, orchids and thousands of other flora. Several species of monkeys share the park’s trees with macaws and many other native birds. Even the rarely seen onça pintada (jaguar) leaves its claw marks in the tree bark. The region’s unique natural beauty and the tranquility of its small colonial towns have attracted a steady trickle of Brazilian and foreign travelers for several decades; some have never left. Rock climbing, repelling, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, caving, hang gliding and multi day hiking/trekking/camping trips are all available here. Chapada Diamantina is an essential part of any of our custom Bahia Tours!
Start one of our tailor made Bahia Tours at the Salvador airport where our tour representative will be waiting for you to take you by air conditioned coach to your hand picked hotel. This afternoon will be free for exploring on your own, relaxing at the pool or in your cushy hotel room, should you be tired from your flight. Your dinner this evening is included, enjoy!
After your first delicious Brazilian breakfast of the trip, our bilingual guide will take you on a city tour of Salvador by air conditioned coach. Today you will visit Pelourinho, the preserved historical center of Salvador which is considered an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our informative guide will tell you all about the city’s fascinating history during Portuguese colonization as well as more current information. Included in the city tour is a irresistible lunch at Brazil’s most respected culinary school, where you can taste for yourself the unique and delicious Bahian cuisine. After lunch head to the neighborhood of Barra do Farol to see the lighthouse and the gorgeous sunset from the peninsula. This evening, relax on your own or opt for a lively nightlife excursion, Salvador style, including dinner and a musical performance!
After another delicious breakfast at your hotel, transfer by air conditioned coach to the airport to catch the charter plane to the remote and unbelievably beautiful island of Boipeba. At the airport in Boipeba our tour representative will meet you once you exit the plane to get you checked in to your bed and breakfast. Time to take your watch off and get on island time! Spend the afternoon walking the beaches, strolling the sand streets of the small villages and absorbing your beautiful surroundings. Tonight’s delectable dinner at your hotel is included.
After getting your fill of rich Brazilian coffee and breakfast at the hotel, depart this morning for a Boipeba boat tour of the island’s many beaches, coves and fishing villages. On this full day excursion you will familiarize yourself with the lay of the land, snorkel in the bath like crystalline water, experience the tiny, stopped in time fishing villages on the back side of the island where you will eat a freshly caught, typically Bahian seafood lunch. After eating and a pleasant rest in the hammock, continue on to the mouth of the river, Rio do Inferno, where your guide will navigate through mangrove sanctuary to the community of Canavieiras. As the sun begins to get low in the sky, you can get a cold beer or cocktail and try some local oysters while you appreciate one of the most beautiful sunsets in Brazil. The boat will then return to town where you can relax in your beautiful accommodations and marvel at the brilliant, starry sky.
Now that you are officially on island time, have a lazy day, hang in the hammock, read a book, feel the warm breeze, watch the swaying palms and walk the endless beaches. You are in paradise after all, enjoy it! If you prefer to do an excursion today, just let us know, we can provide you with all the options and arrange it for you in advance. Don’t worry, you still have half of your Bahia tours ahead of you.
After a wonderful breakfast at your pousada, take the charter plane back to Salvador. Our tour representative will be waiting for you at the Salvador Airpot to transfer you by air conditioned coach to Chapada Diamantina National Park. After checking into your hand selected hotel, eat a tasty dinner which is included. Spend the evening relaxing on your accommodation’s pleasant grounds or get a feel for the area by simply stepping out your door into the spacious colonial plazas in the town of Lencois. The small, old world city has many charming cafes, delicious restaurants and interesting stores for you to peruse!
After breakfast our bilingual guide will take you by air conditioned SUV for a full-day excursion, to see the natural beauty of the park. See Mucugezinho, a beautiful ecological sanctuary with waterfalls and natural swimming pools surrounded by amazing Flora. Continue to Poço do Diabo (Devil’s Well), an enormous, crystal blue lagoon surrounded by imposing granite cliffs. Next, explore the Cave Lapa Doce (a 1 km-long (½ mile) beautiful rock formation), the Cave Partinha, an amazing flooded cave, and Lake Paratinha, with clear, with an opportunity for bathing, relaxing and lunch (included). As the day winds down, take the short hike up the Morro Pai Inácio, a beautiful tabletop mountain, where you will appreciate a wide variety of wild orchids and other exotic plants. From the top, experience the magnificent setting sun over the mountains and canyons. Return to Lençois where you will have the evening free to spend as you wish. Rock climbing, repelling, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, caving, hang gliding and multi day hiking/trekking/camping trips are all available in the park, just let us know if you are the adventurous type and would prefer a different tour.
Eat breakfast at your accommodations and our bilingual guide will take you by air conditioned SUV to see more of the immense park. Explore the seldom visited and extremely charming diamond mining town of Igatu. Continue to Poco Encantado, a mountain cave with a spectacular lake of crystal clear water, 60m (200ft) deep. From April to August, a shaft of sunlight penetrates the cave through the mountainside, with the waters reacting like a prism, dispersing the colors in a rainbow spectrum. Lunch at Poco Encantado is included. This evening is free to stroll through lencois and eat at one of the many delicious restaurants to choose from. Rock climbing, repelling, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, caving, hang gliding and multi day hiking/trekking/camping trips are all available in the park, just inquire if you are the adventurous type and would prefer a different tour.
After your last delicious Brazilian breakfast of your personalized Bahia Tours, our representative will take you by air conditioned coach back to Salvador to catch your flight back home. Or, if you have more time, choose to extend this Bahia Travel Tours or combine it with any of our other 100% personalized Brazil vacations to see more of beautiful Brazil.
The perfect, personalized Brazil vacation, tailor made to your unique preferences.