Salvador is one of Brazil's most frequently visited cities. The city itself is worth visiting for it's cultural scene and historic buildings, though many choose to head straight to some of Bahia's excellent nearby beach resorts, such as that of Praia do Forte. In addition to the beaches, consider venturing more off the beaten track inland to the Chapada Diamantina National Park - a beautiful area of escarpments, forests and waterfalls that is great for hiking in brazil.
Salvador - Brazils Cultural Capital
Colonial, buzzing, African influnced Salvador is one of Northern Brazil's travel highlights and is well known for it's carnival, which is far more authentic that the Rio Carnival. Salavador is a large vibrant city with a beautiful, recently restored old colonial quarter, as well as some city beaches. There's numerous historical sites to explore in the old town - best to book a hotel in Pelhourinho district. For those that prefer a beachfront hotel in Salvador, some of the best inner city beaches are at Porto da Barra, in addition to the beach suburbs of Pituba, Amaralina, Ondina, Itapoa, Piata and Jaguaripe. The island of Itaparica is just offshore and also has some fine beaches and hotels. The real reason to travel to Salvador is to experience the local Brazilian culture (and cuisine), and to explore the lovely historical quarter - two or three nights will suffice. Those looking for a beach resort should head either North or South of Salvador, where there are numerous options detailed in this Brazil travel guide.
See our Salvador trip report for further advice on Salvador.
North from Salvador to Praia do Forte
Travelling North from Salvador along what is known as the Linha Verde one encounters, at 45 km, the quiet beach resort of Arembepe. It's a laid back simple resort, in sharp contrast to many of the more developed resorts in the region. The best beaches are just north of Arembepe.
Praia do Forte is one of the most frequently visited of the beach resorts near Salvador. It's a resort popular with the wealthy people of Salvador, and while quite developed still doesn't feel over-run. There are a range of excellent low key luxury resorts in Praia do Forte.
There's other low key beach resorts on this stretch of Brazil's coast, including Imbassai, Diogo, Sitio do Conde and Mangue Seco. Nearby Porto Sauipe is an ugly resort town aimed at the cheap package holidays to Brazil market - best avoided.
See our Praia do Forte & resorts near Salvador guide for more detailed advice on choosing a beach resort or exploring this part of Brazil.
Chapada Diamantina - Inland from Salvador
A five to six hour drive inland from Salvador lies the Chapada Diamantina National Park - a stunning landscape of table top mountains, waterfalls, gorges and rivers. The scenery is spectacular - this is one of Brazil's top trekking and hiking destinations. See our Chapada Diamantina travel guide for further advice.
Travel South from Salvador to find many more beaches resorts on the coast towards Rio.