Pelourinho : The winding streets of Salvador’s colonial center are awash in museums, music, magnificent baroque churches, and faded treasures that conjure up its glory days as Brazil’s first capital.
Complexo Religioso de São Francisco : The adjoining church and convent devoted to St. Francis are some of the most glorious examples of baroque art in all Brazil.
Carnaval : Billed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s biggest street party, Salvador’s mind-blowing Carnaval is also Brazil’s longest, lasting a full seven days.
Mangue Seco : On Bahia’s northern coast, Mangue Seco is a deserted paradise of dunes, palms, rivers, and ocean.
Cachoeira : This sleepy colonial town on the banks of the Rio Paraguaçu preserves some of the African diaspora’s oldest religious and musical traditions.
Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina : In the heart of Bahia’s arid interior, this lush, mountainous plateau region is filled with hiking trails, waterfalls, and colonial diamond mining towns.
Barra Grande : Perched on Brazil’s third largest bay, the Baía de Camamu, Barra Grande boasts a laid-back vibe and stunning beaches, including the Tahiti-like Taipu de Fora.
Trancoso : The ultimate in hippie chic, the village of Trancoso is cosmopolitan yet rustic, and blessed with stunning beaches.
Caraíva : For an idyllic, away-from-it-all beach experience, it’s hard to beat the rustic charms of this tiny fishing village surrounded by some of Bahia’s most gorgeous and deserted beaches.
Parque Nacional Marinho dos Abrolhos : This offshore marine reserve is a diver’s delight; both Charles Darwin and Jacques Cousteau were impressed by the spectacle of sea life here.