Bahia's capital, the colonial city of Salvador, is considered the country's cultural capital. Salvador is home to the ancient art of capoeira, a martial art developed by the Bahian slaves under the guise of dance movements. You'll also see the Candomblé; an African dance performed by women, with graceful hand movements and swaying hips.
Explore the streets, sample the Afro-Brazilian cuisine, and browse the markets at leisure or let Original Travel arrange lessons in samba dance, drumming or capoeira.
In the interior of Bahia lies a Lord of the Rings-esque land of underground rivers, cacti and table-top mountains. Based in a charming colonial village here in the heart of the Chapada Diamantina, you can explore the scenery on foot or by bike with an English-speaking guide. Breathtaking hikes and mountain-bike trips are interspersed with dips into the many crystalline streams and pools that are safe to drink from as you swim. There are underground caves to explore and for the more adventurous, diving deep into the caves is an option.
On the coast, Trancoso is fast becoming one the hippest beach destinations in South America, attracting celebrities aplenty. The village overlooks perfect palm-fringed beaches and colourful former slave houses cluster around the large main square known as the Quadrado, where everyone gathers to sip caipirinhas and browse in the antique shops, boutiques and local stalls. The atmosphere is one of sophisticated relaxation and flip-flops (havaianas, naturally), linen shirts and kaftans are the order of the day.