What to do Salvador - Trips further afield
– 201 km / 125 miles to Mangue Seco: 3.25 hours, Mangue Seco - São Cristóvão (Sergipe): 104 km / 64 miles: 1.5 hours
Beach lovers, read on! Just north of Salvador along the Atlantic coast you will find some great
beacheswaiting for you...
This coastline from Salvador all the way to Mangue Seco at the border with neighbouring Sergipe state is justly called Linha Verde: The Green Line.
The coast north of Salvador is a well-serviced area with great beaches and other
Brazilian holiday destinations, very popular among Salvador dwellers.
Mangue Seco, at the northern tip of Linha Verde
Be prepared that some places can be packed; as a rule ‘the more north, the quieter it gets’. Just pick your type of beach and relax.
Points of interest along the Linha Verde:
– Praia do Forte: Popular beach, not in the least due to its natural pools with great
snorkellingopportunities. There is also a ruined fortress with nice views and an interesting sea turtle protection station which welcomes visitors.
– Sapiranga Reserve: An ecopark, one of the last remnants of Atlantic rainforest.
– Costa do Sauípe: Luxurious resort with spa and golf course.
– Barra do Itariri: Beautiful palm fringed, white sand beaches.
– Praia Sitio do Conde: Another beach with natural pools and a good surf.
– Mangue Seco: A lovely remote fishing-village at the banks of Rio Real, the border river between Bahia and Sergipe states. You can organize dune-buggy trips here. Mangue Seco is only accessible by boat, from Pontal, Porto do Mato and Terra Caida.
If you feel to conclude your beach trip in colonial style, you should consider to push on into Sergipe, the smallest state of Brazil. One of the oldest cities in Brasil is the tranquil São Cristóvão, the former capital of Sergipe.
The charming historical centre with its picturesque squares is a perfect place to refuel before heading back to Salvador or onwards to Maceio or perhaps Recife. If you plan to overnight at this stage, drive another 25 km/ 15.5 miles north to current state capital Aracaju with plenty of accommodation.
Overnighting along the Bahia north coast:
• High end:
Sofitel Suites Costa do Saípe – Costa do Sauípe
Posada do Sol – Rua Atalaia 43, Aracaju (Sergipe)
Fantasias do Agreste – Mangue Seco
• Budget/ Backpackers:
Albergue Praia do Forte – Rua da Aurora 3, Praia do Forte
– 724 km / 450 miles to Trancoso: 9.25 hours
If you liked the beaches of the Bahia north coast, you will adore the beaches south of Salvador. However, tourist infrastructure is less developed and distances are vast. Moreover, to start our south coast trip from Salvador, you first have to drive around the Todos os Santos Bay (or take a ferry to Itaparica Island and continue from there). Places to look out for:
Itacaré beach: Just didn't make our Top 10...
– Península de Maraú:
Lovely remote peninsula, covered in the nowadays rare Atlantic rainforest.
Although there is a dirt road connecting the peninsula to the mainland, it is recommended to reach Maraú by boat.
The showpiece of Maraú is the picturesque hamlet Barra Grande, surrounded by spectacular beaches like Praia Taipús de Fora. Hop on a ferry from Camamu or Itacaré.
– Itacaré: Beloved by ecotourists, beach lovers and surfers alike, this laidback fishing-village surrounded in Atlantic rainforest. Itacaré is also known for its
Afro-Brazilian culture. The beach Prainha is considered one of the most stunning in this part of Brazil.
– Ilhéus: After a beautiful drive through coastal rainforest, you will arrive in Ilhéus, the largest city of the Bahia south coast. This is the cacao capital of Brazil and the setting of many novels written by Jorge Amado, the most beloved Bahian writer. There are a few museums and several nice beaches around.
– Porto Seguro: ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for Portuguese mankind’. At the site of present day Porto Seguro, the Portuguese set foot on Brazilian land for the very first time in the year 1500. You can still find some reminders of Porto Seguro's long past in the compact historical centre.
However, today Porto Seguro (‘Safe Harbour’) is world-famous in entire Brasil for its happening nightlife, beach parties and festivals (
Carnival!). At night you can sample delicious cocktails at the ‘Passarela do Alcool’ when the main street of Porto Seguro turns into an Alcohol Boulevard where numerous vendors prepare whatever you like.
– Trancoso: If you need to unwind (or even recover from a hangover) after visiting thrilling Porto Seguro, the neighbouring beach town of Trancoso and its surroundings make a serene refuge.
Overnighting along the Bahia south coast:
• High end:
Txai Resort – Rodovia Ilhéus Itacaré Km. 48, Itacaré (17 km/ 10.5 miles south)
Pousada Estrela d’água – Estrada do Arraial, Trancoso
Ilhéus Praia Hotel – Praça D. Eduardo, Ilhéus
Porto Seguro Praia Hotel – Av Beira Mar, Porto Seguro
• Budget/ Backpackers:
Itacaré Hostel – Rua Lodônio Almeida 120, Itacaré
Ilhéus Tropical – Rodovia Ilhéus-Olivença Km 2, Jardim Atlântico, Ilhéus
– 413 km / 257 miles: 4.75 hours to Lençóis
If you want to escape the city of Salvador for a natural setting, this magnificent national park in the heart of Bahia is your pick.
Sky-high rock formations are dominating the area. From here you have marvellous vistas of the rest of the 1520 km²/ 945 square miles national park.
National Park Chapada Diamantina
Throughout the Chapada Diamantina park there are canyons, small rivers, waterfalls, caves and cliffs. The national park has several areas beckoning for exploration. The most popular are:
– Morro do Pai Inácio: This signature tableland in the northern part of the Chapada Diamantina national park has the best views.
– Cachoeira da Fumaça: 340 m / 1115 ft high waterfall, on windy days leaving just a haze of water, hence its name: Smoke Waterfall.
– Vale do Paty: Excellent for a multiple day hike, this picturesque valley with spectacular vistas, waterfalls, natural pools and abandoned mining towns.
– Poço Encantado: A deep cavern with at its bottom the bright blue Enchanted Pool, a beautiful spot when lighted by the sun.
– Cachoeira do Buracão: Spectacular waterfall and an angry river.
You can enter the Chapada Diamantina national park via the lovely colonial mining town Lençóis, an attraction in itself. Lençóis has a laidback atmosphere and small pastel coloured churches and houses.
Lencois, basecamp of Chapada Diamantina
|Lençóis has been developed into a true base camp for outdoor tourists.
The town has plenty facilities including accommodation, mountaineering shops and tour agencies.
These businesses organize hikes, multiple day treks (being it on foot, by car or on horseback...), abseiling trips and mountaineering expeditions in the Chapada Diamantina national park.
Overnighting in Lençóis:
• High end:
Hotel Canto das águas – Av Senhor dos Passos 1
Pousada Solar dos Moraes – Rua São Benedito
• Budget/ Backpackers:
Hostel Chapada – Rua Boa Vista 121