Best Places to Visit in Salvador
Being the largest city in the Northeastern part of Brazil, Salvador is one of the untouched travel destinations you will find in South America. It was identified in the year 1549 and since then it has witnessed several ups and downs. It features a high number of colonial buildings that date back to the old centuries. Some of them are recognized as UNESCO heritage sites and this is the key reason why tourists from different parts of the world come to this city. Salvador also features other key highlights such as monasteries and churches which are world-famous. Go through the following travel guide on Salvador to explore some of the top things to do in and best places to visit in Salvador:
- El Tunco: It’s one of the popular tourist spots in Salvador for surfing and visiting. El Tunco is about surfing and hundreds of surf fans go to the coast of El Salvador to demonstrate their ability. Taking a tour of El Tunco is usually one of the top things to do in El Salvador, but you don’t want to miss it while you are visiting El Salvador, even when you’re not surfing.El Tunco is located on the seashore at Libertad, about 45 minutes south of the city of San Salvador. It feels like a blend of Southeast Asia’s uncomfortable backpacker atmosphere and Latin atmosphere. There are several restaurants, pubs, rucksack motels, and gift shops all around. The village itself is very small.
- Cerro EL Pital: Cerro El Pital is a peak found on the border between El Salvador and Honduras in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. The mountain rises about 9,000 meters high and is El Salvador’s tallest and coldest spot. Visitors may experience the tremendous biodiversity in the cloud forest, which is regarded as one of the top tourist attractions of Salvador. Many flora and fauna species, especially quetzals as well as other endangered species, are found.
- ElevadorLacerda: The upper and lower cities are interconnected through steep streets and a variety of lifts, notably the Inclinado de Gonçalves (the cableway) Plano and LacerdaElevador, a stunning free lift, now a hallmark of Salvador and is one of the best places to see in Salvador. The Art Deco lift, built in 1930, joins the Prague Cairu in the port district to the historic old town’s Praça Tomé de Souza. There is a magnificent view of the lower town and the port from the upper plaza of Praça Tomé de Souza’s terrace. A variety of structures from the 17th century exist on Praça Tomé de Souza, including one of Brazil’s most important and once Bahia’s seats, the white Palace of Rio Branco, one of the most traditional structures.
- Carmelite Church: On this site, the first Carmelite church was born in 1580, but was incendiary in 1788 and reconstructed 40 years later. It’s classical Baroque building, with graceful lines and two bell towers, is famed for its amazing sacristy, space nearly entirely plated with gold. The unknown treasure today houses the museum of holy art, of which Francisco Manuel das Chagas, a slave who became a prominent artist in the 18th century, has the most remarkable cedarwood sculpture in Cain. The statue, sculpted in 1710, has almost 1,000 rubies, signifying each one a drop in the blood of Christ.
- Farol da Barra: The Farol da Barra light shore is a historical monument about five kilometers from the city center and overlooks one of Salvador’s nicest beaches. It is also one of the top places to visit in Salvador for visitors because there are so many things to do here. There are restaurants to eat, umbrellas and lounges to rent, and a fort housing the Bahia Nautical Museum. You may not only go up to the summits but also see the city and All Saints Bay. The museum has maritime instruments, wreckage ships, maps, and model ships, and is the earliest military edifice in Brazil dated 1534. Farol da Barra is also one of the best places to visit to enjoy the sunset.
- Mercado Modelo: Salvador’s business and commercial hub is located on the base of the Lacerda elevator along with the port and the Mercado Modelo is at the foot of the elevation, which is a popular market for both visitors and residents. The structure was established in 1861 and was rebuilt to the market. When they came to El Salvador, they housed slaves. Today is a lively hub with upper-level eateries. There are divisions as to whether it is a trap for uncertain visitors billed at greater costs than locals or a fantastic spot to watch local art and crafts of quality. It is one of the best places to visit in Salvador.
- La Palma: La Palma is known for being the city where Fernando Llort, the national artist, taught 2 hours northwest of San Salvador. Using bright colors, pictures from children, and religious themes, Llort grabbed El Salvador’s hearts and turned La Palma into an artistic center of national recognition. Even now, Llort practices its creative style to the great majority of its citizens. Thanks to the nearby Honduran border, many visitors are only able to spend a comfortable stay in La Palma. However, tourists should take some time in the rich artistic legacy of the city with a wide range of galleries and studios.
- Suchitoto: Suchitoto is one of the few cities still retaining its colonial architecture in El Salvador. This village is one of the charmingest areas in the nation with a laid-back atmosphere, wonderful panoramic vistas, and picturesque paved streets. The Museo de los Recuerdos Alejandro Cotto (4$ in entrance) is one of the best tourist attractions in Salvador. There are lovely areas, colonial buildings, fantastic vistas, and a classical fountain for guests to enjoy. This (open every day) museum is like a village in itself, with one of the most amazing collections of art in the country!
- Cerro Verde National Park: Although the park has three spectacular Volcanoes, the latter (and their namesake), is typically the most popular one (Izalco, Santa Ana, and Cerro Verde). Visitors should plan to visit this national park for one (minimum) day, including one of the few “cloud forests” in the country and a large hiking track. The walk (La Ventana a la Naturaleza) leads tourists through the park’s ancient woodland and immediately across the crater and along the route through the centuries-old trees. A visit to this park is a memorable experience, as well as dazzling flora and wildlife, guided birding, riding trips, and a magnificent view of the other two volcanoes.
- Lake Coatepeque: The lake is located in a volcanic crater, the Lago de Coatepeque or Caldera Coatepeque. It is one of the largest lakes in El Salvador with a diameter of 10 kilometers. Creating several cataclysmic eruptions and volcanic collapse around 72,000 years ago, what remains now is one of the most stunning natural wonders in the nation.
- São Francisco: It is one of the most popular places to visit in Salvador from where tourists prefer to begin their journey. It is one of the artistic structures in the city which adorned with wood coverings in golden color. The ceiling of the building is decorated with several creative scenes while its walls feature several creative pictures. The interior of this masterpiece will make you stunned with its beauty and you need a significant amount of time to get acquainted with its offerings.
- Pelourinho: It is an upper town of Salvador that was recognized as a governmental center during a historic time. Pelourinho features several key attractions to keep tourists busy throughout the day. Here you can spot the plethora of colonial structures which are dating back to the old century. There are several destinations within the town that are rated as UNESCO heritage sites. While been here, you can visit Abelardo Rodrigues Museum, Museu da Cidade, Prédio do Sena, Casa de Benin and much more.
- Cathedral: It is one of the top 10 historical places to visit in Salvador that will make you surprised with its lavish interior and vibrant exterior. If you want to dig into the history of South America then here you will get plenty of opportunities. The entire interior of this masterpiece is adorned with the Baroque style that belongs to the old century. Here you will spot several unique art pieces that date back to the 17th century.
- Igreja do Senhor do Bonfim: If you want to visit one of the most famous churches in South America then Salvador is a place to be. Here you will several historic churches and Igreja do Senhor do Bonfim is the most famous amongst the lot. On special occasions, there are several memorable performances and dances performed close to the church which is considered as a key highlight. Some other acts such as Brazilian martial art is also performed that features different acrobatics act along with creative dance.
- Salvador Beaches: If you are done exploring historical landmarks and heritage sites of Salvador, it’s time to discover serene beaches within the city. It boasts about several buzzing as well peaceful beaches where you can enjoy the extreme thrill and also experience tranquility. The ambiance at beaches is quite ideal and it will definitely pursue you to extend your stay for some more time. The sandy beaches of Salvador also offer you an opportunity to do water sports activities such as surfing. The beaches of Salvador offer you some of the fun things to do in Salvador with your friends or family.
Stroll along the streets of Pelourinho, enjoy a night of percussion and dance, take the elevator Lacerda and visit Mercado Modelo, learn capoeira, visit san Francisco church, ask for a wish in Nossa Senhora do confirm, attend a Candomble mass, visit the beaches in barra, watch the sunset at the lighthouse are the top 10 things to do in Salvador.
What’s next waiting for you?
The places mentioned above are only a few of the highlights of Salvador and there is a lot to explore here if you have a sufficient amount of time. Now you know where to go and what to do in Salvador, go ahead and pack your bags now. If you are planning to explore the best places to visit near Salvador then check out our other travel guides to get all the information.