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Brazil Bahia Uncovered

Walking, cities and beaches | View photos »

Bahia’s fabulous Afro-Brazilian culture is nowhere more evident than in the colonial streets of Salvador. With relaxed walking in the mountainous interior and time on a peaceful tropical island, this tailor-made trip shows off Bahia’s best.

15 day trip described, guide price £3,270pp i

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Sample itinerary

Fly to Brazil

Fly to Brazil. Please note that international flights for this holiday are quoted separately. On arrival you are collected by your guide who takes you to your charming hotel in a colonial area just away from the main centre of Pelourinho.

Into the Chapada Diamantina

Transfer to the airport for the short flight to the town of Lençois on the edge of the beautiful Chapada Diamantina National Park. The Chapada Diamantina is an enormous region defined by lush grasslands with high table top mountains, cave networks, waterfalls, pools and streams. On arrival in the town of Lençois, your guide meets you to walk you across to your stylish hotel in the heart of the pretty colonial town.

Explore caves and waterfalls

One of the dominant features of the Chapada Diamantina is the relative abundance of water, despite this being a relatively arid area. Even when the waterfalls and pools above ground are at their driest, just under the surface of the landscape are many beautiful underground lakes. Today is a relaxed opportunity to explore some of the beautiful caves or grottos that dot the landscape around Lençois in the company of your guide.

Walk to the village of Capao

Start walking across the Chapada Diamantina National Park today. Your bags travel by road to meet you again at the end of the day. Walk along a valley to skirt around one of the highest mountains in the northern part of the park. As ever, there are beautiful waterfalls and pools in which to cool off along the way.

Hike to a waterfall

Staying in Capão gives you access too the Cachoeira da Fumaça, the second highest waterfall in the Americas. The walk is relatively short but you do climb to the top in order to look down from the top of the waterfall. The water flow of water is very light for much of the year so it falls almost as a mist. The wind often blows the water upwards giving the effect of smoke - hence its name.

Cross the Chapada Diamantina on foot

After breakfast, set off on one of the most beautiful treks in the Chapada Diamantina National Park. It’s about 15km to the village of Guiné which takes around six hours including stops for food and swimming along the way. During the walk you cross through beautiful high meadows Gerais do Vieira and Gerais do Rio Preto. You can also see down into the Pati Valley, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Brazil.

Walk along a riverbed to a waterfall

Travel by car to the south of the national park in order to visit some of the most beautiful spots in the Chapada Diamantina. Walk up to the Cachoeira do Buracão which is a 100m waterfall which cascades literally down through a big hole into the valley floor. Continue to the semi-deserted village of Igatu where you stay in a charming small inn for the next two nights.

Visit the beautiful Blue Pool

Travel an hour north to the Poço Azul or Blue Pool. The pool is in a pretty unprepossessing place: just a couple of buildings, a couple of showers, a rack of lifejackets and a gateway surrounding a dusty square. However, head down the wooden steps into the cave and you are in for a treat. With the sun shining through a hole in the roof of the cave, you'll see the water in the pool below shining bright blue.

Travel back to Salvador

Set off back to Salvador, usually this will be by plane but could be by comfortable bus depending on timetables. On arrival you are met by your guide and taken to your hotel in the colonial part of town. The balance of the day is at leisure.

Guided tour of Salvador

Full day to enjoy the city in the company of your guide. Salvador is an amazing place: where Africa really does meet South America. The culture of Salvador is the pride of Brazil. It manifests itself in many different ways from food to art, from traditional dresses to capoeira. However, the thing that really stands out in Salvador is the music. It is everywhere, all the time.

Travel to Boipeba Island

Set off early for the airport from where you take the air taxi down onto the peaceful tropical island of Boipeba. Jump out onto the sand and stroll to your pousada (boutique hotel) along the beach and then up onto the bluff. Your bags are brought up for you. Spend the rest of your day relaxing and enjoying your view of beaches, palms and blue seas.

Explore the island on foot

There is a selection of activities you can enjoy on the island such as sea kayaking, boat trips, walks and snorkeling but you can set your own pace if you prefer. Activities on the island are not included but your host, Leandro, can help you arrange anything. Walk along the pristine beaches stopping for a swim whenever you like. Have lunch in a small straw hut where you can taste the fresh fish and seafood of the area.

Explore inland on foot

Inland, the island offers a great hike to a remote fishing village and completely isolated tropical beach. There are no cars on the island so it's the sort of place you live in flip flops or go barefoot to explore. After lunch you could ride back to the inn by boat. Enjoy the beautiful afternoon light as you canoe on the flat waters of the river which cuts through the island.

Relax on the island

Spend today soaking up island life before your journey home.

Travel home

Relax before your air taxi back to Salvador where you connect with your transatlantic flight. Depending on flight times, you may need an additional night on the mainland. Again, please note that international flights are quoted separately.

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Map of the area

"So much variety"

"So much variety"

We did have a brilliant time. It was a great choice because it had so much variety... city, walking and beach... Can't think of anything I would change or anything I wish I'd known beforehand. Thanks for all the arrangements. Jean P

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About this trip


Bahia’s fabulous Afro-Brazilian culture is nowhere more evident than in the colonial streets of Salvador. With relaxed walking in the mountainous interior and time on a peaceful tropical island, this tailor-made trip shows off Bahia’s best.

How adventurous?

1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5

Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Level of activity

There is plenty of activity on this holiday, if you want it. The hiking in the Chapada Diamantina National Park is with a private guide so you can set the pace to best suit you. Saying that, you will get the most out of this trip if you enjoy hill walking. The landscapes are incredibly dramatic, the paths good and the cooling waterfalls and pools a just reward for any exertions.

Though most walks are relatively gentle, there are some instances where you will need to scramble for short distances to get up onto the top of hills or waterfalls. The heat in this part of the country can be fairly dramatic, into the low 30s, but we time walks to avoid the hottest times of day, and there’s always a swim in a natural pool to cool you off.

On the island of Boipeba there is no need to be active at all though most people enjoy walking across the island and around the long, empty, sand beaches. If you are minded to, you can ride horses inland or kayak around the coast. In any case, this part of the trip is designed to let you relax and explore rather than set you off adventuring.

Throughout this trip you stay in very good 4* and occasional simpler 3* small hotels. As with all of our trips, we make sure that character, location and service are top notch. We really don’t like to use faceless international chain hotels.

Temperatures in the Chapada are fairly stable through the year, averaging 23c except June through September when temperatures can drop to the mid-teens. March to October are the driest times of year, November through February can be wetter but the landscape can be more beautiful with greater flow of water through the rivers and falls. It's cool at night.

Bahia is basically tropical so you can expect warm conditions year round. March is the warmest month at an average high of 30c. July is the coolest at 26c. In Salvador it rains a good deal, May is wettest with 33cm on average, January the driest with 11cm.

Level of culture

Brazil is a cultural adventure by its very nature. Nowhere is this more powerfully apparent than in the Afro-Latin culture of Bahia (north-east Brazil), the main destination for African slaves brought over to work the sugar plantations. Probably more than anywhere else in the world, the modern culture of Brazil, Bahia in particular, has embraced and celebrates this African heritage as an integral part of its identity. Samba drums on one corner compete with Latino guitars and vocals on another. It’s hard to leave Bahia without being just a little bit in love with the place.

A Salvador tour shows it's lovely colonial heart is a riot of exotic tropical colours, sounds and smells. Inland, the Chapada Diamantina National Park is a mix of semi-deserted villages created during the diamond rush (hence the area’s name), lively and rather lovely colonial Lencois and laid back villages where hippies rub shoulders with farmers and muleteers. As everywhere in Brazil, people seem to just rub along happily together.

For the Chapada Diamantina section of the trip, you have your own guide on hand to lead you and to help translate and explain the culture as well as the landscapes.

At the end of the trip you stay on a small, traffic-free, tropical island where fishing is pretty much the only ‘industry’. This is a place to wander and explore at your own pace, watch the fishermen haul in their nets, sit out eating fish on the beach or stroll through the village. In Brazil it always seems to be easy to communicate with people, even without speaking Portuguese.


There is a detailed 'suggested' itinerary for this trip, please get in touch and we can email that to you.

However, we don’t just sell holidays, we make them. To do this properly we want to understand the things you care about and the things you don’t need. We would love to prepare a personalised proposal for you to consider so why not call us on 01273 676 712 and we can get started?

As described, this holiday includes all accommodation, internal flights (to and from Lencois and Boipeba), private guiding in the Chapada Diamantina as well as excursions in Salvador as listed on our detailed itinerary. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best flight routings are to fly in and out of Salvador (airport code: SSA) though you might like to add in a visit to Rio or some other part of Brazil.


Departs any day of the year, to suit you.

Next steps...

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01273 676712

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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Book Subscribe to The Pothole » Sao Francisco church located in the historical center of Salvador Busy plaza in the historic district of Pelourinho The waterfall through the heart of Lencois, Brazil Photos from a riverbed high above the Pati Valley, Brazil The charming Pousada do Capao The fumaca waterfall in the Chapada Diamantina, Brazil The Devil's waterfall in the Chapada Diamantina In dry season many of the waterfalls in the Chapada Diamantina are dry, allowing for some spectacular photos The stunning blue cave on the edges of the Chapada Diamantina Historic centre of Salvador Samba drumming practice in the streets of Salvador's old town The village on Boipeba island, Bahia Endless sands, all to yourself on Boipeba Walking along the beach in Boipeba Capoeira practice on the beaches of Boipeba Boys on the beach of Boipeba island, Brazil