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Salvador de Bahia

By doina — last modified Oct 15, 2002 04:04 PM

Published: 2002-10-15 16:04:07
Countries: Brazil

One of Brazil's major cities with many interesting African influences. The large bay offers a multitude of different marinas and anchorages. Salvador de Bahia is a great option if you want to leave the boat and fly home. If you are looking for help with the authorities and a mooring close to the main town, "Centro Nautico" will be your best choice. If you like to be away from the town itself, but have access occasionally, you might fancy the marina or anchorage at Itaparica's NW end.

The local produce leaves nothing else to wish for; great meat, vegetable, fruit, liquor, beer, it's all there. Only problem is wine, which is very expensive and the locally produced wine does not meet everybody's expectation.

Salvador de Bahia is situated at a large bay, which makes for a superb cruising ground in itself. It would take weeks to see all the anchorages and marinas and if you have guests or relatives looking to join you for a protected sailing vacation, this is the place. The waters are surprisingly clean.

The town itself is full of many African influences when looking at food, artefacts, music, dance, dresses and cults like "Candomble", "Macumba" and "Umbanda" with their special rituals. The "Elevador" (just across the road from the Centro Nautico) has just been renovated and takes you, free of charge, up from the lower level of the port area to the high ground of the famous "Pelorinho" district. Pelorinho is very touristy. There are plenty of Internet Café's, restaurants, the famous kids-band "OLODUM" drumming away, the SENAC cooking, arts and dancing school (good meals, great entertainment), and all the street life you can wish for. But watch it !!! Walking the 500 meters from Centro Nautico to the "Elevador" can be hazardous especially after dark. DO NOT wear anything of value, dress down and be in a hurry ! Or take a taxi for 15 Reais.

Pelorinho itself is closely patrolled by all sorts of police, but the weekends see more tourists and fewer police. Be very careful! There are unfortunately a lot of beggars, money exchanges with outrageous rates and a lot of cheap junk to be bought. However, it's a place not to be missed and for the experienced sailor there is usually no problem.

It would be impossible to cover all possibilities, marina options and entertainment in this report, but we hope the information will give you a sound base and a good head start. Please note the separate report for Isla de Itaparica on this website. Have fun in Salvador de Bahia, we loved it !

Tom Mueller & Lilly Vedana, Yacht MIZ MAE

June 2002