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Things to do in Salvador, Brazil

Our most recommended things to do in Salvador, Brazil

Salvador: City Highlights Private Tour

1. Salvador: City Highlights Private Tour

Choose from 5 different itineraries to best fit your time in Salvador and your preferences. Explore the city's highlights on a private tour with an expert guide and learn about the historical background of the city. • 4-Hour Cidade Baixa - Salvador Outskirts Tour Visit the lower city of Salvador and get to know the coastal area of Baía de Todos os Santos. Go to Dique do Tororó and enjoy a panoramic view of the Arena Fonte Nova football stadium. Next, see the beaches of Ribeira and the Itapagipe Peninsula and visit a tile-painting workshop. Taste a tropical ice cream at the traditional Sorveteria da Ribeira and head to the famous Senhor do Bonfim Church. Get a beautiful view of Montserrat Fortress and end your tour visiting Mercado Modelo, a major landmark of colonial Brazil where you can find a wide variety of vendors selling art and handicrafts. • 4-Hour Old Salvador with Pelourinho Tour Learn about the rich history of Salvador by starting your tour at Santo Antonio da Barra Fortress and Lighthouse. Then, visit the monument to Brazilian Independence, and walk the UNESCO-inscribed Historic Center of San Salvador de Bahia, also known as "Pelourinho.” Visit the Jesuit Basilica Cathedral and the Church of St. Francis of Assis, two of the most extraordinary religious buildings in Brazil. • 6-Hour Salvador Essentials Tour with Local Snack Make the most of your time and see the main sights in the city in this combo tour of the Cidade Baixa – Salvador Outskirts and Old Salvador with Pelourinho tours. Have a quick stop to try a crepioca (included) and taste a unique flavor of Bahian gastronomy. • 7-Hour Old Salvador with Pelourinho Tour & Salvador Beaches Live Salvador at its best and combine history with beach relaxation. This tour combines the Old Salvador with Pelourinho tour with some time to enjoy Praia do Flamengo and Stella Maris, two of the best beaches in Salvador. Lunch is not included. • 8-Hour Salvador Essentials Tour with Regional Lunch  Take the complete tour of Salvador combining the Cidade Baixa – Salvador Outskirts and Old Salvador with Pelourinho tours at a more relaxed pace with a stop for a traditional Bahian lunch (included).

From Salvador: Morro de São Paulo Paradise Island Daytrip

2. From Salvador: Morro de São Paulo Paradise Island Daytrip

Depart Salvador and journey by ferry to Itaparica Island. Then take a short drive to the city of Valencia, and continue by speedboat to what is affectionately known as "The Hill" by Bahian locals. On arrival at Morro de São Paulo, discover beaches of white sand, crystal-clear waters, coconut trees and dense Atlantic forest. Relax in the off-beat location, characterized by beaches with numbers instead of names. Experience the friendly village atmosphere, where cars are forbidden and the hospitable people hang out in the bars and restaurants. Take part in optional activities such as horseback rides and zipline adventures, or just wander among the many enchanting sights. Suitable for all ages and tastes, Morro de São Paulo is home to cheerful dancing and cocktails on the beach. Join the locals and drink caipirinhas, or dip your toes in the calm waters of the ocean. Alternatively, you can take the 2-hour catamaran direct from Salvador to Morro de São Paulo if you want more time on the island. There is also the option to spend the night at Morro de São Paulo should you wish to linger a little longer at the end of the day. Return to Salvador in the late afternoon if you don't want to take advantage of this option.

Salvador: Morro de São Paulo Island Transfer Service

3. Salvador: Morro de São Paulo Island Transfer Service

Make the most of your trip to Morro de São Paulo Island and avoid the stress of planning your travel to or from Salvador. With your pre-booked transfer service, enjoy pickup from your Salvador hotel or the airport, then sit back and relax as your driver does all the work. After pickup from Salvador before 1:15PM, enjoy a ride in a comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle to the maritime terminal. From here, board a shared boat that takes you over to Itaparica Island. Once there, relax during the 2-hour car drive to Valença city followed by a 15-minute shared speedboat ride to Morro de São Paulo Island. The return journey takes the same route back.

Salvador: African Heritage & Acarajé Tasting 4-Hour Tour

4. Salvador: African Heritage & Acarajé Tasting 4-Hour Tour

Salvador, the first capital of Brazil, has maintained the evidence of its African heritage, introduced by the transatlantic slave trade from Africa to Brazil. During the Portuguese colonization, the Bay of All Saints was of fundamental importance as the main export site in the Southern Hemisphere, from which products such as Brazilian sugar and Bolivian silver were shipped to Europe. On this 4-hour tour you’ll learn about the transatlantic slave trade and its legacy by visiting key historical sites in the city of Salvador. The tour begins at the Fort and Barra Lighthouse at the port of arrival for enslaved Africans. Continue to the Tororó dike and see the monument dedicated to the legacy of African religious heritage and the worship of Orixas. The next sites you’ll visit are located in the Cidade Baixa (lower city), where you’ll take in important historic locations marking the presence of Africans in Bahia and Brazil. In the historic downtown area, you’ll visit the Afro Museum of Benin, where the collection highlights the African perspective in the formation of Brazilian identify and culture. You’ll also stop at the Church of the Rosary of the Blacks, the first Black Christian religious brotherhood in the New World. The tour concludes with a visit to the Casa do Benin Museum, one of the main African cultural centers in the state of Bahia.

From Salvador: Praia do Forte & Guarajuba Beach Daytrip

5. From Salvador: Praia do Forte & Guarajuba Beach Daytrip

Your full-day tour of the north coast of Bahia begins with a visit to the urban beaches of Salvador. Continue along the picturesque Coconut Road to the Forte Beach, located at the edge of the Sapiranga sustainable rainforest conservation site. In addition to admiring beautiful beaches, natural pools and a charming fishing village by the sea, you’ll visit the turtle sanctuary and learn about marine conservation projects. See artwork and handicrafts produced in the region as well. Enjoy a break for lunch by the beach at Guarajuba, known for its coconut palms and inviting crystal-clear waters.

Salvador by Night: Cultural Dinner and Show

6. Salvador by Night: Cultural Dinner and Show

This tour itinerary is tailored so you can contemplate the historic places and night-time ambiance of Salvador. What's more, meet the Bahian people and become acquainted with their heritage. This tour includes dinner in a traditional restaurant that offers typical cuisine - a mixture of remarkable and unforgettable delicacies and flavors. The celebrations and festivities in the streets are unique spectacles, but during this evening experience you will also attend a spectacular show of Bahian culture, which will allow you to gain a better understanding of what Bahia is all about! The music and the sound of drums, will enable you to feel the magic of the sacred dances of the African gods. Witness the legacy of a resistance struggle through Capoeira and Maculele, ancestral dances that symbolize the freedom of black people in Brazil, and the beautiful Roda de Samba, a trademark of Brazilian musicality.

From Salvador: Mangue Seco Beaches, Dunes & Buggy Daytrip

7. From Salvador: Mangue Seco Beaches, Dunes & Buggy Daytrip

After morning pick-up at your Salvador hotel, you will meet your guide and board your vehicle for the 135 mile (220 kilometer) trip to Mangue Seco. Mangue Seco is inaccessible by road, so crossing the Real River (which divides the Brazilian states of Sergipe and Bahia) is part of the adventure. On this 12-hour guided tour, you'll travel 135 miles (220 kilometers) from Bahia to explore beaches, sand dunes and a tranquil village.  A pearl nestled between the sea, rivers, dunes and palm trees; Mangue Seco is a tropical beauty that has been portrayed in soap operas and national films.  This tour allows you to experience one of the most beautiful landscapes of the north coast, known as the Green Line.  The idyllic beaches, with swirling sands orchestrated by the winds and the sea waves, create dunes of incomparable beauty. Its warm waters and its marine basins form natural medicinal spa centers. You will also have time for swimming, hiking, optional buggy rides (not included in the price, price to be negotiated on the day with the locals), or simply relax in a rustic tent and relish the local cuisine.  This family-friendly tour includes round-trip transportation from Salvador.

Salvador: 4-Hour Candomblé Mysteries Tour

8. Salvador: 4-Hour Candomblé Mysteries Tour

Salvador is a city that holds that largest black population outside the African continent and hence, it is known as the Black Rome. It has preserved as part of its historical legacy an intense African-Amerindian religiosity.  The city safeguards charms and mysteries, hidden in magnificent places that you will have the opportunity to visit through this itinerary, carefully prepared in order to demystify erroneous notions and impressions disseminated over several centuries about religions of African origin in the world. The route begins in the Afro-Brazilian Museum which, through its collection, narrates the history of enslaved Africans and the transatlantic trade, and the ebb and flow of enslaved peoples and their identities. The artifacts come from several regions of the African continent, allowing you to understand the countless intellectual, artistic, cultural and religious manifestations of these peoples in Brazil. You will visit the Pierre Verger Foundation, the French anthropologist responsible for developing literary and photographic records of the history of slavery, and extensive audio visual documentation. You will get to know a maroon community, places that served as a haven for black people and their African gods during the colonial and post-abolition periods in Brazil. Soon after, you will get to know a Candomblé terreiro from the ewe-fon a nation of daomeniana origin and have the opportunity to consult the sacred oracle (optional activity - extra cost). As you walk through the streets, you will see the urban and cultural development of a slum originated from a maroon community, in the company of guide from the community, who is initiated in these traditions and knowledgeable of these historical processes.

From Salvador: Quilombo Heritage Daytrip with Lunch

9. From Salvador: Quilombo Heritage Daytrip with Lunch

The Bahia Recôncavo is a region renowned for its history of struggle for the independence of Brazil. It reflects the colonial Portuguese heritage, together with the rich African legacy, reflected in the faces of its inhabitants and its religious and cultural traditions. The itinerary begins in Santo Amaro, a city whose economy was driven mainly by the sugar cane plantation and enslaved labor. Walk in the middle of the public fair and its secular houses. Then go through sugar cane, manioc and tobacco farms, towards the Quilombo Kaonge, where you will have a great opportunity to experience their daily lives and share their wisdom and tastes. Take time to talk with the griô (elder) of the community, then put your hands to practice and learn the process of making flour and oil palm oil, after lunch. In the afternoon, continue to the most important city of the Recôncavo region, Cachoeira-Ba, colonial city. Cross the Paraguaçu River on a bridge built by the English in 1830 towards the Danneman cigar factory and shortly after return to the hotel.

Salvador: Dos Frades & Itaparica Islands Full-Day Boat Tour

10. Salvador: Dos Frades & Itaparica Islands Full-Day Boat Tour

Discover the largest bay in Brazil at Baía de Todos os Santos, known by the indigenous Kirimurê as Tupinambás. Following pickup from your hotel, see the sights of the bay as you cruise across the water aboard a typical schooner. Take in the magnificent views of Salvador and listen to samba music as you sip refreshing drinks, such as local caipirinhas, purchased on board.  Disembark at one of the 56 islands in the bay, such as pretty Ilha dos Frades, where the beaches, mountains, and native trees will take your breath away. Sample local snacks and drinks, and then head for the island of Itaparica to admire the historic architecture and learn about the religious groups of African origin. Break for lunch (not included) at a restaurant that specializes in the local cuisine, and spend the afternoon enjoying the beauty of the area before returning to Salvador.

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Frequently asked questions about Salvador, Brazil

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What people are saying about Salvador, Brazil

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 247 reviews

Very nice excursion very well organized and excellent support. The guide picked me up at 05:00 in the morning there were already people on the bus, then they took us to the port to take the ferry. As soon as we arrived on the island a bus was waiting for us then we took an hour and 10 minutes by bus, then we took a boat that took us to Morro de São Paulo island the trip by boat lasted about ten minutes. We arrived around 09:00 on the island. The guide gave us a lot of explanations on the island on the things to see, on the different beaches. We left the island of Morro de São Paulo at 3:30 p.m. to arrive at the hotel around 7:30 p.m. I am very happy with the excursion. I highly recommend it, especially since the beaches of Morro de São Paulo are magnificent, they have very fine sand, the water is warm and the color of the water is very beautiful, turquoise blue, crystal clear green. I had a very nice day.

Very unique experience visiting Candomble with the guide. Since it's not an open ritual it was located in the private home-alike environment. It was repetitive, but engaging, spectators were invited to take a part in the ritual as well. It is great if you already know more about Candomble before the ritual, so it's easier to understand what each song/prayer symbolizes. But at the same time the guide was all the time providing more information about the process.

I went on the tour with Vagner. He had lots of knowledge about the history of Salvador but also was very knowledgeable about Candomble and traditional African religions. I learned a lot and would highly recommend this tour with Vagner. I also got a reading at Vodun Zo- which was very accurate.

Great tour, The guide we had Marcos was very knowledgeable and gave us just the right amount of time to see the places we visited at each stop. We did the 6-hour tour and it was definitely enough time to see the key landmarks if you are just there for a weekend getaway! I would book again!

Everything went according to plan. Very nice place.