A two hour plane ride from sunny Rio de Janeiro, the state of Bahia offers a quick escape from the hustle and bustle to myriad attractions, from history packed locales and great eats to cutting edge museums. The state’s capital – Salvador [Salvador da Bahia] is the largest city on the Northern east coast, and one of the oldest in the Americas. Salavador is largely known for its rich African history and culture, the influence of which is heard in its music and seen in its cuisine and architecture. Salvador da Bahia is also known for its festive air and warmth. According to Bahia native – Petronio Alves – Salvador is a very friendly city where visitors are invited to dinner within minutes of meeting.
What to do: Salvador da Bahia is the perfect seat of culture and is a great destination for singles and families alike. Check into the Pousada Colonial and walk to the heart of Pelourinho before dining at Sabores da Bahia for the best Caipirinhas you will ever drink. Other attractions are Museu Afro-Brasileiros, Salvador’s Afro-Brazilian museum that showcases historical artifacts from Central and Western Africa. The significance of spirituality in the city makes it impossible to miss the São Francisco Church and Covenant, a boastful structure with gorgeous but yet seemingly misplaced ornamentation. It is said that slave artisans who were forced into Catholicism decorated the church with pregnant cherubs and other figures distasteful to their captors. Spend a day or two at the Porto da Barra beach for some fun in the sun and awesome sunsets.