Cultural Tour in the All Saints’ Bay

Cultura e Mar na Baia de Todos os Santos.jpg

The opportunity to experience the rich Bahian culture and understand the “Bahian way”.

In one of the most beautiful settings of the country, with its calm and crystalline waters, vast mangroves, sand banks and coral reefs, surrounded by the Atlantic Rainforest and infused with a rich and ancient history, the All Saints’ Bay is the cradle of Bahia, which takes its name after the bay, and whose charm and magic attracts visitors from all round the world. Its capital, Salvador, is known as “the cultural capital of Brazil”, and as the birthplace of great artists, who have achieved worldwide renown. The area is rich in natural beauty and colonial architecture; seen in its stunning beaches and the churches, forts and mansions of the Pelourinho.
Salvador, with its narrow streets and steep alleyways, is divided into the Cidade Baixa (Lower City) and the Cidade Alta (Upper City), which are connected by the Lacerda Elevator. On this tour, you will have the opportunity to learn about the great patrimony of colonial Brasil and experience the rich and varied culture in the towns of the Recôncavo; such as São Francisco do Conde with its large estates and scattered churches; Cachoeira, crowned the Patrimony of Humanity by IPHAN, with its many farms which specialise in typical regional cuisine; and Santo Amaro, which gave Brazil numerous talented artists. Among them are Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia, the sculptor Emanuel Araújo and the ´valiant men´ “Besouro Cordão de Ouro” and “Popó”, masters of capoeira and maculelê (a dance typical of Santo Amaro), who showed the beauty of this artistic heritage to the world. There is also São Félix, on the banks of the river Paraguaçu, with its famous Danemman cigars; Maragogipe, situated at the confluence of the Paraguaçu and Guaí rivers, which forms a large lagoon surrounded by 30km of mangroves providing excellent conditions for nautic tourism and whose masquerade festivals make the city so unique; Aratuípe, whose pottery is famous throughout the country and Itaparica, a hydromineral farm located on the island of Itaparica, home to buzzy beaches, coral reefs and charming colonial buildings. Aside from its historic importance and geographic unusualness, the island of Itaparica has a rich heritage of diverse folklore, unique artisanal products and one of the most sought after cuisines in the whole of Brazil, all in the home of the only hydromineral water fountain on the American coast. This is a tour which aims to give you the opportunity to experience the culture, cuisine, the countryside, the Baía de Todos os Santos and the unique “Bahian way”.


Summary of the Itinerary

1st day: Salvador/São Francisco do Conde/Santo Amaro/Cachoeira (135km)

We leave Salvador in the morning, and head for the Recôncavo. We arrive in São Francisco do Conde and visit the Church and Convent of Santo Antônio, constructed in the 17th century. After this visit, we stop at a lookout point over the All Saints’ Bay, where there is a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. We then continue to Santo Amaro and visit the museum of Recolhimento de Nossa Senhora dos Humildes.  Located in an 18th century convent, the museum houses a collection of diverse furniture and religious objects, of which the ornaments of saints were all handmade by the nuns of the convent. We then visit the open air market and head for Cachoeira, with a quick stop at a cacao plantation, managed by the “Movimento dos Sem Terra”. We arrive in Cachoeira and have lunch in the Fazenda Santa Cruz, in Muritiba, which has a panoramic view of the towns of São Félix and Cachoeira. Soon after, we visit the Danemann cigar factory. We then cross the Paraguaçu river over a metal bridge, constructed by the English at the end of the 19th century, which connects São Félix and Cachoeira. This is followed by a visit to the Church of the Third Order of the Carmelitas, then a walk through the streets of Cachoeira where numerous colonial mansions and churches lie hidden, as well as the headquarters of the Irmandade da Boa Morte. Constructed in the 19th century to alleviate the suffering of the slaves, the Irmandade da Boa Morte is one of the most epitomic expressions of religious syncretism in the country… At the end of the trip, we head for Fazenda Villa Rial, situated 4km outside Cachoeira, where we will eat dinner and spend the night.

2nd day: Cachoeira/São Gonçalo/Salvador

In the morning, we visit the farm (the first to produce milk in the area), with its advanced technology for the production of milk and its tropical fruit orchards. The farm has 700 hectares of land and a herd of 1200 milk-producing cows, the majority of which are Jersey cows. From here, you can hike to Cachoeira and reward yourself with a refreshing shower at the end.  Lunch is at the farm. In the afternoon, we cross the bridge again over the river Paraguaçu, to Cachoeira and São Félix, to arrive in Governador Mangabeira, where we will visit the modern tobacco plantation and from there continue to São Gonçalo dos Campos, where we will visit a cigar factory. This region was the first to produce tobacco in Brazil and its cigars are exported all over the world. After the visit we return to the Hotel Fazenda Vila Rial for dinner; the evening is free.

3rd day: Cachoeira / Maragogipe / Salvador

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and head for Maragogipe. This is an old city famous for its masquerade carnival and the Regata de Saveiros, which occurs every year in the All Saints’s Bay. We will visit the city´s main attractions and Aratuípe, known as Maragogipinho, the home of Bahian pottery. Aboard a typical schooner, we will navigate our way round the beaches, mangroves and history of the Baía de Todos os Santos. This boat trip gives you the opportunity to access deserted beaches and the ruins of the old Portuguese buildings of Rio Paraguaçú, an important trading centre in the colonial era. On the banks of the river we can admire what is left of the most astonishing historic spots of the area, the Fort Salamina, the ruins of the Engenho Novo and the Convento das Franciscanas do Parguaçu. We then head down the river to visit the ruins of the monastery, an imposing and spectacular 17th century construction on the river bank which has been abandoned to the elements. After this stop, we will head to the mouth of the river, which forms a vast network of beaches and luxurious mangroves. We will then head to the beach of Ponta de Areia in Itaparica and have lunch there. The boat will then return to Salvador for the evening.

Agency which organises the tour:
www.lilasturismo.com.br
Salvador – Bahia

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