In the northeast of Brazil lies the soul of the country: the legendary state of Bahia, one of the birthplaces of our culture. The history of Brazil literally begins with Bahia. Different heritages mix to form a vibrant scenario, full of music, dance and tradition - a true melting pot of different races, origins, and religions. The best part of it is that all of them get along.
If Brazilians are famed worldwide for being receptive and easygoing, Bahians are the best example of this. That's where Brazil was born.
And as if this weren't enough, Bahia also has beautiful beaches, a rich history and stunning natural landscapes.
Music, dance and culture in Salvador
Salvador, the state capital, is full of history. It was once Brazil's capital during colonial times. The city's downtown is filled with architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries - a mix of European style with some local flair. Baroque churches are particularly impressive, with their golden decorations.
Another vital part of Brazil's heritage can be found here: the African-Brazilian culture, dance, music, and religion.
It's virtually impossible to walk anywhere and not see or hear street performers, drum groups, capoeira circles and other local presentations. Top that with a cuisine that has seafood and European elements with an African twist and you have the complete picture of what Salvador is all about.
Porto Seguro, the birthplace of Brazil
In Porto Seguro, you will be where Brazil started, literally speaking. This was the place where the Portuguese first set foot on Brazilian shores. The small colonial town still preserves much of its historic buildings and, like Salvador, it also has its fair share of music, food and African culture.
If you want to just bask in the sun and take it easy, there's always the option of taking a ferry to the paradisiacal beaches of Arraial d'Ajuda, not far from Porto Seguro.
Now, if you're a serious beach lover, you can't miss Forte Beach, one of the most beautiful in the world. It has a small town with shops and restaurants but the main attraction is, of course, the seaside. Coconut trees line the coast, with its pristine water. When the tide recedes you can find natural pools in the reef barrier. While you're there, you'll feel your cares melting away.
Morro de São Paulo
Another marvelous sunny spot is Morro de São Paulo, a favorite among Brazilian holidaymakers. Located at the north of Tinharé Island, no cars are allowed in this tropical haven. The water is very shallow and suitable for anyone who likes to relax. Dolphins can be spotted swimming close to the village. For a scenic view, go to Farol do Morro and enjoy a spectacular sunset.
Costa do Sauípe
Located 85 kilometers north of Salvador, Costa do Sauípe has world-class resorts, dunes, trees and a perfect beach. But there's so much more to explore: lagoons, sports and wonderful bars and restaurants. Short trips are just a bus ride away; if you're more inclined to adventure, stand up paddle boards are available for hire and zip lines will add a dose of excitement to your day.
Bahia is where Brazil was born and is also a great place to recharge your batteries and get in touch with nature and the country's roots. Everyone should go to Bahia at least once to experience the fullness of the Brazilian soul.