Optional Private Excursions available for purchase
Avoid the crowds and hustle and bustle associated with a group activity. For a memorable trip ashore, we invite you to consider a private shore excursion. Enjoy the undivided attention of your own driver/guide and the flexibility of experiencing the aspects of the local culture that most interest you. Below are just some samples of the private shore excursions we can arrange for you. Give us a call or email us. Let us personalize your experience!
Salvador - Bahia By Night Folklore Show
The Bahia Folklore Company (Balé Folclórico da Bahia) is one of the most respected folklore dance troupes in the world. The company performs in the intimate Miguel Santana Theatre in the Pelourinho in a seamless presentation of the multiple African traditions that underpin Bahian culture. We will see the sacred dances of the Candomblé; puxada de rede, a song by fishermen in honor of Yemanjá, the goddess of the sea; maculelê, an acrobatic stick and sword dance with its origins in the cane fields; capoeira, a martial art/dance of Angolan origin and the samba de roda, a spinning, swirling version of this exuberant national dance. Optional: After the show diner will be served in one of the many fine restaurants in the area.
Salvador - Essential Salvador (Upper City Tour)
Discover the essential sights of Salvador on a half day tour tracing the development of the city from its simple beginnings to the what is now the third largest city in Brazil. After hotel pick up, we take you to the mouth of the immense bay and then via elegant tree-lined avenues and bustling city streets to the Pelourinho, a Unesco Heritage site and the largest complex of colonial architecture in the South America. We leave the vehicle at the Muncipal Square, by the towering Lacerda Elevator, with great views of the bay stretching out to the lower city, and stroll through the narrow, bustling streets lined with buildings in pastel shades of an age gone by, soaking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant city. We visit the church of São Francisco with its exuberant gold-leafed Baroque interior and the Pelourinho square, the heart of the old town
Salvador - The Lower City: Another Perspective
The Lower City tour offers another perspective of the sprawling city, taking us to the quiet waters of the Itapagipe Peninsula where life moves at a slower pace than the bustling upper city. Fishermen fish from dug out canoes, locals collect shellfish at low tide, schooners lie at anchor, all protected by the famous Bonfim church, one of the most important churches of pilgrimage in Brazil and deeply syncretised with the Candomblé. (visit). We continue to the Monserrat district with its panoramic view of the city and on to the Mercado Modelo, a thriving market for local artifacts and souvenirs. This is also where you can test your bargaining talents! This excursion complements the Essential Salvador tour Please note that the Church of Bonfim is closed on Mondays.
Salvador - Cachoeira: A Day in the Heartland
We leave the city behind to explore the farming hinterland on the western side of the All Saints´ bay. This is the land of sugar cane plantations, peaceful colonial towns and busy country markets, a day of insights into the life in rural Brazil. We drive north out of the city and then head westwards, stopping at busy country market town of Santo Amaro. We continue our drive westwards through rolling hills to Cachoeira, the jewel of the Bahian hinterland nestled in the deep valley of the Paraguaçu River. After lunch we take a walking tour of the town, with an opportunity to browse in some local wood carvers stores'. Like Salvador, Candomblé plays an integral part in the life of the town, epitomized by the Sisterhood of the Boa Morte, a sorority which traces its origins back to the time of slavery. We cross to the western bank of the slow moving river and visit the Danemann Cultural Center where we can also see world class cigars being expertly rolled. A journey back in time to the Brazil of yesteryear.
Salvador - HD African Oriented City Tour
We trace the African roots of Salvador on a city tour which combines the newer, modern section and the older Historical Center of Salvador, the Pelourinho area, so called after the pillory which stood in the main square. We visit the Afro-Brazilian Museum, which traces the West African origins of the city, and see the superb wooden sculpted panels of the orixá's by Salvador's most celebrated artist, Carybé. Museum entrance fee included. We visit the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, the famous Black church, built with meager resources over a period of almost 100 years. The Casa do Benin (Benin's House) nearby further investigates this permeating African influence. Please note that the Afro Brazilian Museum and Casa do Benin are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Salvador - FD Bay Schooner Cruise
After our transfer from the hotel, we board a comfortable schooner and cruise to two of the 36 islands in this sparkling bay, a day of rest and relaxation with great views of the city both on the outbound and homeward journeys. Our first stop is Frades (or Monk's) Island. Virtually uninhabited, the island is home to some of the best beaches in the bay. Here we have ample time to swim in the warm inviting waters, or relax in the sun or the shade, and there is never a cold drink too far away! Then we continue our cruise to the larger Itaparica Island for lunch. After lunch, for those who prefer there is optional transport be available to take us to the colonial town of Itaparica just a short distance away for a light walking tour of the charming waterfront town. We return to the schooner, raise anchor and set off for Salvador with the setting sun flooding the city in its warm glow. Note: Lunch included at Portal das Aguas
Salvador - Praia do Forte & North Coast
The scenic Coconut Highway leads to Praia do Forte, a fishing village 80 kms north of Salvador, home to some of the best beaches in Bahia. Continuing north the appearance of the distinctive white sands of the sparse restinga vegetation, signals that we are approaching Praia do Forte. First we visit the ruins of the imposing Garcia D´Ávila castle (1556), once the home of the largest landowner in the New World, set on the lands of what was the first farm in Brazil. From here we have a panoramic view of the northern coastline. Lunch time sees us in the village of Praia do Forte. After lunch we visit headquarters of the TAMAR Project, the national sea turtle preservation project and one of Brazil´s most successful ecological programs. The visitors´ center provides a unique up-close view of these majestic animals. Then time to relax on the beach or browse in the many local handicrafts stores before returning to Salvador.
Salvador - HD Drum Essentials Workshop
Bahia is the percussive heart of Brazil, the the rhythmic soul is African, a mind boggling myriad of rythmns that has attracted many international musicians to these shores, Paul Simon, Wayne Shorter, to name but a few of the more famous. The rhythms can be chosen from the following: • Rhythmns of the Afro Blocos • Ijexá - the shuffling rhythm of the famous carnival afoxé Filhos de Gandhi • Samba de Roda and Samba Dura - the powerhouse samba of the Reconcavo • Samba Reggae- variation on the above theme that launched Olodum on the whole stage • Visit to percussion instrument maker’s workshop
Salvador - Fresh Market & Cuisine Tour
Depart hotel and visit two of Salvador’s busiest markets. First we stop at newly renovated fish market, where the wide variety of seafood and fish found in the tropical waters of the bay and the ocean are on display. A short distance away is the largest open market in Bahia, the São Jaoquim Market, selling a myriad of products and produce, from fruits and vegetables to spare parts for domestic appliances, to sacred herbs and religious artifacts of the candomblé. Here we find all of the ingredients for Bahia cuisine and later savour the famous moqueca dish in a local restaurant at the lower city.
Salvador: Visit to Candomble Ceremony
The most deeply felt African influence is the Candomblé, the cult that worships ancestral spirits - or orixás. The orixás can be thought of as an enlarged family with a common background that encapsulates the living and the dead. The orixá is a deified ancestor who, when alive, established links which guaranteed him or her control over certain natural forces, e.g. thunder, the winds or the sea; or which allowed him or her the possibility to exercise certain activities such as hunting or working with metals; or somebody who learned the properties of plants and how to use these properties. This power (or AXÉ, pronounced ah-shay) of the ancestral orixá would have, after death, the power to incarnate itself in one of his or her descendants through the sacred rhythms, dances and songs of the Candomblé.