Bahia are not only Carnaval, condombl?, skyscrepars, beaches and more...but it's also favelas, mininio de rua, families that live collecting cans...and it's also the energy of life in each person, great persons that give free professional assistance to poor people without gouvernament assistance...and it's also the country where a few riches are owner of farm big than Tuscany, where the simply people that work there are like .....'slave'?
Don't stop your visit only in front of monuments by try to understood a little bit more of this country talking with the people.
I stayed in Barra, which is a short distance south of the historic center of Pelourinho. If you've ever seen tourist photos of Salvador, they will often use the overhead view of the Farol da Barra, which is where the land forms a right angle with the west-facing shoreline edging up to the Bay of All Saints and the ocean laps against the south-facing shore.
This beach community is laid back and restaurants and hotels are plentiful.
There are a lot of churchs at Salvador; when you visit Pelourinho (ancient district) you will see some of them. But a nice and "off the beaten path" church is Sao Antonio da Barra, situated on a hill by the coast. Besides, from there, you have a beatuiful sight of the bay.
Hay muchísimas iglesias en Salvador; cuando vistas el Pelourinho (el barrio antiguo) verás varias de ellas. Pero una iglesia bonita y alejada de los puntos turísticos es Sao Antonioa da Barra, situada en una colina sobre la costa. Además, desde allí, tienes una hermosa vista de la bahía.
The island itself (in front of Salvador) is not something to drool for, in my opinion. Not Itaparica (maybe Frades or Madre de Deus). But crossing the All Saint Bay back and forth is absolutely marvelous.
This is a picture of Salvador from the sea...
Picture borrowed from Udo Müller's site
Biblioteca Central dos Barris - Central Library of Barris :: You don't have to understand portuguese to profit on this library. As a library, it's not very astonishing, but it promotes interesting events in its main square ('Quadrilatero'), shows interesting low-production or art movies in its two cinema rooms ('Walter da Silveira' and 'Alexandre Robato', always with extremely cheap prices, if not for free) and good plays in its theatre ('Espaco Xis'). It also promotes every July the festival 'July in Salvador', with a lot of free concerts, movie displays, workshops, plays, art expositions and more! If not free, ridiculously low prices.
Sao Marcelo Fort
Built by the dutches when they were struggling for the power in Salvador, it is most definately one of the greatest vies. Once a fort, once a prision, all you have to do is to go to the pier beside Mercado Modelo, get a boat and enjoy the spectacular view of the city and the bay!
Picture borrowed from Udo Müller's site
CEAO - Centro de Estudos Afro-Orientais (Centre for African and Oriental studies of Federal University of Bahia) :: founded by the outstanding and legendary portuguese anthropologist Agostinho da Silva, this center gathers a lot of good information about the african legacy in Brazil. It's also possible to access its library and take yoruba classes!
Praça 15 de novembro, 17 - Terreiro de Jesus
Picture: cover of the publication 'Brazil: a country of Blacks?', by CEAO. Note that the words 'black' and 'negro' don't have offensive conotation in Brazil.
A wonderful day trip while in Salavador is to the small island of Itaparica. The beaches there are beautiful and uncrowded, and the boat ride across to the island is a great way to get out on the water. There was a terrific little restaurant right ton the beach that made us fresh grilled fish for lunch and magically - refreshing caprinias.
In Cruiz Das Almas the Josefina Cigarfactory is located.
It is interesting to see how these famous cigars are produced. From sorting the leaves, rolling, cutting, packing and storing them.
The smell there is overwhelming!
If you come to Barra, during the summer months from october until march, and think it could be interresting to try to go fishing the local way with handlines and musclepower, or want an alternative transportation, come and see me in The Village Novo. I might be able to arrange a trip on my boat.
We usually leave early in the morning, and return some time during the afternoon. There will be no guarranty for catching anything, but it is absolutely a nice way of spending a day.
I am able to arrange trips to the nearest islands too.
The prices varies depending on the lenght of the trip, number of persons and so on..
This is not a fixed tourboat, it is only meant as a suggestion for a possible alternative day here in Salvador, so all trips will have to be arranged individually after contacting me.
Salvador da Bahia has a Water Park, "Wet'n' Wild" where you can enjoy a wet and wild day!
Salvador de Bahía tiene un parque acuático, el "Wet'n'Wild" ("mojado y salvaje"), en donde puedes disfrutar un día mojado y salvaje.
Not off the beaten track in terms of being an unusual destination, but more an unexpected little haven off one of Salvador's main residential streets. Mahi Mahi is part of the Vitoria Sol hotel on Avenida Sete do Setembro, but you don't have to be a guest to visit and it was for me one of the city's hidden gems, a little jetty with bar, restaurant and space to sunbathe away from the dustiness and noise of the city. If, like me, you aren't staying in a plush hotel during your time in Salvador, a place like this is something of an oasis of calm.
What makes it particularly enticing is that it's hidden behind the busy Avenida 20 Setembro. I would never have known it was there if some friends hadn't moved into an apartment next door.
Walk through the hotel to the cable car (teleferico) that takes you down a steep hill to the water's edge. Non-guests have to pay a small fee, which was about BRL 5 when I was going. At the bottom is Mahi Mahi itself, firstly a restaurant Mai Thai, which is a good place for a Thai-inspired meal at night, and then the deck. You can swim here, too, but be warned that this is not an area renowned for clean waters.
Cocktails are good and the bar snacks very tasty. I had quite an addiction to the isca de peixe (literally fish bait), little breadcoated snacks, when I lived in Salvador!
Around Salvador (just a couple of hours) is Cachoeira a colonial town with its twin town across the old bridge, Sao Felix. Here is the most of the spirit of Candoble.
You must see it to belive. It's a unique experience you shouldn't miss.
This is a large cemetery in the Federação neighborhood. I thought this was a beautiful place and I came here a few times just for the tranquillity.
It's on the bus line between Campo Grande and Pituba run by BTU, the red and blue buses and other buses too I'm sure. This is the line that doesn't go through Barra.
The statues of Orixás, deities of the Candomblé religion, in the Dique do Tororó are cool. The statues are in a circle with a fountain placed in the middle that sends up this verticle mist of water. The statues really come to life, especially at night. The area probably isn't too safe for tourists at night, but you will see a lot of locals hanging out in the early evening there. The Dique or reservoir is in the neighborhood of Tororó and Avenida Vasco da Gama runs along the side closest to the statues.