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Brazil's Cultural Capital

Salvador, founded in 1549, was Brazil's first capital. Its early prominence was fueled by trade in cane sugar and slaves—brought by the hundreds of thousands from Senegal, Nigeria, Angola and Congo. Their labors built a city of Baroque churches, pastel-hued mansions and cobbled streets. Salvador's historic center, the Pelourinho—or "Whipping Post"—was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. After decades of renovation, this historic quarter now includes more than 800 restored houses, churches and convents.

Salvador remains the capital of Afro-Brazilian culture; over 80% of its residents claim African ancestry. The local cuisine, music and dance are infused with African elements. Capoeira, a blend of dance and martial arts set to music, is a well-known example. Other forms are displayed at the Museu Afro-Brasileiro, which features fantastic carvings of Candomblé deities and ritual objects.

Salvador's appeal is not just historical and cultural. The city is flanked by 31 miles of beach, facing either the Atlantic or All Saints Bay. Porto da Barra, at the mouth of the bay, was named among the world's ten best beaches by the UK's The Guardian newspaper. North and South of the city, the coastal highway connects dozens of beach towns. Some, such as Morro de Sao Paulo, draw vacationers from around globe. Others, like Espelho and Boipeba, are better-kept secrets.

March is the warmest month in Salvador, with temperatures reaching into the 90s. Sea breezes moderate the heat and humidity year-round. Although this is one of the sunniest regions of Brazil, rains are common from May to October.

Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhaes International Airport lies 12 miles north of Salvador. In addition to a long list of domestic flights, non-stop flights to Miami (eight hours) are available.

Vacations to Salvador can also be combined with extensions to Fernando de NoronhaIlheus, or Trancoso. Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Brazil and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

"He who does not travel does not know the value of men."

African proverb