Private Journeys

Value Brazil: Salvador and Bahia

10 days from £1,430pp



map marker Map

Day 1

Arrive in Salvador. Transfer to hotel in the colonial centre.

Transfer to your guesthouse close to the Pelourinho in the historic colonial centre.

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Day 2

Half day walking tour of historic Salvador da Bahía.

The city of Salvador is the most exotic in the country, where the influence of Portuguese colonial architecture and culture blends with the African traditions imported by the slaves brought in to work on the plantations. The compact historic core has recently been renovated and is crammed full of colourful colonial mansions, churches and museums, all clustered around a large open space known as the pelourinho, which is the heart of the city. 

You’ll have a private guided walking tour of this quarter, best discovered on foot. The area is enlivened with bars, shops and restaurants, and you can expect spontaneous eruptions of music at every turn. The local cuisine is very much a product of the region and its cultural mélange: you can try out any number of dishes at the many eateries in town.

Tom Parrott ©

Day 3

At leisure in Salvador

After yesterday's orientation walk, today is free to explore and absorb the magnetic vibe of Salvador. Optional trips we can arrange with advance notice include a Bahian cooking-themed tour or a visit to the Lower City (Cidade Baixa) and the Itapagipe Peninsula, visiting the Igreja de Bomfim. This church is a magnet for pilgrims. If you fancy a trip further afield, Cachoeira is a colonial town and national historic monument that in its heyday was a thriving river port, but is now a sleepy and unpretentious place full of atmospheric, crumbling colonial buildings and a photogenic delight.

Tom Parrott ©

Day 4

Public coach to Lençois in the Chapada Diamantina

Transfer to the bus station for a modern public coach journey (6-7hrs) to Lençois in the Chapada Diamantina, 420km from Salvador.  The pretty, colonial town of Lençois is set in the heart of the Chapada Diamantina. It is a well-watered land of densely vegetated beauty set close to the dusty Sertão desert. The national park's most distinctive features are the table-like mountains which define its topography. 

It has a hot climate all year around, which makes visiting its natural pools, rivers and delightful waterfalls an even more welcoming attraction. Lençois was the centre of a diamond rush in the 19th century but since the 1980s the accent has been on ecotourism. Your hotel is convenient for visits to the many gift shops, family-style restaurants and bars in this friendly low-key little town, until recently the preserve of hippies and New Age aficionados.

Konrad Mludzinski ©

Day 5

Full day tour of Chapada Diamantina

After breakfast there's a full day tour of the Chapada Diamantina. Drive from Lencois to the Mucugezinho river, and trek to the black lake of Poço do Diabo. From here there's a chance to visit Lapa Doce cave, which involves about an hour's walking underground. You’ll also visit Pratinha Cave, a beautiful subterranean river and lake. Later, drive to Pai Inacio plateau and walk the last 300m (20mins) for today's grand finale: perhaps the most amazing view in Bahia.

Konrad Mludzinski ©

Day 6

Hike to the Fumaça Falls in the Capao Valley.

Begin with 2-hour transfer from Lençois to the remote community of Capão which sits withing the heart of the stunning tablelands of the Chapada Diamantina. From here, there's a 12 km walk (2 hours each way) to the top of the steaming Cachoeira da Fumaça (waterfall of smoke). At 340m this is the second highest waterfall in Brazil and the only way it can be viewed in its entirety is to lie horizontal and peer down into the canyon! A picnic lunch is included at the top of the waterfall, before the hike down - which offers more magnificent views over the Capão valley. Return to Capão for a visit to the village and, on the drive back to Lençois, maybe stop at Riachinho for a swim.  This hike is classed as moderate.

Konrad Mludzinski ©

Day 7

Transfer to Praia do Forte

Take the coach back to Salvador and transfer to Praia do Forte. Thanks to its carefully managed conservation projects, Praia do Forte has developed over the decades into an established family-orientated resort without losing its Bahian character. Salvador’s most convenient beach escape, it’s lively at weekends and holidays but miles of palm-lined sands mean there’s room for everyone. Our clients have been enjoying holidays here for over 30 years.

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Days 8-9

At leisure in Praia do Forte

Days in Praia do Forte can be as relaxed as you wish, although there's plenty to fill your time whether its beach-combing before breakfast, a visit the Projeto Tamar turtle sanctuary, ecological reserve or nearby fortress. Nights are generally low-key here, busier on weekends and holidays but the main strip has plenty of eating options and there's a family-orientated atmosphere. Optional whale-watching activities take place at Praia do Forte between August and October.

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Day 10

Transfer to airport in Salvador for international flight home.

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.


Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

Meet the team