The first colonial capital of Brazil, Salvador is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas and still retains its unique African-influenced culture. Aside from the many attractions within Salvador, gorgeous coastline lies right outside, the longest stretch of any Brazilian city dotted with secluded beaches and idyllic islands. Just inland, the Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina features waterfalls and quiet hiking paths waiting to be explored.
Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, overlooks the vast Todos os Santos bay. The city is split into two levels connected by lifts and a network of steep back streets which lead up to the Pelourinho, with some of the best-preserved colonial architecture in the Americas. It has numerous interesting churches and the rich cultural heritage of the African-influenced religion, candomblé.
Bahia state has some wonderful beaches with a range of accommodation to suit all tastes - secluded beaches and family-run pousadas in Morro de São Paulo or Boipeba, or comfortable resorts around Praia do Forte.
400km inland from Salvador is the Chapada Diamantina national park, a beautiful area of caves, streams and mesas with excellent trekking, all with comfortable country inns on the doorstep in the old colonial mining village of Lençois.