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1 HOTEL IN Bahia


Discover mangroves, moqueca and music as you beach hop around Brazil’s north-eastern coast

Dazzlingly diverse landscapes set the scene in Bahia, a Brazilian state about the size of France, from sweeping palm-fringed beaches and miles upon miles of rainforest to a rugged outback. The birthplace of samba, bossa nova and tropicalismo music, and with a rich cultural history, Bahia thrums to its own extraordinary beat.

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.

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. 

Top Tip from SLH

It’s tapioca, but not as you know it. In Bahia, tapioca is the name for a must-try streetfood pancake made with cassava flour and savoury or sweet fillings.