DIY your trip to Salvador with confidence

Salvador is a warm and welcoming place. With miles of white sand beaches, sun, and incredibly friendly people, I’ve seen this place transform lives. But language and cultural barriers can make the magic of Bahia elusive.

Let me help you demystify this extraordinary city.

I was born and raised in the upper midwest of the US. I first visited Salvador in 2013 and fell in love with the place. Now I live here. I know what it’s like to agonize over housing choices and search Google for what seems like hours trying to figure out if Olodum is playing this weekend. (Hint: they post their show dates on Facebook and Instagram.)

I’ve gathered all of the knowledge gained over the years and put them in one comprehensive, easy-to-use document: the ultimate visitor’s guide to Salvador. What month to come based upon your interests? Check. Where to stay based upon safety, price, transportation, and attractions? Check. Insider’s guides to food, shopping, and more? Check.

Your guide to a stress-free trip

Other than sitting down with a local, there is no other way to get this type of information. But this is even better — everything is right at your fingertips on your laptop, tablet, or phone, ready to go wherever you go.

This PDF guide is jam-packed with 90+ pages of information: 6 custom neighborhood maps, dozens of full-color photos, housing selection chart, links to helpful blogs and websites, and more.

What you’ll find in the guide:

90+ pages of essential information, including one-of-a-kind maps, charts, and photos
  • Help choosing the best time to visit — based upon price, weather, and your specific interests
  • Monthly weather patterns
  • Month-by-month calendar of major holidays and festivals
  • Pre-travel information, including visas, vaccines, power adapters, and essential apps
  • Best options for getting around town, including the all-important airport transfer
  • Day-to-day essentials, including how to use our ATMs, grocery store and pharmacy information, how to get a phone chip, public wi-fi, the lowdown on drinking water, and a little known bathroom tip
  • Public safety information — basic dos and don’ts
  • Information about local customs and greetings
  • Tipping: who, when, and how much
  • The souvenir scene — what to get and where
  • The must-try food and drink of Salvador — we have a food scene all our own here
  • Top tips for going to the beach, including what you should expect to pay
  • Guides for the five most popular neighborhoods for visitors
  • The all-time top 10 things to do in Salvador — both well-known and off the beaten path

Upgrade your trip with a personal ask-me-anything

Are you familiar with Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) sessions? It has its roots in Reddit, but Ask-Me-Anything sessions have become an internet and conference circuit staple in the past decade or so. An AMA session is exactly what it sounds like: ask any question you like, and I have to answer it.

Sample AMA questions:

  • Where can I take music lessons?
  • Where can I take dance lessons?
  • Where can I buy tickets to…?
  • How much should I tip? (Actually, that’s already in the guide.)
  • What time is sunset?
  • What is happening on a stage in the Pelourinho this weekend?
  • How long will it take to get to the airport?
  • Where can I top up my pre-paid phone chip? (Also already in the guide.)
  • Where can I go to buy…?
  • Who can I talk to for…?

To make things as easy as possible, I charge a flat fee of $50USD for your first four weeks in Salvador and you can send your questions to me on WhatsApp. I have more details in the FAQ below and you’ll get my WhatsApp number when you complete the checkout process.

Read the FAQ below for more details.

Buy the PDF guide and see Salvador like a local

PDF Guide
$97 USD
  • 95 pages essential information
  • 6 full-size color maps
  • 5 detailed neighborhood guides
  • 20+ color photos

Questions? Check the FAQ at the bottom of the page.

What others are saying

Five gold stars. This is a beautifully-designed, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive guide that will give anyone — newbie to the area or seasoned traveler — valuable information to make their trip the best possible experience it can be. It’s written by a local, who was once a visitor herself, and is full of tips and tricks to make sure you have the best possible experience during your trip. You’ll have expert guidance from the preplanning stage all the way through where to stay, what to do, best practices, how to stay safe while having fun, and how to extend your stay. Everything you need to know to have a great travel experience in Salvador is packed into this one handy guide. I highly recommend it!
Shelli J., South Carolina
Shelli J.
A plethora of information about Salvador that was incredibly helpful for planning my trip. Jen knows the city super well and LOVES Salvador.
Casey L., Nashville, TN
Casey L.

Your Salvador companheiros

Bira and Jen

Companheiro is the Portuguese word for companion. We’re here to be your virtual companions on your trip to Salvador.

I’m Jen Waak, an American living in Salvador, Brazil, and I’m on a mission to help make the magic of Salvador accessible to more people. I created this guide so you can board your plane to Salvador feeling confident you have all of the tools and information you need to have a fantastic, memorable trip.

My husband is Bira Santos, a Salvador native and professional musician of 20+ years. He works extensively with tourists, knows the questions they ask, and what they like and don’t like about his hometown. He also has a tremendous amount of pride for his city, his Afro-Brazilian culture, and his country.

I (Jen) do all the writing on the site. Bira is my secret weapon who makes sure we provide the best possible information and experiences for our clients.

Our money back guarantee

I’m confident this is the most comprehensive and user-friendly guide to Salvador, Brazil you’ll find anywhere. That’s why I stand behind it with a 30-day guarantee. If you’re not fully satisfied with the Essential Guide to Salvador, Bahia, email me and I will refund your ebook purchase, no questions asked.

Frequently asked questions

How does the ask-me-anything service work?

Once you complete the checkout process, you’ll receive two emails. The first contains a link to the PDF guide. The second contains my WhatsApp number along with a link confirm the dates of your trip and some basic details. While the form is not technically necessary, the more info I have about you and your trip prior to your arrival in Salvador, the easier it will be for me to provide useful and timely answers to your questions. Either way, your four weeks of support start when you send your first message.

What can I use the ask-me-anything service for?

The service is designed to help visitors who are already in Salvador with questions that can be answered in a quick WhatsApp conversation. A few examples are: where to find dance or music classes, hours for the Olodum retail shop, is Cortejo Afro playing this week, where to rent surfboards in Barra, help translating a WhatsApp message.

What can I not use the ask-me-anything service for?

As much as possible, I want to leave “ask me anything” to be anything. But, beyond the obvious — I won’t help you do anything illegal — we can’t purchase things on your behalf (e.g. show tickets) or support you with pre-trip planning.

When do my four weeks of ask-me-anything support start?

It starts as soon as you send your first question.

What is your response time to questions on WhatsApp?

We try to answer all questions within a few hours if sent between 10am and 10pm Salvador time.

Are you a travel agency or tour company?

No, we are not. We are a husband and wife team who love helping visitors have a great experience in Salvador, Brazil.

Do you offer refunds?

We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for the eBook. If you purchase the ask-me-anything service, we will refund that fee only if you have not yet arrived in Salvador.

How is the guide delivered?

When you complete your purchase, you will receive an email with a link to download the PDF.

What format is the guide?

The guide is a full-color PDF that you can print if you prefer a paper guide.

Can I share the guide with my friends?

I know it’s super-tempting, but I’d really love it if you wouldn’t. We put a lot of time and energy into creating the best possible guide for you, and we would be grateful for your respect by not sharing it. The PDF does not have specific device DRM (digital rights management) so you can put it on all of your personal devices, but I’d like it to stay on YOUR devices. Thank you!

Included with every guide purchase is a one-page cheat sheet to Salvador that you CAN share with your friends. And, in fact, I’d love if if you did.

I have more questions. Can I talk to an actual person?

Absolutely! Go ahead and send us an email and we’ll get back to you promptly.

The only guide to Salvador you’ll need

PDF Guide
$97 USD
  • 95 pages essential information
  • 6 full-size color maps
  • 5 detailed neighborhood guides
  • 20+ color photos