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 The Mystical Salvador da Bahia

World Cup Brazil 2014

 A Host City of World Cup Brazil 2014

 

Baianas Pelourinho in Salvador da Bahia

 
 
 

Capoeira in Salvador

Capoeira

 
Barra Lighthouse in Salvador

Barra Lighthouse

 
 
 
 

Photos:

 Brazil Travelnet

Capoeira, Farol da Barra courtesy Embratur by Christian Kneeper

 

            Baianas - Pelourinho                

 
 

Salvador was the first capital of Brazil and, is home to an impressive array of historical sites from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

This attractive city is a journey to old Portugal and Africa. A journey taken through the architecture, music and dance of this mystical people. The afro influence in in the capital of the state of Bahia is stronger than anywhere else in Brazil. It is present in the music, dance, food and religion. One can go to the Catholic Church in the morning and to the Candomble (African religion) in the evening.

The historical center of Salvador, Pelourinho, is a UNESCO’s Heritage of Humanity. A trip to Pelourinho takes you back to the time of colonization in the 1500s. The historical center was completely remodeled, displaying the full beauty of mansions, houses and churches.

It is a charming center of small shops, restaurants and museums. In Pelourinho, an array of cultural performances takes place, with concerts and dances sponsored by the city and which are free to the public.

The Flavors of Salvador

When in the capital of Bahia, you must taste the luscious food; it would be a sin not to. Taste some  Acaraje(1) from a Baiana (a lady that sells on the streets. You can’t miss them – always dressed in white). It is traditional, well-made and sanitary.

Go to the typical restaurants in “Praia da Armacao” and try the  Moqueca(2) and  Vatapa(3). But be careful with the spices. Always ask for the least spiced version because they tend to be very hot, even to the Brazilians of the south.

A taste the local cuisine is also possible in Mercado Modelo while enjoying the capoeira presentations that are held there. Besides food and dance, there is an array of artisan shops that carry clothes, jewelry, sculpture and musical instruments. If you like shopping, this is your kind of place.

This mystical city is even more enchanting when beautiful natural views, parties all year around and astonishing beaches are added to the mixture. Salvador is an adventure of the senses. Come and discover its magic.

What to see in Salvador da Bahia

There is a lot, but we set aside some special ones. First, Pelourinho with its churches shops and squares, Lacerda Elevator, the Municipal Square and Se Square. Then continue to Municipal Plaza, Rio Branco Palace, Misericordia Hospital and Church.

Lacerda Elevator

Try to visit the Basilica Cathedral, the Terreiro de Jesus and Largo do Cruzeiro de Sao Francisco. Last but not least, go to Largo do Carmo, where you can see Santo Antonio Fort and the great religious complex formed by the Church and Convent of Our Lady of Carmo and the Church of the Third Order of Carmo.

Make sure you treat yourself with some of the city folklore. Folklore in Salvador is extremely strong. Performances of capoeira, Afoxe, Samba de Roda, Folia de Reis and Maculele are a delight to the senses.

Ondina Beach in Salvador

Salvador da Bahia has 50 kms of coastline. One of our favorites is Itapuã. With so many beaches, Salvador can cater to all tastes. Great options are Praia de Stella Maris, Praia do Porto da Barra, Praia de Pituaçu and Praia da Ondina.

But as we usually say, experiment. There are plenty of fine beaches in Salvador that might be exactly your "size". Have fun!

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 (1) Acaraje - It’s a bean fritter made with Brazilian beans, called Fradinho.

 (2) Moqueca – A traditional Brazilian fish stew. There are two kinds – The Capixaba (from the state of Espirito Santo) and the Baiana (from the state of Bahia and other northeastern states). The fish stew is a Portuguese heritage, with pinches of African. So, here it is another mix, which is the very soul of Brazilian food, people and so on. The ingredients are fresh fish, lemons, onions, tomatoes, coriander, coconut milk and Dende oil (made of Urucum – a seed found in Brazil).

 (3) Vatapa - Traditional dish from Bahia, made of coconut mil, peanut butter, cashew butter and shrimp.

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