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Explore Salvador, Bahia


“In Bahia you find yourself in the heart of the heart of Brazil, where the magic comes from. If you want to get there, just follow the sound of the drums.”

-- Anthony Bourdain

Salvador da Bahia has an energy and unadorned beauty that few cities can match. Once the magnificent capital of Portugal’s New World colony, today Salvador is the pulsating heart of the country’s Afro-Brazilian community. Its brilliantly hued center is a living museum of 17th- and 18th-century architecture and gold-laden churches. Wild festivals happen frequently, with drum corps pounding out rhythms against the backdrop of colonial buildings almost daily. Elsewhere in town, a different spirit flows as crowds of religious adherents celebrate and reconnect with African gods at Candomblé ceremonies. In fact, there’s no other place in the world where the culture of those brought as slaves from Africa has been preserved as it has been in Salvador – from music and religion to food, dance and martial-arts traditions. Aside from the many attractions within Salvador, a gorgeous coastline lies right outside the city – a suitable introduction to the tropical splendor of Bahia.

-- Lonely Planet