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  Bahia, Land of Happiness!

Located on the northeastern coast of Brazil, the “Golden City” of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia and Brazil’s first capital, is a beautiful city of narrow streets, colonial palaces and homes with colorful façades. A magic and sensual world all its own, this is indeed one of Brazil’s most privileged cities, with contagious tropical atmosphere, friendly people, and rich cultural heritage. The African influence is spread throughout Bahian culture. It is apparent in the regional food, which uses ingredients like palm oil, coconut milk and sea food to make such creations as vatapá, acarajé, caruru, abará and many other mouth watering dishes. Bahia is the home of candomblé, a mystical religion based on a voodoo blend of African rituals and Catholicism. An enchanting city where the perfume of the old world still lingers on, in the spices of imaginative foods, their original recipes rooted across the waters in Africa and the rich baroque and colonial architecture, well preserved through the centuries.
Founded in 1549, on the highest point overlooking the large and beautiful All Saints Bay, Salvador is divided into two parts. The “Lower City” at sea level, with the old port and commercial district, where visitors can find a complete and varied assortment of Brazilian arts and crafts at the Mercado Modelo, and the “Upper City” which can be reached by stone steps, alleyways or the famous landmark Lacerda Elevator. This part of the city contains the old government buildings, the residential districts, museum, churches and much of the newer architecture. An impression of the colonial period can still be gained through the elaborate churches, homes, and remains, such as “Pelourinho” – just recently restored by the state government and declared by UNESCO as the most important colonial architecture in the Americas. Amongst Salvador’s baroque churches, no less than 365 of them, visitors will find of special interest the Bonfim Church, the most popular in all Brazil and the São Francisco Chapel, whose interior is literally covered with tons of gold. Afro-Brazilian religious cults are widespread throughout Bahia, particularly “Candomblé”, whose gods (known as ‘orixás’), are identified with saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
The sun and sea breeze keep Salvador’s yearly average temperature at 80º F, and along the 45 miles of city coastline visitors have a great choice of deluxe hotels and gorgeous beach resorts located in wide, peaceful, stainless white beaches, surrounded by towering coconut trees. In Bahia, summer is eternal and time just lingers by in the most relaxed and festive moods to be found anywhere... No wonder Salvador is known as the “Land of Happiness!”

For more information about Salvador, its highlights, tours and a complete list of hotels, please send us an e-mail telling us of your specific interests.


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