My top places in Brazil

Sunset llha do Algodoal

Sunset llha do Algodoal

Top Beach Destination: Brazil is full of beaches and it’s hard to define if one more beautiful than another and it’s even harder to name a favourite beach destination. Out of all the beaches that I have visited each of them have their particular beauty. However when it comes to a beach destination, it’s not only to the beach itself that matters. There are few other facts that I personally enjoy when choosing a beach destination. I know some might like popular beaches where the rich and the beautiful locals hang around during their spare time, however I like raither distant destinations with less touristic infrastucture and a touch of the good old days when all the natural resources wasn’t yet explored. I like the destination that disconnects me more than totally from the rush and the run of every day life and makes me feel myself at the edge of the world. Therefore my top beach destination with these characteristic is the Ilha do Algodoal, a tropical island in the northern corner of Brazil. This extremely beautiful place incentivates you to listen to the voices of the nature, to pay attention to the endless horizon and to breath like if there were no worries in the entire world. For me Ilha do Algodoal is a real paradise on the earth.

Lencois Maranhenses

Lencois Maranhenses

Top Eco-Tourism Destination: Just like beaches, Brazil is also full of interesting eco-tourism destinations. There is everything from hiking to wildlife observation, from fishing to discovering the wonders of submarine life. There are also few unique phenomenon that can only observed here in Brazil. Pantanal happens to be world’s biggest wetland, the delta of Parnaíba on the other hand is the biggest delta of the Americas and naturally the Amazon rainforest is one in kind. However when it comes to top eco-tourism destination in Brazil, my choise  is Lencois Maranhenses, a simply unique and absolutely interesting region located in the state of Maranhão. This immense area with very fragile eco-system is formed by numerous sparkling lagoons hidden in between the white sand dunes. It’s a unique phenomenon that can only be observed in this dry region thanks to rainy season and the approximity to the Amazon basis. Lencois Maranhenses is an off-road eco-tourism experience that will surely impress you!

Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto

Top Historical Destination: I use to say that you haven’t seen all the faces of Brazil unless you have visited Ouro Preto. You might think that travelling all the way to Minas Gerais just to spend few days in Ouro Preto is not worth it, but I do guarantee that you will be surprised. Ouro Preto is the face of colonial Brazil. It’s a destination where you will be surrounded by history and art, no matter which part of the city you are. Ouro Preto takes you to an imaginary trip back to the past and captures all your attention with neverending details of this charming city. Simply a must see destination!

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro

Top City Break: It might sounds like a cliché, but top city break must be the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro, simply because of the variety of options it offers for a traveller. Beyond the traditional touristic sights Rio de Janeiro works as a city break for lovers of gourmet kitchen, for tireless party animal, for those who enjoy music and art and for the ones who enjoy chilling on the beach or practising sports. For me Rio de Janeiro is the top city break destination exactly because of its’ diversity and of course, also because of its’ unique beauty, which can be admired at any corner of the city.

Top Beach: Choosing one breach out of all the irresistible Brazilian beaches is a real challenge.  Year after year the beaches of Fernando Noronha are included into the top beaches of the country and there is no doubt that the beaches like Praia do Sancho, Praia do Leão and Baía dos Porcos aren’t some of the most  stunning beaches of Brazil, simply because of the clear turquoise and blue tones of the sea and the beautiful and well conserved landscapes of Fernando de Noronha. Beside of the archipelago, there area lovely white sand beaches with clear waters in many parts of the continent as well. In the state of Alagoas a large number of palm threes give a pictoresque appareance for the coastline, while in Ceará and Maranhão the dunes give raither a stark, but beautiful contrast for the sparkling sea.

Praia do Pesqueiro

Praia do Pesqueiro

So finally, out of all these beautiful beaches, which would I choose to be my top beach? My choise ia maybe a less known, but simply unique with a genuine feeling of an untouched beach. My top beach is Praia do Pesqueiro in the island of Marajó, located at the state of Pará, in northern most corner of Brazil. Praia do Pequeiro is a beach where the waters of a river get mixed to the sea. The water in fact is sweet, but the feeling is like if you were enjoying a bath at any seaside beach. Even smooth waves and a warm wind will refresh you in the heat of Pará. There are few rustic beach bars that serve ice cold drinks and light meals so that you can easily spend an entire day at this little paradise. The landscape is a beautiful mixture of tropical vegetation, natural swimming pools during  the low tide and endless views over this almost deserted beach. During the low season only few other tourists together with a couple of distant water buffalos and numerous sea birds will give you company. Simply a lovely place and a fantastic beach for you to enjoy youself in the middle of the virgin nature far away from the signs of modern life and from the rush and run of the cities.

Chapada Diamantina

Chapada Diamantina

Top Combination: Top combination is a region or state that allows you to experince the different faces of Brazil with no need for domestic flights or endless travelling. My top destination of this category is the regions of Salvador combined with eco-tourism experiences in Chapada Diamantina and beachside extention in the tropical islands of Tinharé and Boipeba. This simple combinations allows you to enjoy the afro-brazilian culture and colonial architecture in Salvador, the capital of Bahia, experience the inlands and practise hiking in South America’s top one hiking destination, Chapada Diamantina and last but not least enjoy the stunning beaches of Morro de São Paulo and maybe even extend your stay to the less crowded island of Boipepa, both of them filled with palm trees and most importantly with no motorized traffic to disturb you. A facinating combination that allows you to experience the best of Bahia with no need to spend and time on the airports!

Top Pousada: Naming a top pousada is a pretty tough question, maybe because I’m pretty critic when it comes to perfection or maybe many of them have been at expected level, but still it’s hard to say which one would be simply outstanding. So after having tought about the options, I decided to let you know my overall top pousada, my top charm pousada and my top service pousada.

Casarão da Amazônia

Casarão da Amazônia

The first one goes to Casarão da Amazônia, a simply lovely pousada in the island of Marajó, in Pará. Casarão da Amazônia has a perfect location in the village of Souré, close to the top beaches and interesting eco-tourism sights. It’s an old colonial mansion reformed with excellent taste and surrounded by a garden with pool area. And after all it’s not just the appearance and comfort, it’s also about the friendliness of the stuff and the great value for money that Casarão da Amazônia offers for its’ guests.

When it comes to charm I would name Vila Serrano, in the village of Lencois (Chapada Diamantina), in Bahia. This tiny pousada is a enchanting combination of colonial style, feng shui and comfort. The individually decorated rooms have and romantic ambient and even the public areas of this lovely pousada are in full harmony with the nature. Simply charming!

Top service wasn’t actually difficult at all. It goes clearly to Barra Velha, a pousada located in Maragogi, the state of Alagoas. I know the northeastern Brazil is known for hospitality, tasty food and generous breakfast, but still a stay at Barra Velha went over all my expectations when it comes to the hospitality. Being welcomed by the owners and attented with an attitude that went beyond our needs and expectations was something that made the service of Barra Velha extraordinary. Really a place to feel yourself at  home!

Top Restaurant: When I travel I usually enjoy trying different restaurants, tasting several options and discovering new experiences. Basically this means that unless the food is simply irresistible I rarely eat more than once or maximum twice in the same place, and in that case I surely taste two different dishes. However there do have been few exceptions being one of them over the others. I usually ask for restaurant recommendations from the staff of my pousada or hotel. This is exactly what I did in Canoa Quebrada as well. I was recommended to eat in a restaurant called Cabana, located right on Broadway, the main street of Canoa Quebrada. After having experienced Cabana I found myself repeating the experice even more than tiwce. I tried several dishes and time after time ended more and more satisfield. Cabana offer absolutely tasty food with first class incredients and great value for money. Cannot recommend more!

Vila Serrano

Vila Serrano

It wasn’t easy and my top places might change at any moment of time,

but today these are top choices in Brazil.

Travelling in Brazil is always a pleasure, it’s full of nice surprises and after all…

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Ouro Preto, the real pearl of Minas Gerais

Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto

Many of the mayor Brazilian cities do have their colonial side with colorful buildings, mosaics and traditional architecture, however I would say that you haven’t seen colonial Brazil before you have seen Ouro Preto. Ouro Preto is different, it’s unique, it’s a must see destination which will surprise you. What makes Ouro Preto so special then? Ouro Preto is not just a colonial old town with beautiful historic churches, Ouro Preto is an another Brazil that you will not find by visiting the well-known cities or beach destinations. After having seen a large number of less conserved cities in Brazil, what mostly impressed me with Ouro Preto was the consciousness of conservation. Without taking into account the entrance, even today the streets of Ouro Preto are made of stones and the new construction has to follow stricktly the tradional architecture. Here you will not see any modern high rising buildings netx to a lovely colonial house, no Ouro Preto is still like decades ago. Basically in the heart of city there is only one modern building. It happens to a hotel, designed by famous Brazilian architecture Oscar Niemayer. A little detail that can easily be forgiven. So once you walk in the narrow streets of Ouro Preto you can enjoy the atmospheare without running into any signs of modern construction. This fact gives Ouro Preto its’ special charm and attracts tourist both at national and at international levels.

Streets of Ouro Preto

Streets of Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto enjoys an easy access from Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais. The distance from the city is only about 100 km and a little bit more if you depart from the international airport of Belo Horizonte. The simplest way to reach this lovely town is to hire a private transfer unless you are not into renting a car and driving by yourself, which in fact is an interesting option as it allows you to discover the nearby cities such as Mariana as well. Once you arrive to Ouro Preto the best way to move around is on foot, but pay attention on the shoes you are wearing. Forget the high heals and any slippery shoes, as walking in the city means going up and down and up again. Also, make sure you get accommodated in the heart of the city which allows quick and easy access to all the attractions at any time of the day.

Igreja São Francisco de Assis

Igreja São Francisco de Assis

Praça de Tiradentes, the main square of Ouro Preto is a starting point for your adventures in this colonial town. Visit the Museum of Betrayal (Museo de Inconfidência) to learn a lot about the history of the region. On the other end of the square stands the Museum of Mineralogy with varied collection of minerals from quartz to diamonds. Ouro Preto has 13 traditonal churches dating from baroque and rokokoo eras. All of them are worth visited but if your time and interest is limited include at least the three most important ones into your schedule. They are city’s oldest church Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pilar with almost 1000 pounds of gold and nearly 900 pounds of silver, Igreja de São Francisco de Assis which is a unique rokokoo church known as a masterpiece of Aleijadinho one of the most highly-regarded Brazilian artists.  The museum and the grave of this famous painter, scupltor and architect are located at the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, also worth visiting. Aleijadinho suffered leprosy and the legend says that after having lost his fingers he c0ntinued working by strapping tools to his stumps. Beside of his talent this is one of the facts that makes his art extremely interesting and definitely worth admiring. When planning your trip to Ouro Preto remember that most of the churches and museums stay closed on Mondays.

Matriz Nossa Senhora da Conceição

Matriz Nossa Senhora da Conceição

Ouro Preto means black gold, name that was given to the city due to the minerals (including gold) found from the region. Today, as a tourist, you can visit the mines which during the gold rush were the working place of hundreds and thousands of slaves. Narrow alleyways inside of the mine tell a cruel history of unhuman working conditions of the slaves, who made all the hard work not only in Ouro Preto but many other parts of Brazil during the slavery.  Once you have visited the principal sights, wander around the pictoresque streets of Ouro Preto, take pictures and enjoy the unique atmospheare of this charming city. In case you are visiting Ouro Preto during the summer time visit the waterfalls of the region for a refreshing bath.

Colonial Ouro Preto

Colonial Ouro Preto

When the night falls, Ouro Preto invites you to enjoy fine dining with live music. Jazz and Brasilian popular music (MPB) are the two principal rhythms heard in many restaurants. The offer of cultural events in Ouro Preto is pretty good and one of the most popular events is the festival of Jazz organized every year in September. However even outside of special dates you will always find a cozy place to enjoy a cup of coffee, a class of wine or a delicious meal while you listen to live music. On your next trip to Brazil, don’t miss Ouro Preto, it’s pure magic and easy to fall in love with.

Praça Tiradentes

Praça Tiradentes

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Hotel Solar do RosarioThe best hotel of Ouro Preto with top service and all the facilities. Solar do Rosario is well located in a peaceful corner of the city, next to the church of Rosario and just about 10 minutes walk from the main square. It offers high quality accommodation with colonial touch of Ouro Preto and all the possible services including meeting facilities, 2 pool (natural and heated one) and a gym. Highly recommended!
  • Pousada do Mondego A quality pousada next to the São Francisco de Assis church and just a block from the main square.
  • Hotel do Teatro – A tiny hotel in a silent street just a step away from the main square. Rooms of Hotel do Teatro are decorated with traditional colonial style and it offers good value for money.
  • Cafe Gerais – Tasty meals, ambient decorated with good taste and high quality live jazz in the evenings. An excellent place to enjoy your dinner together with couple of drinks.
  • Restaurante Acaso 85 Looking for a romantic ambient for special celebration? Then your destination must be Acaso 85, a restaurant that from outside doesn’t impress at all, but hides an extremely romantic ambient, with different spaces, one of them an open air garden with candle light. Highly recommended!
  • Casa do OuvidorA recommended place for lunch or dinner. Taste dishes, good ambient and great value for money. Try especially the tradional meals from the region of Minas Gerais!
  • O Passo – A pizzaria with a lovely terrace, for you to have a drink, light snack or a while while listening to live music in open air.
Igresa Nossa Senhora do Carmo

Igresa Nossa Senhora do Carmo

Indigenous cultures, history and city life in Belem, Pará

Before finishing our chronicle of Pará we want to introduce the state capital Belem for you. Belem is among the most important cities of northern Brazil and is a excellent gateway for this huge region with numerous eco-tourism destinations.  The region of Belem has been home for indigenous tribes and controlled by portuguese conquerors, but today it is an interesting mixture of culture, history and present.

Ver-O-Peso Market

Ver-O-Peso Market

When travelling to Belem, make sure you get accommodated in the city center close to the old port called Estacão das Docas, which has been reformed to serve both locals and tourists with numerous restaurants, bars and shops. This elegant riverside destination is among the most visited parts of Belem and has an excellent access to other nearby attractions. Right next to Estacão das Docas you will find a famouss market place called Ver-o-Peso. Here you will find basically anything from local herbs to souvenirs and be able to taste the famous Açai of the Amazon. Ver-o-Peso is an excellent place to buy souveniers as you will find a large variety of resonably prised handcrafts. Right next to the market place stands a museum introducing the indigenous cultures and their traditions to you, it’s also a good place to shop some handcrafts done by the local tribes.

Cathedral of Sé

Cathedral of Sé

While you walk along the riverside you will come to the oldest part of Belem, which is filled with colonial style buildings reminding us of the era, when Belem was controlled by the portuguese conquerors. These colourful buildings are worth admiring and today many of them serve either as museums or as restaurants. In the hearth of the old town, right at the square of Frei Caetano Brandão you will find a number of attractions, like the impressive Cathedral of Sé, the Palacete of 11 windows (Casa das 11 Janelas) and the old fort of Belem. The Cathedral of Sé is considered as one of the most beautiful churches in Brasil and the former mansion, Palacete of 11 windows on the other hand is a well conserved historical building, which today hosts a museum and a stylish restaurant with same name. The fort of Belem takes you all the way back to the days when the portugueses landed here in 1616, and built the fort with an intention to start controlling these distant lands. Today the fort includes also a very interesting museum taking you to the history of the indian tribes and showing a large number of historical items found in the archelogical excavations.

Colonial houses

Colonial houses

Today Belem is a culinary capital of Amazon region with many stylish restaurants offering tasty meals prepared with local specilities. Try out lunch at the restaurant of Mangal das Gracas, an ambiental park that in addition to the culinary experiences introduces you also to the nature of these ecuatorial regions. For a romantic dinner at candle light, try out the fancy restaurant of Casa das 11 Janelas (the Palacete of 11 windows), where you will feel the presence of history while you enjoy your meal.

Every October the largest catholic festival the Cirio de Nazaré is celebrated in the streets of Belem as homage for the virgin of Nazaré. Once you are familiar with Belem, check out the other attractions (Ilha do Algodoal, Ilha do Marajó and Alter do Chão) of this state where all the events are accompanied by local music Carimbo.

Brasil Diversity recommends:

  • Hotel Espresso XXI Nazaré – If you search for a centrally located accommodation suitable both for business and leisure, try out Espresso XXI Nazaré  a modern hotel in the hearth of Belem.
Estacão das Docas

Estacão das Docas

Rio de Janeiro in 5 days

Are you planning to visit Rio de Janeiro, but don’t know how many days you should stay in the city and what should you experience during your stay? We have retailed you an itineray including some of the most interesting attractions of Rio de Janeiro. Of course all of them may not interest you, but our aim is to give you a complete example of all the possibilities.

View over Copacabana

View over Copacabana

DAY 1:

  • Head early in morning to the Corcovado train station (opens at 08.30 am) and get to the top where the world famous Christ statue is located. After having visited Corcovado head to the downtown of Rio de Janeiro and catch one of those old fashioned trams up to the artistic neighborhood of Santa Teresa. This picturesque uphill neighborhood is an ideal place to enjoy a delicious and traditional Brazilian meal. After your lunch enjoy the views from Parque das Ruinas and visit the museum of Characa do Ceu with images of Rio de Janeiro before it became a city of millions and millions of inhabitants. After having explored Santa Teresa, the next stop is one of the most traditional landmarks of Rio de Janeiro, the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain in the late afternoon has the advantage of both daylight and sunset, which is a spectacle itself!

DAY 2:

  • Botanical Garden

    Botanical Garden

    Start you day by having a walk in the Botanical Garden, which is a real oasis in the middle of such a huge city as Rio de Janeiro. After having enjoyed your lunch participate in one of the guided Favela tours. These tours are an excellent way to see the other face of Rio de Janeiro and especially to understand a little bit better the causes of social problems in the city. In the evening participate in a rehearsal of a samba school (available from August to February) and bring a piece of carnival feeling with you.

DAY 3:

  • Star your day with emotions and try hang gliding admiring the views from the top of Pedra da Gavea and landing to the beach of Praia do Pepino. If you are not into adventures, have a walk in the downtown of Rio de Janeiro visiting the museums, churches and monasteries, or just have a relax at one of the world famous beaches. After having enjoyed your lunch have a refreshing swim in the sea and get prepared to more emotions in soccer game at the world’s biggest stadium Maracanã. If you are not into soccer, enjoy shopping in the fashionable stores of Ipanema and have a walk in the shores of the lake Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. The restaurants of Parque dos Patins located in the edges the lake are also excellent places to enjoy your dinner with live music.

Pele, the legend

Pele, the legend

DAY 4:

  • Start a day with a visit to the National Park of Tijuca located within the city of Rio de Janeiro. You can choose either a sightseeing tour that takes you to the most interesting points by car or take a light hike up to the highest peak of Rio de Janeiro, the Tijuca Peak. After the tour enjoy your lunch at one of the many sea front restaurants in Copacabana and have leisure stroll inside of the Fort of Copacabana (situated at the end of it), which is also an excellent place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious desert at the famous coffee house Confeitaria Colombo.

DAY 5:

  • Take a day trip outside of Rio de Janeiro and get an idea of the beauty of this state. Tours (private or scheduled) to Búzios or to tropical island of Angra dos Reis are ideal options and a schooner cruise in the destination allows you to enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters of these regions. Enjoy your last night in Rio de Janeiro at one of the samba clubs of Lapa, the most popular neighborhood of nightlife. Easygoing atmospheare, traditional live samba and delicious snacks/dinner are guaranteed, no matter which of the many bars you choose.
Angra dos Reis

Angra dos Reis

Obs. Activities such as Samba school rehearsals and Soccer games are not available everyday, so check the schedules and modify the plan according to them.

Culture in São Luis and history in Alcântara, Maranhão

Historical center of São Luis

Historical center of São Luis

São Luis, the capital of Maranhão is a gateway to the wonders of the state. Nowadays the principal attraction of Maranhão is the national park of Lencois Maranhenses, which is located only 3-4 hours drive from São Luis. However if you arrive to São Luis, it’s worth stopping here for few days before heading to another destinations of the state. The state capital, that in fact is located on an island, has cultural value, an enchanting history and turns out to be an interesting place to start exploring the attractions of the region.

Streets of São Luis

Streets of São Luis

The main attraction of the city is the culture based on history and interesting architectural facts. Therefore we recommend you to stay overnight at the historical center of São Luis in stead of searching for accommodation from the beach side. The advantage of staying at the center is that you can explore a big part of the sights by walk, feel the spirit of the colonial era and enjoy the atmospheare of the squares with bars and restaurants at the night time. São Luis is famous for its’ buildings covered with colorful “azulejo” tiles brought from Portugal during the glory days of the colonial era. Due to the historical facades with azulejos the center of São Luis is part of the Unesco World Heritage sights as well. Some of the building are in better conditions than others, but the most important thing is that the value of these historical treasures has been recognized and hopefully during the coming years most of them will restored.

Streets of Alcântara

Streets of Alcântara

Once you are in São Luis a day trip to Alcântara is a must do. Alcântara is a small historic island just a short boat or catamaran drive away from São Luis. The vessels leave from the port right in front of the historical center and transport you to the island of Alcântara in about one hour. If you are travelling from July till December, when it wind is at its’ strongers, be prepared! The sea can be pretty rough causing nausea especially in the late afternoon when returning back to São Luis. Such as in case of São Luis, the main attraction of Alcântara is the history as well. When you walk along the streets of this tiny village somehow you will get a feeling that time has stopped moving, the laidback atmospheare and the tranquility of the old days are present even today. The attractions of Alcântara are located in a raither small area so it can easily be explored by foot. Walk on the streets, enjoy the atmospheare with colonial buildings and reach the square, where the ruins of the church of Matriz, a former prison and other historical sights can be found. If possible hire a local guide, so that you will get the maximum out of your visit and learn why the esclavitud has had such a big role in the history of Alcântara. If you have extra time during your visit to Alcântara, or if you decide to stay over night on the island, an another interesting place to visit the is the nearby island of Cajual with historical fossils. Some of these fossils has also been found from Africa, proving that long time ago there was just one continent. In the middle of the historical sights, there is something surprisingly modern in Alcântara as well. A space station located on the island is not really visible for an ordinary tourist, but the museum is open for public and is an interesting place to visit if you are into space science.

Ruins of church Matriz

Ruins of a church

São Luis is located at the coastline of Atlantic Ocean, but isn’t really a beach destination. However, if you are willing to stop by at the beach during your stay in São Luis, choose Cunhau, the best beach of the city. This wide beach is located just a short drive from the center, and has a lot of infrastructure with beach bars and restaurants. The color of the water is not spectacularly blue, but the beach works for anyone who is willing to have a relaxing day while staying in São Luis. In the evenings, enjoy the squares of the historical center or dine in one of the restaurants located at the margins of Lake Jansen.

For further information about the other attractions of Maranhão read our blog post about the Lencois Maranhenses and Caburé.

Main square of Alcântara

Main square of Alcântara

Our suggested itineraries including São Luis.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Portas da Amazonia, São Luis – Portas da Amazonia is a pousada located in an old building at the heart of the historical center. This pousada is an excellent choice for a tourist, who is more into orginal rustic style than modern decoration. Portas da Amazonia offers a comfortable accommodation with traditional touch.

The African Roots of Salvador, Bahia

Streets of Pelourinho

Streets of Pelourinho

Salvador, the state capital of Bahia, was also the first capital of Brazilian Republic and even today is the city with most african influence. Salvador is also the third biggest city of the country, right after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and naturally its’ airport is among the busiest of northeastern part of Brazil. In Salvador you can easily feel the african roots of Brazilian culture, hear the rhythms, taste the flavours and feel the power of myths and such african religions as candomble.

If you are looking for culture together with city life, Salvador is probably one of the most interesting brazilian cities to stop by. The main attraction of Salvador is the old town called Pelourinho, located in the upper part of the city, which belongs in the Unesco list of World Heritage sites. It’s dominated by colorful colonial style buildings, beautiful churches and lively streets. Here you will find plenty of charming restaurants, shops of local handcrafts, artists of all kind and “baianas“, the local ladies wearing traditional white dressing and often selling some delicacies. It’s not rare to find people practising capoeira or playing Afro-Brazilian rhythms on the street. It’s here, where samba-reggae was born and became famous thanks to well known Afro-Brazilian band Olodum. Up from the edge of Perlourinho you will also have beautiful view over the Baía de Todos os Santos bay and if you take an elevator down you will find yourself being in front of the Mercado Modelo market, an another excellent place to buy local handcrafts and souvenirs of Bahia.

Mercado Modelo

Mercado Modelo

Salvador has another important historical spots as well, one of the most popular being the church of Bonfim. This church is a pilgrimage destination for the Brazilians, but is worth visiting for anybody who enjoys old architecture and history. To reach Bonfim, you can either take a regular bus leaving in front of Mercado Modelo or alternatively try the touristic Salvador Bahia Bus, which works on “hop on, hop off” basis and in addition to Bonfim takes you to many other interesting parts of the city with fixed daily price. If you choose regular bus, you better be prepared to longer travelling time, due to the number of stops and depending on the type of the bus, air conditioning may not be available either. Just like in Rio de Janeiro, in Salvador organized tours to favela (=slum) can also be found. Part of the tour fee usually goes in the education or in the improvement of the living conditions of the favela inhabitants, so therefore the tours are not only a safe way to visit favela, but also a great way to make this world a better place for everybody.

Church of Bonfim

Church of Bonfim

When choosing your neighborhood in Salvador we would recommend you to stay either in Pelourinho, Barra or Rio Vermelho. In Pelourinho you will find some charming old building that were refurbished to serve as hotels and has turned out to be an excellent place to spend overnight.  Another good options to stay are the neighborhoods of Barra and Rio Vermelho, both just a short drive away from Pelourinho with large variety of accommodation options for all budget and several restaurants and bars for dining as well. The carnival of Rio de Janeiro may be world widely more famous than the carnival of Bahia, but in fact the carnival of Salvador is the world’s biggest street party and attract a countless number of participants to celebrate in the streets of Salvador. Definetely something you should consider about, if you are into carnivals!

Baianas

Baianas

Many tourists travel to Bahia planning to stay at one of the stunning beaches of the state, but once you are in Salvador make sure you stop there at least for two or three nights. Salvador is worth stopping and after having explored Pelourinho, we are sure that you are not regretting at all. We recommed you to combine Salvador with some of the many beach or eco-tourism destination located close by.

In our other blog posts we have already covered destinations that combine perfectly with Salvador, check out our related blog posts:

Our suggested itineraries including Salvador:

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Casa do Amarelinho – A small hotel located in refurbished building in the heart of Pelourinho. Excellent level of service with special charm and all the amenities you might be expecting.
  • Catharina Paraguacu – A good tourist class hotel located at Rio Vermelho. Catharina Paraguacu offers you an intimate stay in an old style building surrounded by gardens.
  • Restaurante O Nilo – An excellent restaurant serving arab food in a peaceful corner of Pelourinho. O Nilo has tables both inside and outside, but does not accept credit cards.
Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Vote for your favourite Diversity!

Each and every traveller is on the road seeking for something, therefore our preferred holiday type may reflect our values and spare time activities. Many of our friends also share our passion for travelling, though it doesn’t mean that our interests are equal. Among our friends, there are those who look for ultimate comfort and total relaxation on the beach, just to compense the stressfull every day life. Some choose the destination so that they practise their favourite hobby under a sunny sky…or a blue sea, and others prefer finding out as much as possible of the culture and the history of their destination.  There are travellers who travel on the other side of the globe, just to be in touch with the wildlife and those who cannot stay out of the shops, not even during the holiday and for them returning back home with a number of new items is the fullfillment of the trip. We also know backpackers, charter lovers, travellers who prefer the beach and those who prefer the mountain.

Let us know what is your favourite Brazilian diversity by choosing one or more of the following options:

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