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Bahia Odyssey

11 days from £2135pp plus international flights.

This trip provides visitors a wonderful opportunity to explore this part of Brazil. From the colourful city of Salvador to the stunning landscapes of Chapada Diamantina and ending with the wonderfully laidback island of Boipeba. Starting in Salvador, you'll stay in the heart of the historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site no less. Here you can immerse yourself in the bustle of the lively streets, enjoy music, restaurants, nightlife and architecture - there's something for everyone.

From here you go to Lencois, gateway to Chapada Diamantes National Park. The scenery here is breathtaking, with caves, impressive rock formations and 360 degree views of the canyons, valleys and trails. Couple this with some impressive Brazilian waterfalls and you have a nature lovers dream location.

After experiencing the draw of vibrant city life and the lure of nature and the wilderness, what better place to end the holiday than in the idyllic Boipeba Island? The pace of life here is very relaxed, you get around on foot, tractor trailer or horse drawn cart - there are no cars on the island. If you are looking for an island getaway, then you've found it.  Quiet beaches, waves lapping the ocean, informal restaurants and peace and quiet - sheer bliss.

Itinerary
Pelourinho in Salvador

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN SALVADOR

On arrival in Salvador a driver will be at the airport to meet you and take you to your hotel. Check-in and recover from the flight. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. Your hotel, in the heart of historical Salvador, is surrounded by lively cafes and shops, there is plenty to explore and keep you busy. You are moments away from Pelourinho, the district renowned for music, dining, nightlife and architecture. You cannot help but notice the colourful colonial buildings at every turn, this area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from as you soak up the atmosphere and buzz of this fascinating city.

Farol de Barra in Salvador

DAY 2: GUIDED TOUR IN SALVADOR

Well rested, start the day with breakfast at your hotel. Then you begin a half day tour of the city with a bilingual guide. The tour takes in some of the main sites of the city starting with the famous Farol da Barra lighthouse. Heading for the Upper City and passing through Corredor da Vitoria, Camp Grande and Piedade you explore Pelourinho. This historical neighbourhood is a fine example of 17th and 18th century architecture. From the viewpoint at Elevador Lacerda you can admire views of both the upper and lower city. The superb churches are well worth a mention, particularly Sao Francisco de Assis and Ireja dos Rosario dos Pretos, a place of worship built by descendants of African slaves. Afterwards you return to your hotel and the rest of the day is free. Breakfast.

Guest room at Hotel de Lencois

DAY 3: SALVADOR TO LENCOIS

After breakfast you are transferred by car to Lencois, the gateway to Chapada da Diamantina National Park. It's a long drive of 6 hours, with chances to stretch your legs on the way. Take this opportunity to enjoy the scenery as it passes you by. In Lencois you can take a walk along the Lencois River in the afternoon, and visit Serrano Park, just a 15 minute walk from the centre of town. Enjoy a dip in the refreshing natural pools, visit the beautiful Primavera and Cachoeirinha waterfalls. Continue through the park to the look-out point, your reward is a wonderful panoramic view of Chapada Diamantina that stretches out before you. Return to your hotel to freshen up before heading out to dinner. Breakfast

Explore caves in Chapada Diamantina

DAY 4: SHORT HIKES IN CHAPADA DIAMANTINA

You have an 8.30 pick-up this morning and Chapada Diamantina National Park is on the agenda. Travelling by car enables you to cover more ground, but there are ample opportunity to get out and walk. The first stop is Iraquara, the Cave Capital. You walk through Lapa Doce, a huge limestone cave boasting impressive rock formations. This is followed by a regional lunch and a visit to Pratinha Farm and Blue Cave. Saving the best till last, you have a 20 minute hike to the top of Morro do Pai Inacio. This flat topped mountain affords 360 degree views over the park and is a wonderful spot to watch the sunset before heading back to Lencois. Breakfast

Fumaca Waterfall in Chapada Diamantina

DAY 5: HIKE TO FUMACA WATERFALL

Don your walking boots, as today you have a full day excursion to Fumaca, one of Brazil's highest waterfalls. You are driven to the Capao Valley and the trail starting point. Initially it's an uphill hike for about 2km but then flattens out for the next 4km. Enjoy the views of the mountains and valleys as you follow the trail. Once you reach the 400m lookout point you have a lunch break before retracing your steps back to the car. Don't forget your swimwear as a refreshing dip in the Riachinho River will be a wonderful break from the hike. Breakfast

Hotel Villa Bahia in Salvador

DAY 6: CHAPADA DIAMANTINA TO SALVADOR

After breakfast it is time to leave this beautiful corner of Brazil and the breathtaking views. You are collected and driven back to Salvador, arriving in the afternoon. You may decide to relax at your hotel before dinner, or, if you prefer, you can head out to explore more of the city. No plans have been made, so you are free to do as you wish. Breakfast

Boipeba Island boat

DAY 7: SALVADOR TO BOIPEBA

Leaving the bustling city of Salvador behind, you embark on the journey to Boipeba Island, where the next few days are spent exploring and relaxing, a complete contrast to Salvador. The first part of the journey is by car, you are dropped at the Mercado Modelo Pier for the scheduled boat trip to Itaparica Island. On arrival you take another car to Valenca. Then it's one last boat ride over to Boipeba Island. All in all, the journey takes about 4 hours. Island life is very different to that on the mainland. There are no cars, transport is by tractor-trailer, mule carts and your own two feet - blissfully simple. Breakfast

Explore the bays of Boipeba Island

DAY 8: FREE DAY ON BOIPEBA

Your time is your own on Boipeba Island and you can choose to spend it how you wish. There are plenty of tours on offer which can be arranged for you. Popular passtimes are boat tours around the island, stopping at various bays and beaches along the way. Private or group tours of the mangrove swamps enable you to explore the ecosystem and seek out wildlife, with timings dependent on the tides. A lovely way to finish the day is a boat tour with a stop at Canavieras, a small village where you can stretch your legs and perhaps enjoy a plate of oysters. Enjoy sunset on board and then return to the island for dinner. Breakfast

Relax at Pousada Mangabeiras on Boipeba Island

DAY 9: FREE DAY ON BOIPEBA

You have another day to explore the island at leisure. Enjoy the tranquility of your hilltop hotel, relaxing by the pool, walking in the grounds and enjoying a massage. Alternatively you may choose to spend a little time on the beaches, listening the waves lapping the shore and watching palm trees sway in the breeze. Venture out to discover the amazing restaurants and bars, mix with the locals who have made this little island their home. If you are here between July and mid-September you may be lucky and see humpback whales as they migrate past the island. Make the most of this wonderful hospitable little island and its friendly people. Breakfast.

Salvador waterfront

DAY 10: BOIPEBA TO SALVADOR

Sadly, it's time to leave Boipeba today, as you return to Salvador for the last night of your trip. The boat journey happens in reverse, so you retrace your steps and are finally dropped off at your hotel in Salvador. This is your last opportunity to take a wander around this beautiful town, amble down to the waterfront and explore the side streets for more undiscovered restaurants and shops or return to your favourites. It's an ideal opportunity for some last minute purchases and a chance to enjoy the atmosphere and history of this colourful town. Breakfast

Breakfast at Villa Bahia

DAY 11: DEPART

After breakfast at Villa Bahia you are collected for the transfer to the airport, arriving in time to check in for your homebound or onward flight. Breakfast

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2135 (ex. international flights)

Includes: 

Accommodation on a twin share basis; transfers throughout; meals shown as included; half day private tour in Salvador, excursion in Lencois, guided tour Chapada Diamantina National Park; Fumaca Waterfall guided hike.

Excludes: 

International flights; departure taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not shown as included; drinks; optional excursions; tips; personal expenses.

Getting there: This holiday starts and finishes in Salvador. International flights from the UK will start at around £750 per person. 

Departure dates: This is a private tailor made holiday which we will arrange just for you at whatever time you like. And remember that if you want to change any aspect, this is fine. Just chat to us to get it how you prefer.

places you will see

places you will see

Salvador
Salvador

Salvador da Bahia, to give the city its full name, is situated on the Bahia de Todos os Santos, a lovely bay dotted with 36 islands. 

Chapada Diamantina
Chapada Diamantina
The Chapada Diamantina Nature Reserve in eastern Brazil draws hikers and adventure seekers from all walks of life. 
Boipeba Island
Boipeba Island
An idyllic picture postcard island with the ocean on one side and the Inferno River Estuary on the other. 
Boipeba Island
Boipeba Island
An idyllic picture postcard island with the ocean on one side and the Inferno River Estuary on the other. 

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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.

Visas: Not required for British nationals.

Health: 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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