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Brazil: Salvador da Bahia and the Chapada Diamantina

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In ocean-side Salvador, the capital of Bahia, the influence of Africa dominates the culture and way of life. The multi-coloured Portuguese colonial heart of Brazil’s most exotic city throbs with drum and dance. Within the bay and further afield is a range of beach resorts, from the young and trendy to sophisticated luxury and barefoot paradises. Outside the city in former plantation country (the Recôncavo) there are charming, unspoilt backwater towns and ports. Over 300km inland is the forested Chapada Diamantina, studded with table-top mountains and run through with crystalline rivers and waterfalls: at its heart is the laid-back little town of Lençóis, base for visits and hikes in the area.

Our holidays to Salvador da Bahia and the Chapada Diamantina

View all holidays
Ipanema Beach

Signature Brazil: Brazil at a glance

Private journey

12 days from £3,202pp

Christ the Redeemer

Family Brazil: Rio, Iguazu Falls and Bahia

Private journey

15 days from £3,755pp

Active Brazil

Active Brazil: Remote Bahia and Fernando de Noronha

Private journey

15 days from £3,284pp

Things to do in Salvador da Bahia and the Chapada Diamantina

poco azul


humpback whale bahia

Humpback whale-watching in Bahia

Cachoeira roadside

Visit Bahian Cachoeira

Dancers in Salvador

Afro-Brazilian dance show

Our insider tips for Salvador da Bahia and the Chapada Diamantina


Laura Rendell-Dunn

Watch an impromptu capoeira dance in Salvador, the atmospheric capital of the state of Bahia and of Afro-Brazilian culture. You will also likely witness small groups practicing their acrobatic moves to the rhythmic twang of the single-string Berimbau at sunset on any one of the many golden white palm-fringed beaches that this area of North East Brazil is also renowned for.


Chris Rendell-Dunn

Turtle-watching and beach horse riding at Praia do Forte, fishing village cum low-key, eco-friendly resort an hour’s drive north of Salvador.


David Nichols

Choosing one of the four different beaches at the island of Morro de São Paulo: from party time to natural barefoot sands.


Paul Winrow-Giffin

• The view of and from Brazil’s tallest (420m) waterfall, Cachoeira da Fumaça, accessible from Lençóis.

What our experts say

If you are heading From Salvador inland to the Chapada Diamantina, (an exquisite area of table mountains, waterfalls, aquamarine lakes and cavernous grottoes) do ask to stop en route at the picturesque riverside colonial town of Cachoeira for a guided tour including the baroque church and the old city hall -cum-jail. You'll learn about the history of this once important and prosperous river port, now a crumbling backwater although being sensitively restored. After this we had a Bahian-style lunch at the restored Convento do Carmo.

Ben Line

Ben Line

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