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Fishing boats in Itacare
Road Trip from Salvador to Ilheus 9 Days of Culture, Beach, and Nature

Travel Number: 67342

Road Trip from Salvador to Ilheus 9 Days of Culture, Beach, and Nature Brazil | Salvador, Cachoeira, Itacare, Ilheus

On this nine-day journey of self-discovery you will experience the state of Bahia in its most varied forms. In a rental car you will travel along the Cocoa and Dende coast from Salvador to Itacare. On the way you will discover paradise-like beaches, colonial towns, mangroves, and the Atlantic Rainforest. Active travelers in particular will get their money's worth with various outdoor activities during this tour. Bahia is considered the cultural center of Brazil and impresses all with its Afro-Brazilian traditions in gastronomy and music.



  • Learn about Afro-Brazilian traditions
  • Discover Bahia off the beaten track
  • Taste tropical fruits
  • Go on river rafting adventures
  • Relax on lonely surf beaches


Day 1: Arrival to Salvador

Included: Airport Transfer (private)

Upon arrival to Salvador, your English-speaking guide will take you to your accommodation in the historic Pelourinho district of Salvador. On the way he will give you tips and further information about the upcoming trip through Bahia. The rest of the day is at your leisure. The old town, with its cultural and culinary offerings, awaits curious visitors for a stroll. Past monuments, baroque churches, and colonial buildings, the path leads through narrow streets where you can hear Afro-Brazilian rhythms. With a bit of luck, you can also marvel at one of the capoeira demonstrations that regularly take place here. The famous landmark and postcard motif Elevador Lacerda captivates all with its view of the lower situated harbor area of Cidade Baixa.

Overnight: Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Standard room

Day 2: Onward Journey by Rental Car to Cachoeira

Included: Transfer to Rental Car Station (private) | Rental Car | Breakfast

Salvador to Cachoeira: 90 miles (150 km)

In the morning you will be picked up at your accommodation in Salvador and taken to the car rental station where you will receive your car. From there you will take the highway to the interior of Bahia and, later on, more rural roads to Cachoeira. After a drive of about 2.5 hours you will reach your accommodation, Pousada Pai Thomaz. The small town of Cachoeira is considered the cradle of Afro-Brazilian culture and religion. In times of slavery many people were taken from the west coast of Africa to Cachoeira to work on the local tobacco and sugar cane plantations. In this small town, time seems to run more slowly and in some places in the city it seems to have stopped completely. Baroque churches and colonial buildings can be admired at every corner. Traditional festivals and processions take place throughout the year. With a little luck you will experience one of these events up close.

Overnight: Pousada Pai Thomaz, Standard room

Day 3: Drive from Cachoeira via Nilo Pecanha to Pratigi Beach

Included: Rental Car | Day Trip Tropical Farming (private, 4h) | Breakfast, Picnic

Cachoeira to Nilo Pecanha: 100 miles (160 km)

Nilo Pecanha to Pratigi: 20 miles (30 km)

After breakfast you will continue by rental car on a drive of about 3 hours leading to the small village of Nilo Pecanha. You will meet your local English-speaking guide who will take you on a special adventure tour on the farm of Juvenal, a small farmer. The tour will continue from this point in a 4x4-vehicle. In addition to the cultivation of cocoa, you can get to know numerous exotic plants in nature. Discover, for example, the natural red dye urucum, which is also used for painting by the local indigenous tribes, as well as the nuts of the piacava palm, cloves, and pepper. After the tour, Juvenal will serve a homemade picnic with roasted pork and cheese. In the afternoon you will continue to the lonely beach of Pratigi, where you will spend the night at Pousada Tapera. The drive here takes about 40 minutes.

Overnight: Pousada Tapera, Standard room

Day 4: Boat Trip to Mangroves and Local Crab Fishermen

Included: Rental Car | Day Trip Mangrove and Quilombo (private, 5h) | Breakfast, Lunch

Today you will leave the rental car and go to Rio de Campo, a fishing village. Your English-speaking guide will pick you up at your accommodation in a 4x4-vehicle and together you will start your excursion. Lunch will be served with freshly caught crab from the locals. In the afternoon (start time depends on the tide) you will go by canoe into the local mangrove forests. On the way you will catch mussels, which will later be cooked on an open fire. At the end of the mangrove forests, your 4x4-vehicle will be waiting for you to visit a Quilombo settlement. These small villages were founded by formerly enslaved individuals who escaped and were able to preserve much of their African culture. In addition to instruments and typical foods, you will also get to know how jewelry is made from the nut of the piacava palm. Afterwards your guide will take you back to your accommodation on Pratigi beach, where he will say goodbye to you.

Overnight: Pousada Tapera, Standard room

Day 5: Onward Journey to Itacare

Included: Rental Car | Breakfast

Pratigi to Itacare: 70 miles (110 km)

Today, you will make the 2.5-hour drive to the famous surfer's town of Itacare in your rental car. Passing many small fazendas in the coastal rainforest, mangrove landscapes, and the bay around Camamu, you will reach your accommodation in Itacare. Use the day as you like for a first exploration of the lively town center or the nearest beach, Praia da Concha. In the late afternoon the overlook Mirante do Xaréu, only 1,500 feet (450 meters) away, invites you to take a short walk. With appropriate weather conditions, you can enjoy a particularly atmospheric sunset here. For dinner we recommend one of the numerous beach restaurants on the way back to your accommodation.

Overnight: Pousada Burundanga, Standard room

Day 6: Morning Hike to Prainha

Included: Rental Car | Day Trip Prainha (private, 6h) | Breakfast

After breakfast you will be picked up by your English-speaking guide and start on an approximately 1.5-hour hike to Prainha beach. On the way, your guide will tell you a lot of interesting facts about the region and give you tips for your stay. The walk takes you past the beaches of Resende, Tiririca, Costa, and Ribeira. All of them are situated in small bays and framed by palm trees and rocks. To reach Prainha, however, the walk continues over a hilly part up into the Atlantic Rainforest. You will pass along a crystal clear mountain stream and enjoy the view of the coast of Itacare before descending to Prainha, 2,625 feet (800 meters) long and famous for its beauty.

On this beach there are small stalls where you can buy coconut water and snacks. After a refreshing swim in the waves of this natural paradise and resting in the shade of the many palm trees, you will return to Itacare on the same route. You can then spend the afternoon at your leisure and enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Rio de Contas. The small, lively beach town invites you to take a long walk with its rich cultural and culinary offerings.

Overnight: Pousada Burundanga, Standard room

Day 7: Active Program in Taboquinhas

Included: Rental Car | Self Drive Trip to Taboquinhas (in-group, 8h) | Breakfast

After breakfast you will set off in your rental car on your own for a multi-activity program in Taboquinhas, 17 miles (27 kilometers) away. This small town is not located on the beach, but rather inland on the Rio de Contas. The local outdoor excursion center offers a whole range of tours and activities and also a local restaurant on the riverbank (lunch is optional).

Upon your arrival, an English-speaking guide will give you an overview of the activities you can choose, such as: a rafting tour, a kayak or stand-up paddle excursion, a chocolate tour, nature hikes, and a rappelling adventure.

On this day trip, you can do up to 2 or 3 activities.

Overnight: Pousada Burundanga, Standard room

Day 8: Leisure Time around Itacare

Included: Rental Car | Breakfast

You may arrange today as you wish. If you feel like you want further adventures, there are several beaches in Itacare and the surrounding region (also with waterfalls) to discover.

Overnight: Pousada Burundanga, Standard room

Day 9: Onward Journey to Ilheus and Departure

Included: Rental Car | Breakfast

Itacare to Ilheus: 50 miles (80 km)

After nine eventful days in Bahia, you will continue in the morning to the city of Ilheus, which is very important in the history of cocoa cultivation in Brazil. After dropping off your rental car at the airport, you will continue on your journey.


  • All transfers detailed above
  • 3 day trips (with a private English-speaking guide)
  • 1 day trip (in-group with an English-speaking guide)
  • 1 night at Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Standard room
  • 1 night at Pousada Pai Thomaz, Standard room
  • 2 nights at Pousada Tapera, Standard room
  • 4 nights at Pousada Burundanga, Standard room
  • 8 breakfasts + 1 lunch + 1 picnic
  • Rental car for 7x 24h from Salvador to Ilheus in the selected car category (unlimited mileage)
  • Rental car information sheet
  • One-way fees
  • Collision damage waiver and loss damage waiver (“risk coverage for the car”), and third-party liability cover (“risk coverage for third parties”)

Not included are airfare, fuel, optional additional coverage, additional driver, entrance fees, beverages, meals not indicated in the itinerary, tips, and personal expenses.


  • On the day of arrival, check-in is from 2:00 p.m. If you arrive in Salvador earlier, we can include an early check-in, if you wish. You can optionally book additional tours for sightseeing.
  • Day trips can be adapted to local conditions (of course, always in the interest of the guest) to ensure a safe and eventful journey.
  • In case of very early departures or late arrivals, meals may be omitted.
  • Information on distances and travel times are approximate.
  • The renter must be 21 years of age or older, have a valid driver's license issued no less than 2 years before the date of rental.
  • If the rental car is not picked up and/or returned at the specified times, the car rental company reserves the right to update the daily rate of the reservation. The renter must settle any difference directly on site.

Here you will find further information and details about car rental categories and insurance.


In any case we are very very grateful, for the amazing support and advice, which made this trip possible.

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