According to Salvador's adopted son Jorge Amado, "In Salvador, magic becomes part of the every-day." From the shimmering golden light of sunset over the Baía do Todos os Santos, to the rhythmic beats that race along the streets, Salvador, while no longer Brazil's capital, remains one of its most captivating cities. A large dose of its exoticism comes down to its African heritage—at least 70% of its 2,675,000 population is classified as Afro-Brazilian—and how it has blended into Brazil's different strands, from the native Indians to the Christian colonizers. View more
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Explore the memorials to some of the most talented and artistic Bahian luminaries during this scenic, full-day sightseeing excursion.
Fort Santa Maria
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute drive to Barra. Upon arrival at Porto da Barra Beach, take a guided walking tour of Fort Santa Maria. This fort is home to a permanent interactive digital exhibition highlighting the iconic photographs of Pierre Verger. This French ethnologist was deeply inspired and trusted by Candomblé religious leaders, allowing him unparalleled access to sacred rituals. Like his two friends Jorge Amado and Carybé, Verger documented daily life in Salvador, its markets and street scenes; his iconic black and white photos are a testament to the city's cultural wealth. This cultural space also exhibits works by other leading local photographers.
Fort São Diogo
Next, walk to the adjacent, 17th-century Fort São Diogo, which houses an interactive audio-visual exhibition of the works of Carybé. This master sculptor and painter used a wide array of materials and techniques, including engravings, sculptures, watercolours, oil, and acrylic canvases. Each evening, the works of Carybé and Verger are projected on the façades of their respective museums at 18:30 p.m. and 19:00 p.m. on the days they are open to the public.
Rio Vermelho and Casa de Vermelho and Lunch
Leaving Fort São Diogo, re-board your coach and head to Rio Vermelho for a guided tour of Casa de Vermelho, the legendary home of novelist Jorge Amado, now converted into an emotive museum of his life and work. Here, Amado received many of the world's literary luminaries as his guests. Following your visit, re-board your coach and proceed for a set-menu, family-style lunch at the Casa de Tereza restaurant. After lunch, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 656 yards (about 600 metres), at times over uneven and cobblestone surfaces and inclines, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, and stairs at the museum and restaurant; ramps and elevators are provided. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but is not wheelchair-accessible. Lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. Forts Santa Maria and São Diogo are closed on Tuesday. Casa de Vermelho is closed on Mondays.
Discover the secrets behind preparing Bahian cuisine during this informative, half-day cooking excursion with lunch. The history of the cuisine begins with the landing of slaves from Africa that the Portuguese brought to work and exploit the land. While the Indians used foods such as cassava, maize, African slaves brought in the addition of spices, bananas, peanuts, and the famous oil dendê or Palm oil.
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute drive to the Ceasa Market. Your chef greets your arrival, and escorts you on a tour of the market. Along the way, learn about the unique blend of Brazilian, Mediterranean, Asian and African ingredients, seasonings and flavours that comprise the distinctive Bahian cuisine. Leaving the market, re-board your coach and proceed to the cooking class venue.
During your cooking class, learn to prepare 'moqueca'. The signature dish of Bahian cuisine, 'moqueca' is a seafood dish prepared in an earthenware, wok-like dish and brought to the table directly from the stove.
Following your cooking class, relax with a lunch consisting of the 'moqueca' your chef has prepared. Dessert is also served, and prepared with imported seasonings such as clove and cinnamon from Asia.
After lunch, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 1 hour, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, and at the market and cooking class venue over sometimes unpaved and cobblestone surfaces. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. Space on this tour is extremely limited; we suggest you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Discover why Bahia is the percussive heart of Brazil during this fun-filled, half-day excursion to a percussion workshop.
Salvador da Bahia
Depart the pier for the short drive to the music studio. Bahia is the percussive heart of Brazil. Its rhythmic soul is African, with a mind-boggling myriad of rhythms that has attracted Paul Simon, Michael Jackson and many other international musicians to these shores. Intrinsically Brazilian musical formats, including samba, bossa nova and axé, have their origins here. As proof of its musicality, Salvador is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the music category, one of just 16 in the world.
Upon arrival at the music studio, investigate and contextualize varied aspects of the percussive jungle that is Bahia. Under the expert guidance of local professional percussionists, focus on the more important and accessible rhythms in a workshop that is instructive, interactive, engaging and fun. This is a great option for families, and is as hands-on as you want it to be or feel comfortable with.
During your percussion workshop, try your their hand at various instruments such as the rhum, rhumbi and lê drums of the candomblé; surdo, caixa, timbau and repique drums of the samba-reggae; and hand-percussion instruments that include the agogo, reco-reco, caxixi and formidable berimbau, the integral instrument of the Capoeira. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 40-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, at times over uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and 25 uneven steps at the venue. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended.
Explore the splendid natural beauty, ecology and history of Praia do Forte during this picturesque, full-day sightseeing excursion. To the north of Salvador, there is an idyllic place for lovers of Brazil eco-tourism, which is beautiful with stunning scenery and full of biodiversity of the surrounding area.
Scenic Drive to Praia do Forte
Depart the pier for the approximately 75-minute drive north along the scenic Coconut Highway en route to Praia do Forte, a fishing village approximately 50 miles (about 80 kilometres) north of Salvador, and home to some of the best beaches in Bahia.
Garcia D´Ávila Castle
Continuing north, the appearance of the distinctive white sands of the sparse restinga vegetation signals the approach to Praia do Forte. Upon arrival, visit the ruins of the imposing Garcia D´Ávila Castle, which dates from 1556. Once the home of the largest landowner in the New World, the castle was situated on the lands of what was the first farm in Brazil. From here, take in splendid panoramic views of the northern coastline.
Praia do Forte, Tamar Project and Beach
Next, re-board your coach and proceed to the village of Praia do Forte for a Brazilian seafood lunch at the Sabor da Vila restaurant. After lunch, visit the headquarters of the Tamar Project, the national sea turtle preservation project and one of Brazil's most successful ecological programs. The Visitors' Centre provides a unique, close-up view of these majestic animals. Afterward, some time is made available to relax on the beach or browse the many local handicraft stores. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately two-hour drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. The tour sequence may vary. Space on this tour is very limited; we suggest you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Experience the many faces of Salvador de Bahia during a scenic and informative sightseeing tour of this historic city. Founded in 1549, Salvador was the capital in the heyday of the slave trade. The legacy remains today and the resulting culture in many ways outshines the rest of Brazil; in music, many of the greatest names from the mid-20th century to the present hail from Salvador.
Salvador de Bahia
Depart the pier via coach with your English speaking guide for an approximate 20-minute scenic drive via the Ladeira da Montanha hill, offering great views of the immense All Saints Bay, to the Campo Grande Square and continue through the elegant tree-lined Vitoria Avenue with its towering condos towards Barra district.
Descend the Barra Hill passing the Yacht Club to Porto da Barra beach, site of the landing of the first governor general in 1549. Continue along the bayside boulevard to the Farol da Barra Fort and Lighthouse where bay and ocean meet, one of the city's most important landmarks.
Continue along the coast road to Rio Vermelho, the city's bohemian district. Nestled at the northern end of the Rio Vermelho beach is the Casa de Yemanjá, a shrine to the African deity of the sea, one of the most revered deities of the Candomblé pantheon.
Next, a short drive takes you to the bustling Ceasinha Market, favoured by locals when purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and other sea foods, plants and flowers, coffee and chocolate from Bahia, as well as sacred herbs for Candomblé.
After a short stop, rejoin the coach and continue your tour, this time heading towards the lower city via Vasco da Gama Avenue where Brazil´s oldest Candomblé temple is located. The Tororo lagoon is located at the end of the avenue and it is here that the wonderful sculptures of the Candomblé pantheon by leading artist Tati Moreno located midwater.
Pass the Fonte Nova soccer stadium at the opposite end of the lagoon and wind your way to the lower city. Pass the work of another great local artist Bel Borba and his magnificent sculpture of Irma Dulce, Brazil´s next saint.
Sorveteria da Ribeira
The iconic Sorveteria da Ribeira (established in 1931) offers a mindboggling choice of tropical ice creams and sorbets. Make a brief stop here to enjoy a refreshing ice cream and taste this local flavor of Brazil.
View a touchstone of Brazilian Catholicism and undoubtedly the country's most famous church of pilgrimage and deeply connected with Oxalá, the African deity of creation. Built in 1745, the holy structure sits on a peninsula outside of the city center, now famous for its power to affect miraculous healing cures-transforming it from a rather ordinary church into a popular shrine.
Re-board your coach after your church visit and return to pier, approximately 30-minutes away.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, approximately 200 metres (218 yards) in total. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility; however it is not wheelchair accessible, there are approximately 12 steps at the church. This tour does not involve a visit to the Upper City. We recommend wearing lightweight clothing, walking shoes and sun protection as the climate is usually hot and humid.
Experience some of the the many faces of Salvador de Bahia during this sightseeing walking tour of this historic city. Travel through time as you tour the historical neighborhoods of Salvador, and view the Baroque architecture, while learning the history of Brazil over the past 500 years.
Salvador de Bahia
Depart the pier via coach for the approximately 30-minute scenic drive to to Farol da Barra, one of the city's most famous landmarks at the entrance to the All Saints Bay.
After a short photo, enjoy the drive through the residential suburbs of Barra, Vitoria and Campo Grande to the Municipal Square, gateway to Salvador's historical quarter, the famed Pelourinho.
Stroll to the São Francisco church whose opulent interior features cedar woodcarvings covered in gold leaf, the finest example of Baroque church interiors in Latin America.
Continue through the historical quarter through narrow cobbled streets lined with colonial town houses painted in pastel shades to the Largo do Pelourinho, the heart of the old town.
Afterwards, return on foot to the motor coach for the drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, with a total of approximately 1.5-hours of walking/standing. You will encounter cobblestones as well as some steps throughout the walk. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility, or for guests who utilise a wheelchair. We recommend wearing lightweight clothing, sturdy walking shoes and sun protection as the climate is usually hot and humid. Minimum age to participate is 5 years of age.