Wish ribbons of Bomfim: a story of miracles

There is nothing quite like taking part in a local tradition and learning its century’s old history to feel connected to a place as a traveler. And in Salvador, the wish ribbons from the Bomfim basilica are just that tradition. But, how exactly did this now-ubiquitous ribbon get its famed ability to perform miracles? History […]

long shadows lying across top of limestone plateau overlooking valleys

Discover the breathtaking views of Chapada Diamantina

As I reached the top of Morro do Pai Inacio and stopped to look around, I thought to myself for roughly the 800th time since getting here; this is why people rave about Chapada. I had been in Bahia, Brazil, for roughly five years at that point but had never ventured particularly far from the beach. […]

Iemanjá — the goddess of the sea — and her special day

Getting up at 4:30 am wasn’t easy for night owls like us, but we knew that pre-dawn was the time to arrive if we wanted to catch the religious — sacred — part of the festival for Iemanjá. We jumped into the taxi to the Rio Vermelho neighborhood, lightly caffeinated, proud of ourselves for even […]


Brazil travel distances — Brazil beyond Salvador

Brazil is a BIG country — larger than either the continental United States or Australia. That comes as a surprise to many visitors, and as such they tend to underestimate Brazil travel times and distances. To help you smartly plan your trip to and within Brazil, I’ve mapped out distances and travel times between common […]

woman using tablet

4 proven ways to inexpensively learn Brazilian Portuguese

“So glad I didn’t learn any Brazilian Portuguese before my trip to Brazil.” Said no one — ever. You will get so much more out of your trip — and find so much more ease in your day-to-day life there — you know some basic Brazilian Portuguese words and phrases before you get there. Plus, […]

Stunning sunet at Barra, Salvador, Brazil lighthouse

First-timer’s Guide to Salvador, Brazil

Preparing for a trip to a city off-the-beaten path like Salvador, Brazil is hard. Where to stay? What to do? What NOT to do? How will I get around? But, some of the best things in life are those that we have to a bit harder for. Brazil, and particularly Salvador, is one of those […]

Brazilian women on the street

5 Irresistible Reasons to Visit Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

The magic of Salvador, Bahia captures hearts. The warm, friendly people and vibrant street life are second to none. The New York Times, The Guardian, Forbes, and National Geographic all agree — Salvador should be on every traveler’s must-visit list. Beaches? Check.  Rich cultural heritage? Check.  Tropical climate? Check.  World heritage site? Check.  World-class music? […]

Lavagem do Bomfim festival and parade – demystified

When January arrives in Salvador, every day is a pre-funk for Carnaval. We roll right out of one of the biggest New Year’s Festivals in the world and just keep partying. One of those signature days is Lavagem do Bomfim. This festival falls on either the second or third Thursday of the month, depending upon […]