SSA - Salvador


Made of every color

By Ricardo Freire

Salvador is the most exotic city you can visit in Brazil. It is a place where other Brazilians feel a little bit foreign – at the same time that they discover the essence of Brazil.

Any everyday activity – going to the beach, sitting at the table, going to a party – may require a cultural immersion. But, on the other hand, much will seem familiar: Salvador is the city outside the Rio-São Paulo axis that most influences Brazilian mass culture.

The capital of Bahia is also the doorway to a veritable corridor of resorts along the northern coast – from Itapuã to Costa do Sauípe, passing by Praia do Forte (Fort Beach) and Imbassaí. Crossing the Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay), one arrives at Itaparica and the paradisiacal islands along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Brazilian coastline: the Costa do Dendê.


O que fazer em Salvador

The best day to visit Pelourinho is Tuesday, better known as Terça da Bênção (Blessing Tuesday). Arrive in the afternoon and stay for the afro-mass, at Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos Church, at 6 PM, and Gerônimo’s show, in which he always sings “É d’Oxum," at the Escadaria do Carmo. But the best day to visit Bonfim – wearing white, of course – is Friday.

At the museum front, the latest news is the branch of the Rodin Museum that recently opened in the Graça neighborhood. But don’t forget to visit the MAM (Museum of Modern Art) or the São Marcelo Fort.

While visiting the northern coast, you must stop by the Tamar Project, at Praia do Forte, and take the opportunity to watch the sunset at the Arembepe hippie village. During a free weekend, take a catamaran and go to Morro de São Paulo – or, from Valença, take the speedboat that goes to Boipeba Island.