Bradt’s new guide focuses on Brazil’s north-eastern state of Bahia, centred around regional capital Salvador, and is the only standalone title to cover this part of South America’s burgeoning economic superpower. As author Alex Robinson says, ‘It has long been a mystery to me that whilst the world tramps around Asia, the Caribbean and Australia in search of a great undiscovered exotic location Bahia remains almost completely undiscovered. At least to foreigners. Brazilians have long known it to be one of the world’s special places: Bahia is famous throughout the country for its 1,200km of white-pepper-fine, palm-shaded sand, for its magnificent Baroque architecture and its rich and vibrant African-Brazilian culture.’
Bahia describes colourful Portuguese mansions and crumbling gilt-covered churches, the mesmerising capoeira martial arts dance, the sweeping dunes of Mangue Seco, cacophonous bird-filled rainforests, and the rugged highlands of Chapada Diamantina. Along with these highlights Bahia tracks jaguars and the world’s rarest parrots through some of the best wildlife sites in the Americas, and shakes its perfectly proportioned 266 pages at the Salvador Carnaval, the biggest and liveliest such celebration in Latin America.
However, though Bahia is only a small part of Brazil – in European terms the size of France – Robinson freely admits ‘there is simply too much to set down in one book. What I offer here is literally a guidebook, a tool which I hope will help visitors discover their own Bahia – whether they are in the craggy mountains of the interior, the wildlife-filled deserts of the sertão or those miles of golden beaches…’
Alex Robinson is one of the leading English-language writers on Brazil – a travel journalist, author and photographer, he has lived in Brazil for several years and speaks Portuguese fluently. Now with a Brazilian wife, he continues to divide his time between the UK and his adopted home.
Author: Alex Robinson
Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
Publication: November 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84162 329 0