After Class Activities
Our program allows you plenty of time to discover your new country, culture, traditions, and everyday life after your class is over. Optional activities could include: workshops in local music, food, dance and Capoeira. Play soccer with the locals or go see a professional game, even learn to surf or scuba dive! Get yourself started for a trip to Salvador with the links below:
Architecture: Discover Unique Styles & Structures
Opened in 1912, the Mercado Modelo, a former government customs building, houses over two hundred and sixty stores that offer a variety of handmade crafts, souvenirs and gifts. Located in the lower city of Salvador, it is across the street from the Elevador Lacerda and is home to several restaurants and bars. It has survived several major fires and the last fire in 1984 has led to its reconstruction into its original 19th-century style.
Forte de São Marcelo:
Forte de São Marcelo, also known as Fort of the Sea, was built in 1625 in the Bay of All Saints, just 300 metres opposite the lower town. It was designed in a Renaissance style with a total area of 2,500 square feet and its large retaining walls were built for defence and to withstand weathering from the sea. It has a rich history in war and battle for the territory and was once armed with turrets and cannons, allowing for defence and attack in all directions. After many years of restoration, it was reopened in 2004 for public visitation.
Religious Sites: Step Onto Sacred Ground
Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim):
One of the most important religious sites in the city, it attracts huge crowds who go to pray or ask for miracles. The Washing of the Steps is one of the years most vibrant religious events.
Forte de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo e São Marcelo (Forte São Marcelo):
Built in the 17th century just 300 metres from the shore of Salvador. It has played a significant role in defending the city from both ally and foe.
Forte de São Diogo and Forte de Santa Maria (Forte São Diogo and Forte Santa Maria):
Located in the Barra neighbourhood, the fortresses were built to protect the city from invaders coming from the south.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos (Church of our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks):
Built in 1704, this church dominates the Pelourinho skyline. The interior decorations are made of detailed carvings and religious scenes painted onto tiles.
Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis):
The church features a gold covered interior and many decorations such as angels, birds and paintings.
Neighbourhoods: Find Cities Within The City
Pelourinho is the historical centre of Salvador, well known for its Portuguese colonial style buildings. Many of the monuments date back to the 17th to the 19th centuries and are worthy of visiting by architectural enthusiasts and tourists alike. Surrounding it are newer neighbourhoods that are full of bars, restaurants and small shops.
A very popular beach neighbourhood and is full of restaurants and small shops located south of the city centre. Points of interest include the Farol da Barra (Barra Lighthouse) and the smaller Forte Santa Maria. During the late afternoon, many gather to watch the beautiful sunset.
The lower city is the financial centre of Salvador. In the 16th century people preferred to live in the cooler heights of Pelourinho and keep their offices and warehouses on the waterfront below. The Elevator Lacerda is the easiest way to access this area.
Immediately south of Pelourinho, this quiet neighbourhood has a few hotels and some minor landmarks such as the Castro Alves Theatre and Campo Grande Square.
Beaches: Enjoy a Fresh Breeze
Porto da Barra:
One of the most popular hangouts in the area and its many visitors are treated to a bay with calm and crystal waters. On the weekends, the beach can become very busy, but the excitement of beach life is an experience most students will enjoy.
Farol da Barra:
Very tropical looking beach with small thatched huts with access to the lighthouse.
A great beach to hear the local sounds of the area, the beach is protected by rocks and reefs, so the waters are good for swimming and generally calm. On the other side of the beach close to the lighthouse are pretty strong, and great for surf, you will find many local surfers here.
A lovely broad and long beach with hard-packed sand & coconut-palms. The waters are generally safe with a very gradually entry, a really nice place to spend the day!
Stella Maris and Flamengo:
Further north again, you will find these great beaches which are quite beautiful and palm-lined, with many barracas, so ideal to drink and eat with the locals!
Shopping: Don t Forget Your Souvenirs
The best buys include crafts made out of wood, ceramics, or leather; musical instruments; and CDs of axé music. Remember to always bargain. Salvador has a number of shopping malls outside of the downtown core. Barra (Av. Centenario 2992) is one of the larger malls and is just a few blocks from the Farol da Barra.
The largest and newest mall in Salvador is "The Aeroclube Plaza Show" (Av. Otavio Mangabeira 6000, on the outskirts of town, close to the airport). In addition to shopping, this open-air mall offers a large entertainment complex with minigolf, go-kart racing, bowling, a climbing wall, and play-land game center. In the evenings, the many bars, restaurants, and clubs attract people until the early hours. The shops are open on Sundays as well. Take either the Praia de Flamengo or Itapuã bus to get there.
Nightlife: Let s Get The Party Started
In the evening outdoor cafes & bars become alive especially in "The Pelourinho area" which offers a variety of nighttime activity, including local musicians, dancers, bands & folkloric shows. Bar-hopping is popular and fun and a great way to take in all the different groups and music (most are free). The night scene is laid-back and casual... so relax and enjoy it!
Tuesday is known in Pelourinho as Terça da Benção (Blessed Tuesday). This day São Francisco de Assis Church gives out bread and donations to the poor and later a huge street party starts after mass. The square of Terreiro de Jesus is packed with tables, chairs, market stalls, barbecues and all along the streets you can listen to music.
Culture: Learn About Their Traditions
Culture & Traditions:
Salvador is the capital of Bahia, the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture. It is home to the largest street carnival in Brazil where a huge number of people dance and party through the streets to the sounds of local music. Capoeira, a martial art that was created by slaves, is very popular and is practiced throughout the city and in parks and beaches. The berimbau, a traditional instrument, used to dictate the speed and movements of which Capoeira is practiced.
The cuisine in Salvador is unique and not seen anywhere else in Brazil. Bahian cooking widely uses seafood and other African flavours to create exciting dishes. Many historic colonial houses have been converted to restaurants and provide a great experience for visitors and locals alike.