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Salvador & Marau Peninsula

Salvador da Bahia is situated on the Bahia de Todos os Santos, a lovely bay dotted with 36 islands. It is one of the liveliest cities in Brazil with a rich history, culture, beautiful beaches and attractive historic centre. Salvador is known as the African Soul of Brazil because of the legacy of the slave trade, and approximately 80% of the population are of Afro-Brazilian descent. These descendants of the West African slaves have preserved their cultural roots manifesting their heritage in martial arts (capoeira), religion (the Afro-Brazilian cult Candomble), food, music and dance. Carnival in Salvador is the second largest in Brazil, and preferred by many to the Rio de Janeiro carnival because it is less commercialized.

The city is divided into two levels, the Cidade Alta (Upper City) and the Cidade Baixa (the Lower City). Most of the interesting sights are in the Upper City in the Centro Historico, also known as Pelourinho. This area is a national monument and is designated as a UNESCO world heritage site with some of the most important examples of colonial architecture in Latin America.

Day trips are possible to Praia do Forte (for beach lovers), or Cachoeira (for those more interested in traditional culture and history). Longer trips can be made to Chapada Diamantina National Park which offers excellent hiking, and the Marau Peninsula for a rustic beach retreat.

Marau Peninsula is about 3½ hours south of Salvador overland, and a 45 minute plane ride. The landscape is characterised by pristine beaches, coconut groves, Atlantic forest reserves, mangroves and traditional communities of fishermen and boat builders. It is a beautiful place to relax, gain an insight into traditional coastal life, and escape from the more crowded beaches found further north.

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Salvador & Marau Peninsula accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT -3 hours

Flight time:

Most flights go to Sao Paulo but some airlines have direct flights to Rio de Janeiro, and to North-eastern Brazil. British Airways and TAM have direct flights from London and many European carriers also offer flights to Brazil.

Language: Portuguese is the official language. Spanish and English are understood quite widely.


Not required for British nationals.


There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the rainforest.

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