Bahia is situated on the coast, with the turquoise Atlantic Ocean lapping at its shores. This state is in the northeast of Brazil, South America. Bahia is the fourth most populous Brazilian state. Its capital city is São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, commonly shortened to Salvador.

It is bordered by Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Piauí, Goiás, Tocantins, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. The name, Bahia, means “bay” and refers to the sight of the bay that the first European explorers stumbled across in 1501.

Once found, Bahia was claimed by the Portuguese. Under their rule, the city of Salvador was established, and thereafter became the administrative and religious epicentre of all of the Portuguese-owned areas in the Americas. Between the 1500’s and 1700’s, Bahia was a prime area for its sugar plantations and industry, translating to an enormous influx of people, including African slaves.

Lacerda Elevator - Salvador.

Even after the rest of Brazil had gained independence from Portuguese rule, Bahia remained loyal to the Europeans. It was only much later (in 1823) that this area became independent.

The Atlantic Forest makes up the vast majority of Bahia’s natural landscape. There is a chain of mountains, called Chapada Diamantina, which winds its way through the state. This range divides the state into an east section and a west section. The east is rich and fertile with regular rain, while the west is less developed and harsher in terms of its natural vegetation. The west is arid, but enjoys the supply of water that it receives from the São Francisco River. The coastline is the longest in Brazil, measuring over 1 100 kilometres, or 685 miles. In general, the climate in Bahia is Tropical.

In terms of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), the industrial sector is the most significant player. This is followed by agriculture, and the export of chemicals, fuels, paper, cacao, and so on. Bahia produces and exports more cacao than any other state in Brazil.

The main regions of Bahia comprise:

• The Coconut Coast – named as such for its extensive coconut groves, this area is on the coast and also boasts glorious rivers and impressive sand dunes.
• All Saints Bay – this is the largest bay on the coast of the country and is home to 56 islands. It is popular for its water sports and tropical beaches
• Dendê Coast – this area has an array of different floral species. It provides the ideal escape for tourists wanting to relax on deserted beaches or walk through dense rain forests.

. • Cacao Coast – pristine beaches are lined with coconut groves in this ecological wonderland. Wetland forests and cacao groves combine with reefs, rivers and islands for gorgeous vistas.
• The Discovery Coast – excursions along the cliffs, beaches and river beds are a must in this unspoilt part of Bahia.
• The Whale Coast – as its name implies, this area is ideal for whale watching between July and November, attracting visitors from all over the world during this peak season.
• The Diamantina Tableland Region – this is a particularly mountainous area that is traversed by thousands of kilometres of fresh water rivers.

Here is the Bahia Government web site:

Paradise beach in the Península de Maraú, Bahia State, Brazil.