Salvador the Best!

Salvador da Bahia, Brazil Central
The Deep Guide to Brazil's Essentiality

Sprawled across broad equatorial latitudes, stoked and steamed and sensual in the widest sense of the word... limned in cadenced song... its very name born in heat and embers, Brazil is a conundrum wrapped in a smile inside an irony.

 
CONTENTS

A Schooner Trip Across the Bay

An excellent way to spend a day here is to take the schooner trip...

Schooners leave from the Terminal Marítimo, on the water behind the Mercado Modelo, at 9 a.m. They cross to the Ilha dos Frades (Monk Island, so called because two monks, according to local legend, were killed by the island's Tupinambá Indians when they went to convert the Indians to Christianity) at the north end of the bay, a voyage of around an hour and a half. There is live samba on board the boat, several guys playing, simple, real, good, and drinks -- water (3 reais for a small bottle), soft drinks, beer (4 reais for a small bottle) -- and snacks are available.

The beach at Ilha dos Frades is lovely, absolutely clean and hassle-free. The barracas (beach cabanas) serve drinks and petiscos (snack food) at reasonable prices. Although picturesque, the island (as so much in Bahia) was involved in the slave trade, serving as a landing point for Africans destined for the sugarcane plantations of the Recôncavo.

After an hour and a half or so the schooner reembarks for the island of Itaparica across the water, a voyage of around half an hour or so, where lunch is served buffet style, all you can eat, good food, in the open air, on the beach, under tiled canopies to protect from the sun.

There is no pier here so a skiff ferries passengers from the schooner to the beach (and back), and the last few meters are waded in (and out).

Departure is at 3:30 p.m., with arrival back at the Terminal Marítimo around 5:15 p.m.


Ilha dos Frades (Isle of the Monks)


Beach on Ilha dos Frades


View of beach from 17th century church on hill


Church on hilltop


The Route

Beaches, Villages, Towns, and Etc. Within Range of Salvador

Running up and down the coast, and inland into the heart of Bahia, are a number of beautiful and interesting places. So, I'm going to divide this page into 1), places organized by geographical position with respect to Salvador, and 2), places within the Recôncavo (the fertile, crescent-shaped region surrounding the Baia de Todos os Santos). I'm also including places across the bay.

The buses referred to leave from the Rodoviária (bus station), easily reachable by city bus or taxi. Tickets can be bought at either the Rodoviária itself, or at various and sometimes more convenient in-town agents. Ticket prices rise with time, and some of the prices listed below may be outdated. You won't pay much more than the prices quoted though.

Bus schedules (and lots of other information) not listed can be had by dialing Telemar's (that's the phone company) InformaçãoTuristica (Tourist Information) -- 131. Information is available in English and Spanish. A telephone card is required if one is calling from a public telephone.

I'm adding information as time permits, and places with pages devoted to them are linked in red.

To the North of Salvador

Running north from the Farol (lighthouse) de Itapoan are hundreds of kilometers of wonderful beaches. These beaches are accessible via the Linha Verde (Green Line), a (toll) road (kept in excellent condition) running parallel to the coast, with access roads leading off to the coast itself.

The road runs along dunes of snow-white sand, and the coast itself is an almost unbroken line of coconut palms. The communities along this coast range from primitive fishing villages to sophisticated Praia do Forte.

  • Buraquinho: Just north of Lauro de Freitas, which is just north of Salvador, Buraquinho is located where the river Joanes flows into the sea. A charming area of beach houses and well-built barracas. There is a seaside beach, and a surf-protected riverside beach (salt water) perfect for kids.

  • Busca Vida: Just north of Buraquinho. No barracas here, the beach is lined by private homes.

  • Jauá: Just north of Busca Vida.

  • Arembepe: The so-called Aldeia dos Hippies (Hippie Village). Bus company Santa Maria - Catuense (450-4004). Ticket price (one-way) is R$4.26, and the journey takes one hour. Buses leave at 5:40 a.m., 8:50 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Jacuipe: Next stop north, Jacuipe is a village at the mouth of the Jacuipe River.
  • Itacimirim:
  • Praia do Forte: A fishing village which has become a well-developed resort. On the route of bus company Santa Maria - Catuense (450-4004). Ticket price (one-way) is R$7.40, and the journey takes one hour and forty minutes. Buses leave at 5:40 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Imbassaí: On the route of bus company RD Turismo (450-5149). Ticket price (one-way) is R$6.30 and the journey takes an hour-and-a-half. Buses leave at 6:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m, and 5:45 p.m., seven days a week. They are comercial, which means no air conditioning.

  • Diogo: Several kilometers north of Imbassaí.  A very small and primitive village, with a pristine beach accessible only via a lovely trek over dunes of snow-white sand.


Service with a smiiiile, on the beach in Diogo...

  • Mangue Seco:

To the South of Salvador

  • Morro de São Paulo: Boats to Morro de São Paulo leave from the Centro Náutico da Bahia, the beautiful blue-and-white building on the water behind the Mercado Modelo. Tickets can be purchased at the L.R. Turismo window (telephone: 216-7045) in the lobby. One-way is R$45.00 to R$50.00 reais. A launch leaves daily at 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and a catamaran leaves daily at 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. The journey takes two hours for both type of craft.

    Another choice is to go by air. Aerostar (3204-1335 or 3377-4406) has flights from the Salvador Airport to a landing strip near Morro de São Paulo's Third Beach. The trip is twenty minutes in duration, with planes leaving daily (including weekends) at 8:00 a.m and 12:30 p.m. Depending on demand, aircraft seating five, nine, or nineteen passengers are used. Ticket price is R$135.00 either way, or R$270.00 round-trip (no price break).

YOU Are Connected to the Two Guys Below!

We are all very well-connected, ultimately. Via the small world/six degrees phenomenon, you and Mick Jagger and Itzhak Perlman and me and every musician and producer we've ever heard of and millions we haven't...all of us are within a reasonably short series of hops from each other.

 
Road to Salvador
Pathway to Music!

And so our proposal is a music network based in and building upon this phenomenon, realized as an online codex (codex = "book" in Latin) with links that can be followed...

...these links leading to more links, together forming pathways leading to Appalachia and Donegal and Berlin and Brazil...to people unknown except to a few and to people known to millions but unknown to many more.

The MusiCodex is a way of providing pipelines to all, with each member acting as a relay-torchbearer for music, receiving people from the "From" column and sending them on via the "To" column. From this simple process unfolds a vast labyrinth wherein we are led step-by-step by those whom we choose to follow...

As the yellow brick road began in Munchkin Land, our labyrinth begins in Brazil, in Bahia, in a record shop devoted to music usually danced to barefoot, on beaten clay, under palm and banana leaves...

Salvador Artists
Enter our MusiCodex here

That's João do Boi (John of the Ox) to the right of the ubiquitous Jay-Z there...

  • Boipeba: A jewel, certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth; exuberant nature -- jungle and beach -- leavened with civilized comforts.


Beach at Velha Boipeba, at the confluence of the estuary and the Atlantic


Beach at Moreré, on the Atlantic side of the island


Back window of restaurant Santa Clara's kitchen

  • Baia de (Bay of) Camamú:


On the way out for evening fishing on Camamú Bay

  • Maraú Peninsula:


Looking inland (across the peninsula) from the lighthouse at Taipus de Fora


The other direction from the lighthouse at Taipus de Fora -- out over the Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) to the Atlantic Ocean

  • Itacaré:
  • Porto Seguro: On the route of bus company Águia Branca (450-4400). Ticket price (one-way) is R$66.10, and journey takes 10 hours. Buses leave at 9:00 p.m., seven days a week. The buses are air-conditioned, so dress accordingly. Water and coffee are available for free on the bus. For a small charge and upon request, tickets will be delivered to anywhere in Salvador (it's R$2.50 for delivery to Barris, in the city center, for example).

Westward: Into the Great Interior

  • Lençois: On the route of bus company Real Express (3450-9310). Ticket price (one-way) is R$33.41, and the journey takes around seven hours. Buses leave at 7:00 a.m. on Monday through Saturday, and at 11:30 p.m. seven days a week. The morning buses don't have air-conditioning, but the night buses might. The air-conditioning on these buses is usually turned up full-blast, so dress accordingly or suffer.


Lençois, Bahia

  • Cruz das Almas: On the route of bus company Cidade Sol (450-7290).

The Recôncavo Region

  • Cachoeira: On the route of bus company Santana (3450-4951). Ticket price (one-way) is R$8.62, and the journey takes two hours. Buses leave, from Monday through Saturday, at 5:30 a.m./6:30 a.m./7:30 a.m./7:50 a.m./8:30 a.m./9:20 a.m./10:10 a.m./10:50 a.m./ 11:40 a.m./12:30 p.m./1:50 p.m./2:10 p.m./3:40 p.m./4:30 p.m./5:20 p.m./6:10 p.m./7:00 p.m./and 9:30 p.m. On Sundays, they leave at 5:30 a.m./7:30 a.m./8:30 a.m./9:20 a.m./10:50 a.m./12:30 p.m./1:50 p.m./2:50 p.m./4:30 p.m./6:10 p.m./7:30 p.m./and 9:30 p.m.


The railway, automobile, and foot bridge connecting Cachoeira and São Felix, across the Paraguaçu River.

  • Santo Amaro

  • Maragogipe

Across the Bay

  • Mar Grande: Pequenas lanchas (small boats; small only by comparison to the big ferry boats, really) leave the Centro Náutico da Bahia, the blue-and-white building on the water behind the Mercado Modelo, every half hour, seven days a week, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., then there's one last boat at 6:40 p.m. Coming the other way, from Mar Grande to Salvador, they likewise leave every half hour, from 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The trips (which are fun) take a half-hour or so either way. The price is R$2.00 Monday through Saturday, and R$2.80 on Sundays and holidays.

Tickets for bus companies Águia Branca, Bomfim, Itapemirim, and São Geraldo, as well as the Ferry Boats and Catamarans to Itaparica, can be bought at the two Ticket Center outlets, one located at Piedade (across from Shopping Piedade), on Rua Junquiera Ayres, 148, telephone 3329-5433, and the other located in Shopping Iguatemi on the second floor, telephone 3450-0144.


Salvador Apartment Rentals!


Thinking about an apartment? What Alain has to say may be interesting!

Alain's Apartments in Salvador: Click HERE for information and listings!!!

 


TOURS of SALVADOR & ENVIRONS
by writer Ben Paris
The Good, the Bad, & the Beautiful
Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain

An American in Brazil
A-Class Service & Communication!
Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel

A San Francisco Native in Brazil
A-Class Service & Communication!
ALL Available Hotels
in Salvador!

All Hotels in Salvador

Much More Comfortable than
Sleeping on the Beach!
Home - Salvador Central

Home: Salvador Central

A Tour Guide to
Salvador & Environs

A Tour Guide to Salvador

Salvador, the City

Salvador & Its Spirit

A Short History of
Salvador da Bahia

A Short History of Salvador da Bahia

Carnival in Salvador

Carnival in Salvador

What Brazil Does Best...

Salvador's Music Site

The World Cup in Salvador

World Cup Salvador

Salvador's Old City: Pelourinho

Salvador's Old City

Salvador's Neighborhoods, Streets,
Praças & Byways

Salvador's Neighborhoods

Blood, Sweat, & Prayers: Salvador Sites
& History

Salvador Sites

Once Upon a Night in Brazil:
A Short History of
Brazilian Music

A History of Brazilian Music

Sweet Fields, Bitter Harvest:
The Music of Bahia

Music of Bahia

And the Whole Musical Planet!

Salvador's Music Site

About Us

About Us

The Sacred & the Profana: Festas

Festas

Food & Eating Out in Salvador

Food in Salvador

Drinking in Salvador

Drinking in Salvador

Salvador's Beach Scene

Salvador's Beaches

Islands in the Bay

Islands in the Bay

What's On in Salvador

What's On in Salvador

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Download GREAT
Brazilian Music

Download Great Brazilian Music

Ubiquitous Deities: Candomblé

Candomblé

Capoeira: Dance Like a Baryshnikov, Hit Like a Kalashnikov

Capoeira

Salvador's Afoxés & Blocos Afros

Salvador's Afoxe's & Blocos Afros

Percussion Classes in Salvador:
Heaviest Hands

Percussion Classes in Salvador

Brazilian Music
Workshops & Tours

Brazilian Music Workshops

Group Lodging in Salvador:
Professional & Student

Group Lodging in Salvador

Learning Portuguese:
Lessons & Classes

Learning Portuguese

Money Matters

Money Matters

Buying Property in Salvador

Buying Property in Salvador

S.O.S. Brazil: Volunteer Work

Volunteer Work

How to Avoid Being
Robbed & Cheated

How to Avoid Being Robbed & Cheated

Off Salvador's Beaten Track

Off Salvador's Beaten Track

How to Get Around:
Buses, Taxis, & Cars

How to Get Around

Black Market: Bahian Bazaar

Black Market

Outside of Salvador

Outside of Salvador

Other Voices

Other Voices

Kindred Spirits &
Fellow Travellers

Kindred Spirits

Fiction from Bahia

Fiction from Bahia

Dental Help in Salvador

Dental Help in Salvador

Current Weather & the Forecast

Current Weather

Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain

Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel

A Seaside Musical Guesthouse!

A Seaside Musical Guesthouse

An English-Owned Hotel!

An English-Owned Hotel

ALL Available Hotels
in Salvador!

All Hotels in Salvador