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When the Portuguese landed on this gorgeous stretch of coastline with its sunshine, white sandy beaches, coconut palms and bright blue water, they were pretty impressed. They chose a spectacular peninsula located between what they called 'All Saints Bay' and the Atlantic to be their main port and built Salvador de Bahia there.
So Salvador de Bahia was Brazil's first capital, and the ancient mix of cultures which gathered here - coming from Europe, Africa and the Americas - still shows. Indeed, many of the best places to stay in Bahia can be found here and often reflect this cultural melée.
What To Expect
Salvador da Bahia is Brazil's most African influenced city - you taste it in the food, see it in the traditions and hear it in the music. The city is often in festive spirit, with music and parties celebrating one thing or another spreading out onto the colonial streets with has wonderful 17th and 18th Century architecture.
Capoeira circles spring up in the main plazas and you may catch glimpses of mystical Candomble ceremonies - all reminders that this was the site of the New World's first slave market. It still remains one of the strongest cultural centres of African heritage outside of Africa. Try the food, visit the markets, and go out on the water to see the real beauty of All Saints Bay.
Porto Seguro is where the Portuguese first landed and it is the colourful history of this town, along with its reputation for fun, that draws many visitors here. The small historic centre is where you'll find all the old colonial houses.
If you're looking for a quieter stretch along this bit of coast, Arraial d'Ajuda is probably more your style. This beautiful little village was once a holiday spot for the wealthy. It has tropical greenery, large colourful plazas with open air restaurants and gorgeous views of the lovely coastline.
Trancoso, located below Arraial d'Ajuda, is a smaller and slightly hipper version and contains many of the best places to stay in Bahia. The views are just as magnificent, the open-air restaurants and bars are just as appealing, the churches and guesthouses just as picturesque - but it all feels a bit more rustic.
WHAT NOT TO MISS
- Firstly, there's the near perfect weather and near perfect beaches along the 'Coconut Coast'. There are plenty of remote resorts you can stay in if these are your main reasons for visiting.
- The Chapada Diamantina National Park, 375,000 acres of tropical forest covering mountains and concealing waterfalls, natural swimming pools and caves. There's even a waterfall so high (380m) that the water never actually hits the ground - it vaporises by the wind. You can camp in the park but there are also plenty of more luxurious accommodation options.
- In the right seasons important whale watching and sea turtle preservation goes on - these can be truly astonishing natural events.
- If you are into museums then head to the Santonio da Barra Fort for the nautical exhibitions or the MAM Museu de Arte Moderna.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Bahia are an eclectic mix of rustic chic guesthouses, city living, beachside glamour and all out luxury. As with all our recommendations, if you're planning to visit during peak season then book well ahead to ensure a room in one of the best places to stay in Bahia!
- Hotel Cocoon & Lounge is one of the best places to stay in Bahia if you want to be close to one of Salvador's top beaches. A funky, spaceship-like hotel building - it is very 60s, in a futuristic, cool way. Spare design and very reasonable prices also make this a good option if you're travelling with family or in a group.
- Casa do Amarelindo is great for a city break in Bahia. Situated in the bustling heart of the pretty Pelourinho district the roof terrace with fantastic views is a peaceful spot, perfect for relaxation. Just ten rooms, with no guests under 14 accepted, this is a grown up, intimate hotel.
- Convento do Carmo offers old world elegance. A convent conversion, now a sumptuous, colonial-style hotel. The gourmet restaurant means this is probably one of the best places to stay in Bahia for foodies.
- Villa Bahia is a delightfully charming stay, with elegant accommodation featuring antiques and plenty of colour. Plus, it's wonderfully situated to see all that Salvador has to offer.
- The intimate 3-room Solar do Carmo, set in a colonial house, boasts boutique and chic accommodation at decent value.
- The baroque Aram Yami hotel offers comfortable accommodation with colourful wallpapers. You'll love the infinity pool with splendid views over Todos Os Santos Bay.
- Located down the coast from Salvador, Tivoli Praia Do Forte Ecoresort is a wonderfully relaxing spot. Featuring simple yet chic rooms, no less than eight swimming pools, a spoiling spa and a kids club. Perfect for the whole family.
- Hidden in tropical surroundings, the stylish 5-room Casa de Pera'Inda provides tasteful rooms and a picturesque pool. Ideal for romantic breaks.
Porto Seguro, Arraial d'Ajuda & Trancoso
- Uxua Casa Hotel in Trancoso is superb if you are planning a luxurious beach break. Boasting ten 'cases', or wooded villa huts, surrounded by a luscious, shady garden and offering plenty of privacy. There is a lovely pool and it is just a few minutes away from the beach.
- Etnia Pousada and Boutique in Trancoso has eight rustic bungalows just a few minutes walk from the beach. Individually styled, a bit more boutique than the Uxua's casas.
- Fazenda São Francisco do Corumbau is one of the best places to stay in Bahia for whale watching. Featuring a private stretch of quiet beach with excellent amenities for scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing and other water sports. Just ten private bungalows, scattered amongst the palm trees, very family friendly.
- Casa do Dean is a splendid hideaway - this Robinson Crusoe-esque villa is set amidst luscious surroundings with the beach just a short distance away. The accommodation is chic, crisp and simple, whilst there's also a pool if you don't fancy swimming in the sea. Ideal for families and groups.
- Maitei Hotel is lovely and boasts comfortable, smart rooms as well as a truly excellent restaurant. Gorgeous views and plenty of activities on offer locally.
- Villas de Trancoso is the ideal place if you're looking for a beach break. Offering smart, beach-chic Cabana style suites, you can unwind in the infinity pool or play a round of golf before tucking into splendid seafood meals at the restaurant.
- Bahia Bonita is a wonderfully romantic property, offering luxurious beach cabanas with four posters and wooden floors. Spend your days on the lovely private beach before checking out the many local restaurants.
- The boutique Hosperia do Quadrado is an excellent value stay - the rooms start at just £53 per night. Offering pretty whitewashed rooms and with some featuring hammocks, you are just a short walk from the beach.
- Pousada Capim Santo is an eco-friendly hotel set amidst luscious tropical surroundings. With simple yet charming rooms in white. There is a hot tub and splendid breakfasts are served up each morning.
- Pousada Quarto Crescente is a charming property, boasting tasteful rooms in white with four posters. Rent bikes and kayaks from the hotel to explore the area on land or on sea!
Remote Spots on the Coconut Coast
- Txai Resort is for the Green conscious. Slightly undeveloped, this colourful place has just the right blend of rustic and comfort. 40 rooms and bungalows, perfect for a tropical escape. Right on the beach with plenty of resort style facilities.
- Fazenda da Lagoa is a more secluded eco-retreat with just fourteen cabanas for accommodation. Peace and quiet amongst the coconut groves, personalised spa treatments and a total pampering service. Ideal for relaxation.
- Campo Bahia is perfect for romantic getaways. Set right on the coast with private beach access, this 5* stay boasts fourteen luxurious villas and a lovely pool.
- Hotel Fazenda Cala E Divino is an idyllic 8-room place boasting individually decorated bungalows with lovely beach views. Tuck into splendid meals, a mix of Bahian and modern Brazilian cuisine and enjoy a massage in order to truly unwind.
- Canto Das Aguas is a rustic chic property nestled gloriously amidst the mountains. With a wonderful atmosphere and traditional rooms featuring plenty of wood, you'll love the gourmet regional cuisine on offer.
- Pousada Capitù features 14 colourful Afro-Brazilian beachfront cottages starting from just £41 a night. Located in a tranquil setting right on the beach, it's an idyllic getaway.
- Anima Hotel is a peaceful beachside retreat under the palm groves. Offering boutique beach huts on stilts, there is a splendid seafood restaurant and a lagoon-style pool.
For An Apartment Or Villa
If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.
- While Bahia experiences warm weather year-round, with even July (the coldest month) averaging 25°C. There is a fair bit of rain from April to June so you may want to avoid coming at these times.
- December to March is the peak tourist season, so it's great for those wanting to get stuck into the vibrant nightlife but accommodation may be fairly pricey.
- There are two international airports in Bahia: Salvador Airport and Porto Seguro Airport.
- Unfortunately there are no direct flights from the UK so you'll require at least one changeover - with the usual journey time upwards of 13 hours.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Bahia
Pousada Capitù 15 rooms from £41Imbassaí, Bahia
Pousada Capitù features 14 individual beachfront cottages in Afro-Brazilian style on the coast of Imbassai. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast in the tropical garden each morning before heading to the beach, relaxing by the pool or taking in the surrounding nature. A charming and low-key stay.Fishing - Relax and enjoy some fishing in the afternoon sun, take a picnicHideaway - Forget about all your worries at this tranquil and idyllic spotKayaking - Canoeing is available.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Hotel Canto Das Aguas 44 rooms from £52Bahia
A rustic hotel in the town of Lincois. Charming colourful rooms and suites have stone floors, wooden beams, and splashes of art. Lovely gardens, large pool, and lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Ideal for families and those on a budget.Value chicKids Club - Fully staffed.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Hosperia Do Quadrado from £53Trancoso
A small boutique property with stunning sea views. Pretty rooms feature light wooden furniture set against white washed walls. The best have hammocks tied up by the large windows. Reasonably priced and spitting distance from the beach, this is a winning choice.Value chic - A small stylish property just a short walk from the beach and all at a very reasonable price.Sailing - The hotel can help arrange sailing expeditions.Surfing - Rise early and head out to catch some waves.Restrictions on children - Children over 10yrs old available.
Santa Clara 12 rooms from £70Bahia
A tropical guesthouse with rustic rooms, direct beach access, and rock bottom prices. A completely unspoilt paradise for barefoot luxury and an eco experience. Excellent restaurant and massage therapies.Beach LifeValue chicSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorSailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - I Escape, CN Traveller
Hotel Cocoon & Lounge 27 rooms from £66Salvador
A futuristic hotel slightly off-centre, but close to one of Salvador's best beaches. This homage to space-age design is a welcome spot for families and a base for the best beach activities.Contemporary - Highly modern 'space-ship' structure.Spa - In-room treatments can be arranged.Surfing - And kite-surfing.Swimming Pool - Rooftop PoolRecommended by - I Escape, Tablet
Pousada Quarto Crescente 24 rooms from £80Trancoso
This family-run guest house is located 6 minutes away from the beach in Trancoso. It offers extremely spacious, well-lit rooms and boasts an outdoor pool. Enjoy a large buffet breakfast each morning with fresh fruits from the garden before heading to the beach. A charming, friendly and stylish spot!Diving - If snorkelling's not enough for you then there's ample opportunity in Trancoso to go scuba divingSurfing - Great weather and excellent waves make this a superb surfing spotGreat walks - There are plenty of great hiking trails all around all the area
Vila Barracuda 9 rooms from £80Bahia
Vila Baracuda is located on Itacaré's beachfront and features charming, colourful décor with plenty of wooden features. Relax by the pool or on the beach during the day, eating at the restaurant (an open kitchen concept serving delicious food) is a must! A chic and friendly haven.Great walks - There are wonderful hiking trails dotted around Itacré for you to exploreSurfing - The hotel offers surf classes and also provides surf tripsSights nearby - Boat trip up the river, mangrove and waterfall.Barefoot Luxury - For total relaxation.
Anima Hotel from £89Bahia
A hidden paradise under the palm groves. A collection of beach huts on stilts with charming boutique interiors and balconies. Excellent seafood restaurant, lagoon-style pool, and just set back from the beach. Excellent value, family friendly, perfect for a laid back beach break.Beach LifePrivate Hot TubSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorOn the beach - In front of the hotel.Recommended by - I Escape
Hotel Vila dos Orixas 14 rooms from £115Morro de São Paulo, Bahia
A superb hotel that is comprised of picturesque cabanas nestled amidst palm trees. With stylish rooms, an excellent restaurant and a superb spa, it's the perfect place for a relaxing retreat. Its unbeatable seaside location is simply the cherry on top.Great walks - Good for walkers.Sights nearby - See the sights of Morro de Sao such as the lighthouse and the fort.Fishing - Sea fishing trips can be organised by the hotel.Kayaking - Canoeing
Solar do Carmo 3 rooms from £118Salvador (Centro Historico,)
A beautiful old colonial house in a picturesque town. Boutique chic rooms have lots of space and private balconies. The perfect B&B to explore the area from and good value too.Sights nearby - Ouro Preto is a perfect example of colonial Brazilian architecture, Baroque churches.Restrictions on children - Over 14s welcome.Views - Great views from hotelSailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - I Escape
Pousada Capim Santo 17 rooms from £96Trancoso (Quadrado)
This eco friendly pousada is situated in central Trancoso, less than a mile from the beach. It features contemporary rooms with a simple decor, a beautiful outdoor pool in the midst of a tropical garden and a hot tub. Be sure to enjoy their wonderful buffet breakfast each morning! A tranquil spot.Beach Life - With the beautiful sandy beach less than a mile away you can easily wander over and spend your days by the seasideActive Holiday - There are plenty of activities both on land and on water to keep you busy and making the most out of the weatherDiving - Go scuba diving for an unforgettable experience and discover the diverse local marine lifeGreat walks - Head out for long walks along the beach at sunset to truly appreciate the area's beauty
Butterfly House Bahia 11 rooms from £130Maraú - BA, Bahia
Brilliant, off-the-beaten track resort. Chic shacks with modern decor a stone’s throw away from the beach. Great for a weekend nature retreat.Diving - Take a diving expedition around the nearby coastline.Birdwatching - The surrounding area is great for exotic birds.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Remote - Off the beaten track.
Hotel Fazenda Cala e Divino 8 rooms from £132Porto Seguro, Bahia
An idyllic and remote paradise in South Bahia. This simple and chic family run hotel is situated on one of Brazil's most beautiful beaches, Espelh. Beach bungalows are dotted amongst the palm trees and overlook the exquisite beach and turquoise sea. Charming rooms, fabulous food, massage - sublimeSuites - Eight private and individually decorated bungalows with sweeping views of the beach and seaMassage - Massage is a specaility to help you unwind and totally relaxBack to Nature - Bare foot luxury and magical place for nature loversGreat walks - Guided walks and hikes can be arrangedRecommended by - Tablet
Villa dos Corais 40 rooms from £140Tinharé, Bahia
Located just a minute away from the beach in Morro de São Paulo this laid back hotel features simply designed yet spacious rooms in individual buildings. Spend your days sunbathing on the beach, lazing poolside, playing tennis or relaxing with a massage! A fun and family-friendly choice for a break.Fishing - Spend the afternoon relaxing in the summer sun fishing with a picnic and a few drinks-what could be better?Diving - Take advantage of the many local diving clubs to explore the marine life off Morro de São Paolo's coastSurfing - The combination of sun, wind and waves make Morro de São Paulo a great destination for surfersGreat walks - Go hiking through the palm trees and across the beaches to truly get to know Tinharé Island
Casa do Amarelindo 10 rooms from £108Salvador (Pelourinho)
A city refuge in central Salvador. This beautiful townhouse hotel with its stunning roof top terrace promises peace and tranquility amidst the bustling cobbled streets of the Pelourinho district.Roof terrace - Panoramic views and swimming pool.GourmetCity StyleRestrictions on children - No guests under the age of 14 years accepted.Recommended by - I Escape
Canto Das Aguas 43 rooms from £113Chapada Diamantina, Bahia
A rustic chic property set within the stunning Chapada Diamantina's mountains. Atmospheric rooms are traditional in style with plenty of wood, white washed walls and exposed stone. Bathrooms are very much contemporary. Dine on gourmet regional delights and sample fine wines. Fabulous.Country Escape - Set in lush gardens by the Lençóis River. The perfect spot to indulge in some rest and rejuvination.Great walks - Take long walks through the Lençóis River Valley.Full of characterSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Villa Bahia 17 rooms from £157Salvador (Pelourinho)
Awash with history and charm, Villa Bahia is a delightful hotel in the historic centre of Salvador. Rooms are elegant and stylish with beautiful antique furnishings and playful colour schemes. With Salvador's city centre on the doorstep, it's perfectly located for exploring Brazil's first capital.Local markets - Browse the vast craft market of Mercado Modelo.Sights nearby - Visit the nearby San Francisco church.Lively area - In the thick of the action.Traditional
Maitei Hotel 17 rooms from £167Arraial d'Ajuda
A sublime hotel hugging the stunning coast of Bahia. Elegantly designed and beautifully thought-out, the hotel offers charming rooms, an excellent restaurant and imperious views over the Atlantic. Made for a romantic getaway.Sights nearby - Visit Trancoso's historic Quadrado, less than four miles from the hotel.Surfing - Try your hand at surfing on some of Brazil's finest waves.Sailing - Sailing trips can be organised by the hotel.Restrictions on children - Adult only.
Casa de Pera'Inda 5 rooms from £200Trancoso
Loaded with charm and character, Casa de Pera'Inda combines excellent service with a welcoming, convivial atmosphere. It offers smart, stylishly designed rooms with elegant furnishings and tasteful decor. Recline poolside or go on a horse trek through the surrounding jungle.Local exploring - Perfect for exploring Trancoso and the surrounding coastline.Sights nearby - Explore local sights of interest such as the Culture House of Trancoso and Quadrado Square.Diving - Diving trips can be organised by the hotel.Full of character
Tivoli Praia do Forte Ecoresort 287 rooms from £222Salvador
A large luxury eco resort on the Salvador peninsula. Private beach, luscious gardens, eight swimming pools, extensive spa, kids club, and a choice of Mediterranean or a tapas restaurant. Perfect for beach life, families, and complete relaxation.Beach LifeFamiliesSights nearby - Alameda do Sol, Humpback Whale Institute and Sao Francisco Church.Swimming Pool - 8 pools.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Bahia Bonita from £176Trancoso (Bonita - BA)
Luxury beach cabanas just set back from the sand amongst the groves. Romantic suites have four poster beds, wooden floors and private balconies. Private beach with lots of deck chairs. Walking distance to restaurants. A perfect beach holiday for honeymooners or couples.Beach LifeSights nearby - Church of St. John the Baptist.Four poster beds - For romantics.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Fodors
Etnia Pousada and Boutique 8 rooms from £235Trancoso
Eight rustic-chic bungalows individually decorated in ethnic style. It sits in the midst of a tranquil shady grove just minutes from the beach. A stylish beach retreat.Chic - Boho chic in one of Brazil's hippest villages.Private villas - The hotel comprises 8 themed bungalows.Beach LifeRestrictions on children - No children under the age of 14 are permitted.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Fodors, Johansens, Kiwi Collection
Aram Yami 6 rooms from £182Salvador (Santo Antônio Além do Carmo)
Delightful baroque hotel overlooking Todos Os Santos Bay. Awash with charm, the hotel's rooms are characterful and comfortable with colourful wallpaper and impressive views. If you're not exploring the surrounding Salvador, then take the chance to relax by one of the pools overlooking the bay.Sights nearby - Walk to nearby sights such as Sé Square and São Marcelo Fort.Local markets - Browse the bustling markets streets of Salvador.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Views - Great views from hotel
Villas de Trancoso from £253Trancoso (Praia dos Nativios)
A fantastic beach property ideal for fun in the sun. Cabana style suites underneath the palms, white sand on your doorstep, infinity pool, fabulous seas food restaurant, and a golf course. Perfect for beach life, families, and golfers.Beach LifeSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRomantic - Good for couples.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - I Escape, CN Traveller, Kiwi Collection
Campo Bahia from £259Bahia
Hugging the quiet coastline near Santo Andre, Campo Bahia is a sublime beach resort. Offering up fourteen luxurious private villas, it's a place that makes good on its five-star billing. Recline by the pool or take a boat trip out to explore the coast. A seaside wonder.Beach Life - With access to a private beach, it's perfect for beach lovers.Romantic Break - A quiet idyll on the beach, perfect for a romantic break.Families - The villas are perfect for families to rent.Great walks - Beautiful walking through the surrounding jungle and the nearby beach.
Casa do Dean from £374Arraial d'Ajuda
A Robinson Crusoe villa set back from the beach surrounded by palm trees and turquoise waters. Designer chic interiors with hints of Brazilian tradition, kitchen plus chef on request, pool, and immediate access to the beach and the surrounding tropical paradise. For families, groups of friends.Beach LifeValue chicLuxuryGroupsRecommended by - I Escape
Uxua Casa Hotel 10 rooms from £334Trancoso
Beautiful wooden casas decorated with Brazilian art and antiques sprawl through a luscious shady garden. Barefoot luxury for couples, families, or any beach break.Private villas - 10 individual casas.Barefoot Luxury - For total relaxation.Beach LifeChicRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Johansens, Kiwi Collection
Txai Resort 40 rooms from £368Itacare, Bahia
A little piece of paradise on Cocoa's undeveloped coast line. Rustic-chic maintains the tropical beauty of this eco-friendly resort. The turquoise ocean is the perfect backdrop to the thatched cabanas decorated with ethereal romance. Tranquil exoticism and beach life.Eco - Eco-friendly break.Spa breaksHoneymoonsBeach LifeRecommended by - I Escape, Tablet, Johansens, Kiwi Collection
Fazenda da Lagoa 14 rooms from £371Una, Bahia
A secluded eco retreat surrounded by coconut trees, rainforest, and a never ending white beach. Fourteen stunning cabanas, luxurious spa treatments, and impeccable service make this a place of total relaxation.Library - The library is packed with over a thousand English and Portugese booksPrivate villas - The hotel comprises 14 colourful cabanas.WellbeingEco breakRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
Convento do Carmo 79 rooms from £440Salvador
One of the most fabulous hotels in Bahia. This elegant convent restoration provides luxury in style. Sumptuous rooms, gourmet cuisine, fantastic spa. For foodies, families, or those who want to indulge.Elegant - The most elegant old-world place to stay in Salvador.Swimming Pool - Lovely Outdoor PoolSpaTraditionalRecommended by - I Escape, Kiwi Collection
Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort 23 rooms from £470Município de Maraú, Bahia
5* eco-resort with bags of space and privacy. Suites and bungalows have dark wood furniture, romantic four poster beds and hammocks on the balconies. Outdoor pools, spa, gardens, helipad and direct beach access. Superb seafood-based cuisine, relaxed bar lounge. Secluded, barefoot opulence.Eco break - Eco meets chic in this luxurious beach resort, with abundance of outdoor pursuits and full spaSailing - Explore local islands of Coroa Vermelha & Pedra FurudaViews - Great views from hotelBarefoot Luxury - For total relaxation.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Fazenda São Francisco do Corumbau 10 rooms from £520Ponta do Corumbau, Bahia
The ultimate paradise. White sandy beaches and turquoise sea provide an oasis of wellbeing for this cluster of private luxury bungalows. Beautiful rooms match their beautiful surroundings at this secluded beach retreat.Remote - Gloriously remote with white sandy beaches.Total relaxationWellbeingSwimming Pool - Outdoor PoolRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection