|Overview||Things to do||Suitability||Country Info (Brazil)|
Salvador is the old colonial capital of Brazil. Built on the peninsula that separates the bahia (bay) from the Atlantic Ocean, its colonial legacy and strong African influences give the city a distinct atmosphere.
Salvador is divided into an upper and lower section (cidade alta and cidade baixa). The enormous Lacerda elevator goes from one level to the other and gives you great views over the city.
Pelourinho, the old colonial part of the city, is part of the cidade alta. It is also the tourist epicenter of Salvador, and for good reason: most of the neighborhood is a pedestrian district, with cobblestone streets, many churches, and brightly-painted buildings.
The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in the northeastern region of the country. Over 80% of the population of metropolitan region of Salvador has some Black African ancestry. The African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The historical center of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is rich in historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Aside from it's cultural attraction, Salvador is also a popular beach destination and particularly popular with the all inclusive market.
The Salvador coastline is one of the longest for cities in Brazil. There are 50 km (31 mi) of beaches distributed between the High City and the Low City, from Inema, in the railroad suburb to the Praia do Flamengo, on the other side of town. While the Low City beaches are bordered by the waters of the All Saints Bay (the country’s most extensive bay), the High City beaches, from Farol da Barra to Flamengo, are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The exception is Porto da Barra, the only High City beach located in the All Saints Bay.
The big hotels tend to be strung out along the orla (Atlantic seafront). Then you've got smaller hotels in Barra and Porto da Barra, others (generally less expensive) scattered along the principal thoroughfare of Avenida Sete de Setembro (shortened to "Avenida Sete" by the locals), and still others (usually inexpensive) in and around Pelourinho. If you're shopping for the bottom end of the spectrum in this area you have to be careful; some of these hotels are "by the hour" with all that that entails.
There are also pousadas (guesthouses, or bed & breakfasts) in Barra, Pelourinho, and Santo Antônio (and other places as well, to be sure), and hostels (albergues) which are for the most part located in Pelourinho (though a lot of the "pousadas" in Barra are hostels as well).
The capital's beaches range from calm inlets, ideal for swimming, sailing, diving and underwater fishing, as well as open sea inlets with strong waves, sought by surfers. There are also beaches surrounded by reefs, forming natural pools of stone, ideal for children.
Salvador is located on a small, roughly triangular peninsula that separates Todos os Santos Bay from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay, which gets its name from having been discovered on All Saints' Day forms a natural harbor. Salvador is a major export port, lying at the heart of the Recôncavo Baiano, a rich agricultural and industrial region encompassing the northern portion of coastal Bahia. The local terrain is diverse ranging from flat to rolling to hills and low mountains.