When I was looking for a specific region of Brazil to visit, it was hard to avoid the obvious choices. It would have been real easy to say, here I come, since I could have easily spent a couple days there and then jumped over to Sao Paulo.
The Amazon Rainforest was another obvious choice, but I am not a huge fan of snakes, bugs, or piranha for that matter.
Then I came across an incredible picture, and I knew that I would have to dictate my trip around what I had just seen. After doing a little bit more research, I knew my trip would have to begin in Salvador.
We landed in Salvador via the Deputado Lu?¡s Eduardo Magalh?úes International Airport, and we immediately started checking out the city.
My first stop was the area known by the locals as Pelourinho and Pelo, the city center during its colonial period. Come to find out, the name Pelourinho actually refers to the whipping post that was used during the cities slave trade day, which was mainly used for punishing slaves. Quite the depressing history, to say the least.
However, the district is much different today. It?ÇÖs a hotbed for all things Brazil including bars, shopping, museums, theatres, and some of the cities best restaurants.
It’s all scattered throughout Pelo’s colorful colonial buildings. There are also street performances that include dancing, musicals, and other plays on a near daily basis. Unfortunately, we came through on a day that didn’t include any, but Pelo was a fantastic stop and gave some great insight into their culture. We ended up spending a solid half day in the area, and had some fantastic food and drinks to close out the day.
My Day Two itinerary included catching a local football match, since I knew we wouldn’t be able to come in when the World Cup was in town for obvious monetary reasons and the strong possibility that England won’t be making it out of group play.
Salvador will host several World Cup matches at Arena Fonte Nova, including a match between two of the worlds best: Germany and Portugal. It is also hosting a Round of 16 match, and a Quarter-Final. However, the most interesting might be the match between Bosnia and Iran, as Bosnia surprised the world with its ability to score.
All of that really just explains why I wanted to see a match at Fonte Nova, and I did. It was an incredible experience. The stadium’s 50,000 fans exploded when Biancucchi scored the game winning goal to put Bahia BA over Botafogo RJ. It is a perfect stadium to host World Cup matches.
After the match, we made our way over to the Porta da Barra, which is a beach that faces west in the All Saints Bay. It was great to relax and watch the sunset. It was the perfect way to close out the day.
Chapada Diamantina - The Reasoning behind Bahia
It was time to see the amazing world wonder known as Chapada Diamantina. We left incredibly early in the morning to maximize the amount of time we could spend at the National Park. The six-hour drive to the park was beautiful, especially when we started getting into the hills. I wish we could have spent more time there, since there’s 7-9 day tours of the park.
So how was Chapada Diamantina? It left me speechless.
We spent that night in the quaint little city of Itaberaba, had some more great food and drinks, and unfortunately, we left the next afternoon. I honestly fell in love with the Bahia area and would absolutely love to come back and stay much longer.
I highly recommend everyone to consider this region if they are thinking about visiting South America.