Endless and relaxing beaches and a lot of nature
Bahia is probably one of the best-known destinations in Brazil (especially for Brazilians), mainly because of its endless and relaxing beaches facing the ocean, the lined coconut palm trees, mangroves and the lush green Atlantic rainforest. But wait, there is more: Bahia also hides one of the most beautiful gems inland – the Chapada Diamantina National Park.
In 1000 km of coastline you will find wild and empty bays, both flat waters and surfing spots, protected turtle nests, whales out in the ocean in season, small fishing villages, charming accommodation, all welcomed by the warmth and receptivity of the baianos. It is all there, and you only have to pick the right choice for you.
Boipeba Island is a place to feel the remoteness and quietness of a no-car fishing village surrounded by rich nature where you may just soak up the sun or get active going hiking, snorkeling, canoeing, horseback riding…
Another quiet spot is the Maraú Peninsula which makes a great destination for families, especially if staying at Pousada Lagoa do Cassange where kids absorb most of the beach (with natural pools during low tide) and the Cassange Lagoon (perfect to watch the sunset paddling a kayak or a SUP board). Pay a visit to Maramar school, a communitarian initiative created to encourage educational development and, thus, generate social transformation.
Nearby is Itacaré with great surfing beaches, waterfalls and hiking trails – a bit more structured with restaurants and bars. Txai resort that was once one of the most laid-on luxury accommodations in Brazil still keeps its charms and services at a high level, focusing on wellbeing and nature with apartments and bungalows spread in an area of 100 hectares.
On the spotlight (at least for Brazilians) are also Trancoso, Caraíva and Arraial D’Ajuda that can get quite busy during holidays, but at low season is another tranquil fishing village. They may be chic, but there is still something wild and free about them. All located in the Discovery Coast (Bahia coast is divided into six regions) where the Portuguese first arrived in Brazil, it comprises approximately 150 km of beaches, inlets, bays, cliffs, numerous rivers and streams surrounded by the verdant coconut groves, wetlands and the Atlantic Forest.
Chapada Diamantina, place for nature lovers
We have been talking only about beaches, but Bahia is not made only of sand and sea. One of the most precious gems is kept in the heart of the state and it is called Chapada Diamantina. This is the perfect place for nature lovers – here are some of the best trekking in Brazil (like into the Pati Valley) – spectacular views with the mountain ranges and its plateaus, massive waterfalls (the second highest in Brazil is the Fumaça Waterfall with 340 m), impressive limestone and quartz caves with crystal clear rivers and pools (some of them even allow a dip), wetlands and charming villages.
History, culture and gastronomy
All over Bahia you can find history, culture, fabulous typical gastronomy, but we cannot fail to quote Salvador as the birthplace of samba and capoeira and of one of the best-loved Brazilian writer Jorge Amado. Some slaves’ traditions brought by the Portuguese in the 1500s still linger on. Pelourinho is the place to dive into history with its old Catholic churches, pastel-colored buildings with wrought-iron balconies as you walk along the cobblestone streets.