OVERVIEW OF SALVADOR
Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, was the first major port and the capital of colonial Brazil for almost two centuries. The city lies between green tropical hills and broad beaches along the bay of Todos os Santos. It was built on two levels with administration buildings and residences constructed on the hills; forts, docks, and warehouses on the beaches. To this day the city is still divided into upper and lower cities. From 1500 to 1815 Salvador was the nation’s busiest port. A significant portion of the sugar from the northeast and gold and diamonds from the mines in the southeast passed through Salvador. It was a golden age for the town; magnificent homes and churches resplendent in gold decoration were built. Many of the city’s baroque churches, private homes, squares, and even the hand-chipped paving bricks have been preserved as part of Brazil’s historic patrimony. In Salvador, more than anywhere else in the country, the African influence in the makeup of Brazilian culture is readily visible, from the spicy dishes still called by their African names (caruru, vatapa, acaraji), to the ceremonies of candomblé which honor both African deities and Catholic holidays, to the capoeira schools where a unique African form of ritualistic fighting is taught.
WHEN TO GO
Bahia is known as the land of joy, and much of this is due to the grand celebrations that take place in Salvador. The mix of cultures makes Salvador a melting pot of art, exploding at certain times of the year.
For most time of the year, it is sunny in the capital and the cool clothes are not widely used there. In summer, the average reach 27 ° C in winter to 24 ° C. The time of year when it rains more runs from April to July.
Those who want the hustle and the scorching sun of Salvador should seek to know the city in summer (December to March). For those who prefer a quieter environment and less tumultuous, the most appropriate is to avoid the high season (December to the end of Carnival, July and August).
The already traditional festivals held in Salvador gain worldwide repercussions, such as Carnival. In the Barra-Ondina circuit are thousands revelers who follow behind more than 200 music block truck. If you want to secure a spot in next trio of your favorite artist or a private box for any of the days of Carnival, you have to plan everything in advance. In the week of Carnival, the city is packed with visitors.
The New Year’s Eve is another time when the city welcomes tourists. The turn of the year in Salvador is the most popular among the cities in northeastern Brazil. The festivities take place at various points of the edge of Salvador, but the highlight is the fireworks and concerts that take place at Farol da Barra Beach.
Religious festivals occur throughout the year, but the most traditional celebrations such as party Santa Barbara, the feast of Iemanjá and the Lavagem do Bonfim, occurring between December and the first quarter of the year. Of these, the most famous is the Lavagem of Senhor do Bonfim in Bahia that are followed by the people in procession, to endow smell of water and wash the stairs of the Senhor do Bonfim Church.
By plane, car or bus, it’s important to plan ahead for your trip to Salvador. On holidays and vacations, both roads as airports are full.
Salvador International Airport is modern and has a good structure. There you will find shops selling souvenirs, clothing and a food court with plenty of options. Arriving or leaving the airport, you will go through a bamboo grove, that in addition to be beautiful, offers a very cool visual.
The airport is in the city limits, near Lauro de Freitas, situated 28km from the center of Salvador.
Salvador station bus called Armando Viana de Castro – is in a central part of the city, in Pernambués. From there, there are arrivals and departures from 19 states and interstate bus companies for the main Brazilian cities. The major companies are: Água Branca, Senhor do Bonfim e Itapemirim. It is also close to the Shopping Iguatemi.
WHAT TO DO IN SALVADOR
Versatile, Salvador is a very nice city, either during the day or at night. Tourism is one of the city’s strong infrastructure.
So much for those who enjoy history and for those who prefer to spend the day on the seafront, abound scripts. If you want beaches with more people, stand the urban part of town; but if you prefer more secluded beaches, experiment beaches around places know as Stella Maris and Flamengo.
The best alternative is the night walk around Rio vermelho, the bohemian neighborhood of the city, and see firsthand all it offers – concert halls, bars, restaurants and points of most famous acarajé in Brazil.
Below is the description of available tours in Salvador da Bahia.
What to consider before traveling?
- Salvador is warm most of the year, so take light clothing for your trip and get all those precautions that are recommended in the summer, like drinking water and put sunscreen.
- Want to shake? Go to Salvador on New Year’s Eve or Carnival. If it’s not your thing, escape the city in these days of celebration to north littoral, Chapada Diamantina, Morro de São Paulo…
- Be careful when walking alone in Salvador. Many people get through these places offering “gifts”. Is not present, do not fall for it!
- If you want to know a place that is far from where you are staying, set to leave in advance. In times of rush times, the traffic can be quite chaotic in the city.
- When it’s a neighborhood on which you do not have a lot of information, avoid walking with expensive belongings.
- Salvador has several branches from the main banks. Have numerous ATMs throughout the city.
- Use comfortable shoes the day you want to know the old city center Pelourinho.
- Friday is a day of Bahian food in restaurants. Be sure to book one day to know this so special cuisine.