Salvador, Brazil
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Salvador, Brazil Culture & History

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).

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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.

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From Salvador: Praia do Forte & Guarajuba Beach Daytrip

3. 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.

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Salvador: 4-Hour Candomblé Mysteries Tour

4. 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.

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Salvador: African Heritage & Acarajé Tasting 4-Hour Tour

5. 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.

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Salvador: 3-Hour Percussion Class

6. Salvador: 3-Hour Percussion Class

Percussion in Bahia is part of people's daily lives, and it is present on several occasions, either in a Samba de Roda, or a Candomblé ceremony. It transmits joy and vibrancy, provides rhythm to the melodies, intensifies musical arrangements, and it is also good for the health as it improves the spirits. Bahia is known for its cultural and artistic production, a foundation for several artistic traditions in Brazil. On this tour, you'll visit an area of vibrant cultural and musical production, aiming to experience the creativity that fosters the process of producing sounds and rhythms inspired by the African continent. The itinerary will help you get acquainted with the sounds of Bahia, through a workshop and a class taught by talented percussionists. You'll learn about the versatility of Brazilian musical production, ranging from the samba reggae, a rhythm that fascinated Michael Jackson, to jazz.

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From Salvador: Recôncavo Baiano & Plantation Farm Daytrip

7. From Salvador: Recôncavo Baiano & Plantation Farm Daytrip

The Bahian Recôncavo is a region renowned for its history of struggles for the independence of Brazil. The architecture of its cities, especially of the city of Cachoeira, reflects the Portuguese colonial heritage, along with the African legacy which is present in the faces of its inhabitants, its intellectual, religious and cultural traditions in the daily life of its inhabitants.  The tour begins in Santo Amaro, a city whose economy was mainly driven by the sugar cane plantations and enslaved labor until 1888. This town is of great historical significance, particularly in the context of resistance against Portuguese colonization. You will stroll around the local public market and its ancient colonial houses, as well as visit the Samba Museum and the Parish Church. You will then drive by sugar cane, cassava and tobacco farms towards Cachoeira, the main city in the Recôncavo region. The city was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, located alongside the Paraguaçu River. It's a singular scenario in terms of architectural and cultural preservation. You will visit the churches of Carmo and Rosário, the City Hall and the former jail from the colonial era. You will also visit the House of the Religious Sisterhood of Our Lady of the Good Death. This Catholic sisterhood of African Matrix is a living legacy of matriarchal religious syncretism, which fills Recôncavo's people with pride, preserving the rich history of black resistance in Bahia and Brazil. The culmination of their religious and cultural festivities takes place during the month of August. Local businesses also reflect this cultural wealth, where customers can purchase beautiful carvings, embroidery and paintings produced in the region. You will cross the Paraguassu river using the bridge built by the British in 1830, giving access to the town of São Felix towards a farm strategically located in the hills surrounding the city, which will allow you an exquisite panoramic view of the region.  On this farm, lunch with typical local dishes will be served. Then, you will visit the renowned Danneman cigar factory, founded in the nineteenth century, where the tradition of producing handcrafted cigars is maintained. You will then return to the hotel.

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Salvador: Baiana Cooking Class with Market Visit & Lunch

8. Salvador: Baiana Cooking Class with Market Visit & Lunch

Experience the exotic flavors and aromas of Salvador (São Salvador da Bahia), and learn about the African, Portuguese and indigenous legacies of its cuisine. Meet a family from the community and learn how to prepare and cook some Afro-Brazilian food. Follow an itinerary carefully crafted to provide the best flavors for your palate at a cooking class run in accordance with traditions and religious customs. Chat with the family as you prepare your own lunch!  Start with a visit to a seafood market, and learn about the best fish to use for different types of recipe. Prepare to cook a fish stew known as "moqueca" (a typical Afro-Brazilian local dish). Pick up some vegetables at another food market, along with some tropical fruit that you will use to make a caipirinha (Brazil's national cocktail). Next, prepare the delicacies in a popular neighborhood, guided by your host family. Discover how to prepare the dishes according to Afro-Brazilian traditions, and savor the flavors of the African Diaspora. As their ancestors would say: "ajeum" ("eating is sacred").

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Salvador by Night: Pelourinho & Old Town Tour

9. Salvador by Night: Pelourinho & Old Town Tour

Discover the Baroque architecture of Pelourinho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The buildings date to the 18th century, and are an expression of the grandeur of European colonization. On this 4-hour tour you’ll experience an event known as Tuesday's blessings, meant to ensure the preservation of the musical identity of Bahia, the cradle of Brazilian musicality. After a Catholic Mass is celebrated with elements of African religions in the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Blacks, the streets of Pelourinho come alive with music and dance. Try a variety of dishes and delicacies of African-European heritage in bars, restaurants and street tents. Experience world-famous Bahian hospitality.

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Salvador: Half-Day Candomblé Ceremony Experience

10. Salvador: Half-Day Candomblé Ceremony Experience

The history of the City of São Salvador of Bahia has as one of its main features the cultural wealth inherited from African peoples. Through centuries of struggle of our ancestors to assert their faith in African gods, a new religious structure known as Candomblé emerged; an African-Brazilian religion of worship to the Orixas, a living manifestation of the resilience and the spiritual strength of Africans and their descendants in Brazil. Orixas, Inquices and Voduns...African gods who crossed the seas and sustained their devotees' spirits in overcoming obstacles amidst the torments inflicted by slavery. You'll respectfully immerse yourself in this universe of faith, in order to experience such manifestation of ancestral religiosity, In the night when women and men summon the gods to earth, through their rituals, rhythms, songs, colors, food, and their reverence. The Orixas accept the invitation, and these gods dance, celebrate and bless their people.  The itinerary is prepared by a member of this religion, aiming to provide you the opportunity to witness the most beautiful legacy left by the African ancestors in the New World.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Salvador, Brazil

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What people are saying about Salvador, Brazil

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 32 reviews

It was excellent. I didn't know a single word in Portuguese and the guide was kind enough to translate me everything. Truly recommend it. Sorry I forgot his name (it was an Italian name).

Great tour, and above all our guide Vincent !! He explained a lot about history to us and has great background knowledge. Absolutely to be recommended! We had booked the 6 hour tour.

Very informative and entertaining city tour. The guide was historically very fit and showed us the highlights of Salvador. We can only recommend it!

It was amazing tour, the tour guide was professional, spoke perfect english. I would recommend it.

Great guide. English excellent. Knowledge of subject great. Kept us interested the whole tour.