Things to Do
Walk the pastel-coloured streets of Salvador, Bahia’s capital city, and you’ll never be far – or out of earshot – from a drum troupe beating out their rhythms. In this stronghold of Afro-Brazilian culture, you can try the martial art of capoeira, admire Baroque colonial churches on every corner, and dance when Carnaval comes to town. Pause for reflection at one of the museums that recall the city’s dark past as the first slave market in the New World.
FOOD & DRINK
Bahia’s colourful cuisine is heavily influenced by its Afro-Brazilian roots. Moqueca gets an honourable mention as the fragrant fish stew known the world over, while vatapá puts stale bread to delicious use combined with shrimp, coconut milk and cashews. Tangy-sweet and refreshing caipirinha cocktails flow freely in every neighbourhood and beachside bar. The state’s southern coastline was formerly known as the ‘Cacao Coast’, and you can still try all kinds of chocolate and cacao-based treats there today, as you beach hop from one beautiful bay to the next.
Coves of all kinds run the length of the Bahian coastline, but beach-bums will find paradise in Itacaré, which boasts several within walking distance of town. Praia Prainha is a picture-perfect slice of white sand, Tiririca a surf break popular with wave-riders, and Resende has shacks proffering coconuts and cocktails. If you’re feeling adventurous, make the 30-minute trek through trees to lesser-known Jeribucaçu to be rewarded with surfing waves, mangroves and a crystal-clear swimming lagoon.