When the Portuguese first arrived in Brazil (April 22nd 1500) they landed on the soil today known as Bahia. In Portuguese (Brazil's Official Language) the word "bay" is translated "baia". Salvador, Bahia's capital, was founded by Portuguese explorers in 1549. The city lays on a peninsula located in between "All Saints Bay" and the Atlantic Ocean. Every time people talked about Salvador, they referred to it as, "the province with the bay in it". Later on, the province would be officially named "The Province of Bahia" (the province of the bay). The spelling of the word "bay" (baia) was changed in order to make the province's name unique. Salvador-Bahia became Brazil's first capital back when the country was one of Portugal's colonies, and remained like that for 214 years (until it was transferred to Rio, and finally to Brasilia).
Bahians, like all Brazilians, speak Portuguese. The accent, however, is different from that of other regions of the country.
Today due to tourism expansion there are some people who speak English in touristic areas & hotels, but since it is not widely spoken, if you do not speak Portuguese you would be wise to bring a small travel dictionary.
International Airports in Bahia:
Salvador (SSA), connecting flights to Lisbon, Frankfurt and Madrid. Direct service to Miami, starting Nov. 2.
Porto Seguro, connecting flights to Lisbon.
Coach services are comfortable and cheap. Very useful to get around the state. It is ill-advised to travel at night, highway robberies are all too common.
From Salvador airport there are connections throughout the state
The Bay of All Saints, beautiful seen from Salvador, can also be seen from a tourist boat that makes a trip through the bay, passing several Islands. The largest island is Itaparica. It can be reached in about 1 hour by ferry from Salvador. The smaller passenger-ferry departs from near the Mercado Modelo to , while the larger car-ferry goes from about 2km North of here to Bom Despacho
On the Coconut coast the sea turtle preservation project at Praia do Forte is a very impressive sight.
In October, whales can be seen alongside the whole coast, but the marine reserve on the Whale Coast is the pinnacle.
In the Chapada Diamantina, the Fumaça waterfall and the caves are very impressive
Trekking through the Chapada Diamantina. With a guide, stay with locals while hiking through the park for several days.
Bahia Beach house Rentals, Atelier do Sobrado Rua Guedes Cabral, 184 Rio Vermelho Salvador -Ba 41950-620, ☎ (+55) 71 9619-2635 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Beach houses for rent on the Bahia coast, from the Whalecoast to the Coconut coast.
It is ill-advised to travel at night through the state, by car or bus: highway robberies are all too common.
roads can be very bad outside the capital city
Espírito Santo — Although off-the-beaten path, the state south of Bahia has much to offer tourists. The capital Vitória's beautiful bay and bridge; Vila Velha's Convento da Penha (a hilltop Franciscan convent dating from the 16th century); Guarapari's beaches and summer parties; the German-colonized town of Domingos Martins; Pedra Azul State Park's beautiful blue rock; and Itaúnas's dunes and forró (a Northeastern Brazilian dance); are some of the main attractions that should guarantee tourists a good time.