Value Brazil: Salvador and Bahia
Overview & Highlights
This holiday focuses on exotic Bahía state in northeast Brazil, with its vibrant, African-inspired culture and cuisine. Explore the colonial port Salvador; then go trekking in the forested tablelands of the interior. Finish at laid-back beach resort of Praia do Forte.
- Walking Tour of Historic Salvador
- Full day tour of Chapada Diamantina National Park, near Lençois
- Full day walking-based excursion to the Valley and Fumaca waterfalls
The state of Bahía has a distinct African culture (the population is largely descended from plantation slaves and is like a country within a country, with its own tradition of music and dance. Here you'll discover not only one of the country's most intriguing cities, but also some of the most beautiful wilderness scenery in the interior, and an example of the glorious beaches for which the state is justly famous.
Fly to Salvador, a tropical melting pot of Afro-Brazilian culture and one of Brazil's finest colonial cities. You’ll have a walking tour of the atmospheric historic core. This multi-coloured Portuguese colonial heart of Brazil’s most exotic city throbs with drum and dance - this is the home of capoeira.
Next, you’ll drive inland to the forested Chapada Diamantina, a national park studded with table-top mountains and run through with crystalline rivers: at its heart is the laid-back little town of Lençois. It is magnificent walking country and you’ll be able to explore its caves, waterfalls and rocky hills.
Bahia's coconut coast is lined with golden beaches backed by lofty palms. Just an hour north of Salvador is Praia do Forte, a low-key and low-rise resort which is also a protected haven for sea turtles. Beyond its car-free main strip, lined with small bars, shops and restaurants, are miles of beaches and natural pools which offer a warm bath at low tide. You have two full days of leisure here: swing in a hammock, fruity cocktail in hand, or dip your toes in the ocean.
Arrive in Salvador. Transfer to hotel in the colonial centre.
Half day walking tour of historic Salvador da Bahía.
At leisure in Salvador
Public coach to Lençois in the Chapada Diamantina
Full day tour of Chapada Diamantina
Hike to the Fumaça Falls in the Capao Valley.
Transfer to Praia do Forte
At leisure in Praia do Forte
Transfer to airport in Salvador for international flight home.
Things to do
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What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
So many highlights it's difficult to say! The routing was excellent both in terms of acclimatising to the altitude and building to the grand finale at Machu Picchu.CA, Brighton
The Penguin tour was a great introduction to Chile, covering such a variety of landscapes and temperatures. Flying over the Andes was impressive. We were also surprised by the wildllife including condors, penguins, guanacos and flamingoes. All the local guides were excellent with superb local knowledge and the ability to make it enjoyable. Our tour leader fed in lots of interesting information as we travelled around.SY, Wetherby
So many great memories, it is impossible to pick one.... The mix of landscapes, cultures and activities was amazing. Probably the best holiday I have been on and certainly won't be my last to South America!LN, Billericay
I was so impressed by the service JLA provided - both beforehand in helping me to organise the perfect holiday to suit me and my interests and then in making sure everything worked smoothly during the trip itself. It all ran like clockwork. I have fallen in love with South America and will definitely be going back!
Thank you for giving me an amazing trip, with a wonderful leader and a lovely group of people to travel with.BK, London
Tour was very well planned with excellent local Guides and the tour leader was brilliant.MBG, Malta
Every day was a highlight - loved the train from Puno to Cusco, and then there is Machu Picchu.RK, Dorchester
This really is Extremes of Chile going from desert conditions to frozen mountains. He prepared for some tiring travelling - and some stupendous scenery.DR, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Difficult to say as it was a trip of contrasts - two cities and some beautiful landscapes. I achieved two ambitions which was to visit the Torres del Paine National Park and to see the Perito Moreno glacier. Torres del Paine was glorious and Perito Moreno was breathtaking. All internal transfers were seamless and check in and check out of hotels were easy. The small group made the holiday feel almost personalised.TW, Hook
Another very interesting and well organised Journey Latin America trip.HM, Nuneaton
"I was particularly impressed with the scenery in Bolivia. I had expected the salt flats but the rest of the country was a real bonus. On the optional excursions, I particularly enjoyed Chacaltaya and the star gazing in San Pedro."GP, Northwich
Quite simply, this was the best holiday we ever had. The tour leaders role in achieving this cannot be overstated.SW, Great Missenden
Iguazu Falls - awe inspiring Paraty - beautiful restful place Bariloche - incredible scenery with an excellent local guide, perhaps the best we had, so enthusiastic and interested in us. Rio - The guide who had designed The Favela Trip was very, very interesting and appeared so genuine.JK, Liversedge
We have travelled with JLA on several occasions throughout South America. JLA may not be the cheapest tour operator, but booking with JLA means peace of mind, expert and helpful advice, reliable pick ups and travel arrangements and expert and informative tour leaders and local guides. A holiday should be free of worry and JLA take care of everything!CR, Bath
Most memorable experience: “I can't really single out any one- I found it all memorable but what was a real pleasure was the friendliness of the local people.”PB, Swansea
It was a terrific, well-designed tour to some of the most impressive historic sites in the world. The local expert guides were of a particularly high standard and our overall tour guide was excellent even giving each of us a going-home present from her home country Guatemala.DP, Chichester
"This holiday far exceeded our expectations and was truly a once in a lifetime experience!"CD, Plymouth
An excellent well organised tour. We saw all the major Inca sites & Machu Picchu was amazing, exceeding all expectations. The Galápagos Islands at the end of the tour just blew us away.AH, Stafford
The trip of a lifetime. It was a great privilege to be able to visit somewhere as unique as The Galapagos.
There are two things that we most appreciate about the tours organised by JLA, one is the restricted size of the groups and the other is the quality of the leaders.AF, Alderley Edge
This was our third trip with JLA - all of them excellent. Alcion is a fantastic tour - to experience 6 countries in 3 weeks was something we could never do on our own. Our guide was outstanding, the itinerary was superb - the whole trip was something we will always remember.AT, London
Our first trip to S. America was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Everything was very well organised and we couldn't have had a better group leader than tour leader. The local guides were very knowledgable and enthusiastic to share their country. When we booked this holiday we thought it would be our only trip to S. America, primarily to see Machu Picchu but now hearing the tour leader talk about other tours she has run we are eager to see more of the continent with JLA.FM, Aberdeen
Hotels - Quirky mix of old and modern, loved the contrast. Seaman Journey Galapagos boat was superb, cabin larger than expected. Crew and guide outstanding.LO, Ascot
It was a very memorable and exciting holiday. As well as the magnificent scenery, I was bowled over by the birds, animals and flowers. Compared to Europe, it felt very unspoilt and unpopulated.KM, Edinburgh
This was the first time I travelled with JLA and I have been impressed with the quality of personal service and enjoyed the itinerary very much.PM, Wirral
Jam packed itinerary with so many great places and sights in such a short time! Iguacu Falls, Rio, La Paz, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu- it really had it all. We had a great tour guide; informative, knowledgeable and extremely personable, with a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for South America. Logistics were seamless- first time travelling to South America, first time travelling solo- highly recommend it!LM, London
Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams? (Tennyson). I had long dreamt of travelling to South America, so I booked and went, and my dreams came true. The dreams were wondrous while they lasted and although now inevitably they start to fade, into their place comes a welter of brilliant, enduring, magical memories. And so the theme of this letter is thank you JLA!PM, Hampstead
It was a wonderful experience which I wouldnt have missed for the world. The organisation was first class, all the staff in all the hotels friendly and helpful.CL, Newport
Very difficult to chose because every aspect was memorable. I think the Gaucho itinerary was well chosen providing a good exposure to a wide example of interesting places in Argentina and we also liked the initial 2 days in Chile.MB, Sevenoaks
The tour leader could not have been more courteous, he did more than was expected of him and found us some very good restaurants. Our most memorable moments were staying in the yurt in the Patagonia, eating at local restaurants recommended by the tour leader and travelling from Bariloche across the lakes. We loved this trip and it was organised very well.MG, Marlow
So many memorable moments on this tour but watching the sunset and enjoying the independence day parades in Cartegena were particularly special and playing the traditional Colombian game of tejo was great fun.HP, Richmond
Reaching the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain and seeing views that will live with me for the rest of my life ... wow! This was a very special moment.PB, Wareham
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.