Moon Spotlight Salvador & Bahia

Moon Spotlight Salvador & Bahia is an 85-page compact guide to the best of Salvador and Bahia. Brazil resident and magazine correspondent Michael Sommers offers his firsthand advice on what sights are must-sees, and sightseeing highlights maps make planning your time easy. This lightweight guide is packed with recommendations on sights, entertainment, shopping, recreation, accommodations, […]

View from Rio de Janeiro of the bay and the high dome of Sugarloaf mountain.

Moon Brazil

In this full-color guide, journalist Michael Sommers leads travelers to the best that Brazil has to offer, from surfing, hang gliding, and enjoying the sizzling nightlife in Rio to venturing into the Amazon to witness the Meeting of the Waters, where the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões join to form the world’s mightiest river: the […]

Colonial town of Tiradentes

Food and Lodging that Make the Grade

When Michael first came to Salvador he was overwhelmed by the amount of unique “must-try” Bahian dishes there were to sample. A restaurant-school can provide a great solution for travelers seeking to taste a range of dishes.

A (Brazilian) Winter’s Tale

Having grown up in Canada where temperatures of 0⁰ C (33⁰ degrees) were considered mild, “winter” in Salvador – and in much of the rest of tropical Brazil – has always struck author Michael Sommers as a somewhat surreal, and hilarious, concept.

In a cobblestoned square surrounded by colorful colonial buildings, a group of dancers in red shirts and yellow ribboned skirts dance with their arms raised.

Carnaval and Other Popular Festivals in Salvador, Brazil

Salvador has all the prerequisite ingredients for a good party: an idyllic climate, a powerful musical and cultural heritage, the mix of Catholic and Candomblé, and a population that loves to take to the streets and celebrate. The following are a sampling of the most important and unique festivals.

Balcony view down to a narrow beach butting up against a long coastal road.

What to See in Salvador’s Barra Neighborhood

At the end of Corredor de Vitória—bracketed by a McDonald’s on one side and the gleaming white Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Vitória—the descent from Avenida Sete de Setembro begins a steep plunge toward the lively middle-class neighborhood and beach of Barra.

A Brazilian police car marked Policia Civil parked on the street.

Safety Issues: How Safe is Brazil?

As someone who lives in Brazil, and writes about Brazil, one of the most frequent questions Michael Sommers gets from non-Brazilians is about the safety of the country. The honest answer is that security is an issue, but there are also many precautions that can be taken to avoid crime.

View of pedestrians walking along the waterfront as buildings stack up against a terraced hillside and boats cluster in the water.

Sights in Salvador’s Cidade Baixa

Despite that the Cidade Baixa, Salvador’s port and commercial district, has seen better days, there are still a few worthwhile sights that make it worth visiting for adventuresome travelers.

A windowed footbridge leads to a tall, rectangular structure with an impressive view of the bay stretching out to the horizon.

What to See in Pelourinho, Salvador’s Colonial Center

Most of Salvador’s most interesting sights are conveniently located in the old colonial center of the Cidade Alta, known as the Pelourinho. Replete with richly adorned churches and convents, its hilly cobblestoned streets also reflect a lot of the vibrancy and color of Bahian life.

Carnaval Popcorn Experience poster

Popcorn Experience

I just returned from Escaping Carnaval in Salvador. Together, with a group of friends – all of them Bahians; none of them up to dealing with 6 days and 7 nights of body-crushing, ear-blasting, eye-popping, sweat/urine/perfume/beer-scented hedonism that characterizes the longest and biggest street party on the planet – I hightailed it out of town […]