Salvador is the capital of Bahia, a state fringed by white-sandy beaches and blue seas. It also has a mountainous area in the interior with striking limestone scenery which makes it great walking country. A favourite destination for Brazilian tourists on vacation, Bahia is also becoming an increasingly popular port of call for foreigners travelling around Brazil. The city of Salvador receives half of the visitors who come to Bahia, and is the main entry point for tourists from other states. It is located halfway down the Brazilian coast on Todos os Santos Bay, offering a great diversity of tropical landscapes with beaches and islands bathed by the largest bay on the country’s coast.
Salvador was founded in 1549 and became Brazil’s first capital and the main arrival port of slaves from the Portuguese colonies in Africa. As a result, it has the highest proportion of black people in Brazil and is the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture. Salvador is also the best place to sample Afro-Brazilian cuisine which is an exotic combination of ingredients such as the fish and seafood prepared with dendê oil and coconut.
There is a wealth of colonial architecture to be found in the city with museums, churches and buildings dating from the 17th century. The oldest part of town is a square mile of cobbled streets, colonial buildings and baroque churches. At night, restaurants spill out on to the pavement, bands play live music and groups of drummers march through the streets. This historic district has been declared a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO.
Salvador is considered by many to be the birthplace of Brazilian civilisation for its history and culture. Even today it inspires Brazilian music and arts, as well as the lifestyles of Brazilian people.