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Overview

Brazil’s first capital, and third largest city, Salvador lies perched between the picturesque Bay of All Saints and the open Atlantic. The heavily atmospheric, if somewhat chaotic, capital of Bahia dates back over 500 years to when it was the jewel in the crown of the Portuguese Empire. Legacies of those days include the Pelourinho district, which concentrates the largest number of baroque buildings in the Americas, as well as a large population of African descent. To this day, Afro-Brazilian culture dominates many facets of daily life, from Candomblé religious ceremonies and the practice of capoeira to fragrant dishes such as acarajé, ...

Brazil’s first capital, and third largest city, Salvador lies perched between the picturesque Bay of All Saints and the open Atlantic. The heavily atmospheric, if somewhat chaotic, capital of Bahia dates back over 500 years to when it was the jewel in the crown of the Portuguese Empire. Legacies of those days include the Pelourinho district, which concentrates the largest number of baroque buildings in the Americas, as well as a large population of African descent. To this day, Afro-Brazilian culture dominates many facets of daily life, from Candomblé religious ceremonies and the practice of capoeira to fragrant dishes such as acarajé, moqueca, and bobó de camarão served in restaurants throughout the city. Although Bahians are famously relaxed – it helps when you’re surrounded by lovely beaches – they also know how to party like nobody’s business. Things especially heat up in the summer period between New Year’s Eve and Carnaval, a 7-day exercise in bacchanalia that is billed by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest street party.

Michael Sommers
About the Expert

Michael Sommers is the author of Moon Brazil and Moon Rio, as well as the blog Thrill of Brazil. He has been living in Salvador, Brazil since 1999.

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Michael Sommers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year-round, though expect some rain March-June. Summer, coinciding with high season, is particularly hot.