Chapada Diamantina • Salvador • Maraú Peninsula
Bahia is known for its laid-back and relaxed atmosphere and the warmth of the local people. It is often associated to tropical beaches where winter is defined only by the rain and not by the temperature. But what many people still do not know is that Bahia hides inland gems, as the diamond in the rough Chapada Diamantina.
Chapada Diamantina National Park is in the heart of Bahia and is like an oasis in the wilderness. 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. It is also a great place to interact with the locals, learn more about their way of life and taste the regional food.
Probably the best-known destination in Bahia is the city of Afro-Brazilian culture (and once the first capital of Brazil): Salvador. Find out about the history it carries with a stroll around the cobblestone streets of Pelourinho with its old Catholic churches and pastel-colored buildings with wrought-iron balconies. Not to mention Salvador is the birthplace of samba and capoeira (some of the slaves’ traditions that still linger on), and so it is always a lively and cheerful place to be.
The perfect place to relax after being active in Chapada Diamantina and getting the excitement of Salvador, is the Maraú Peninsula. Not that there is no action in there, but it is totally up to you to just soak up the sun and feel the breeze from the beach while sipping a coconut water or to go out and paddle a kayak or stand-up board, ride a bike, go snorkeling… One thing is for sure, you will definitely go back home refreshed!