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Salvador, Brazil

Colonial Brazil

Colonial Brazil holidays

Introduction

Brazil's well-preserved colonial towns are atmospheric places to spend a few days during a tailor-made tour, surrounded by elegant architecture and tangible history. Olinda and Salvador in North Eastern Brazil are two of the most popular choices, while the mining towns of Ouro Preto and Tiradentes in Minas Gerais state are also not to be missed. But there are others, too, up and down the country, full of colourful festivals and fascinating local legends.

Brazil's colonial history began with the arrival of Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. British, French and Dutch traders soon seized opportunities to make their own mark on this vast land full of promise, and Jesuit missionaries set about converting the indigenous Brazilians to Christianity. The colonial towns tell the history of the nation, from the planting of sugar plantations and the boom generated by the gold rush, to the slave trade and Brazil's struggle for independence. The beautiful old colonial towns have narrow cobbled lanes and impressive plazas lined with mansions, churches and whitewashed town houses - and visiting them is a real highlight of a Brazil holiday.

Top itineraries in Colonial Brazil

Brazil's Green Coast and waterfalls

10-day tailor-made journey from £2,595 pp incl. flights

This 10-day tailor-made holiday begins in the city of Rio de Janeiro, where you'll have three days to explore some of Brazil's best-known attractions including the iconic Sugar Loaf and Corcovado mountains, the latter of which is home to one of Brazil's most instantly recognisable sites, the statue…

Best of Brazil

16-day tailor-made journey from £4,415 pp incl. flights

Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world, hides a continents worth of highlights within its borders. Teeming rainforests, sparkling beaches and iconic megacities can all be found here, along with a people and culture with a deserved reputation as one of the most welcoming on earth.

Brazil’s Coral Coast self-drive

13-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,430 pp incl. flights

It's time to hit the road on this incredible 13-day self-drive holiday, crossing four states in Brazil's stunning Northeast region - Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia.

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Where to go in Colonial Brazil

Olinda

Olinda is one of Brazil's best-preserved colonial cities, founded by the Portuguese in 1535 and later occupied by the Dutch. Its grand churches, gardens and cobbled streets are easily explored on foot, and form a fine backdrop for Olinda's spectacular Carnival celebrations.

Paraty

Paraty is one of Brazil's best-preserved colonial towns. Situated towards the western end of the Costa Verde, it was founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century and acted as a principal port for the shipping of gold to Europe.

Tiradentes

Tiradentes is, like Ouro Preto, one of Minas Gerais state's historic gold mining towns. It too has some carefully restored Baroque churches and whitewashed cottages built along steep cobbled streets, which clatter to the hoof-beat and trundling wheels of horse-drawn carriages - which are a popular …

Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto - or ‘Black Gold' - was named after the darkened nuggets of gold mined nearby during the 18th century gold rush. Fine colonial buildings were constructed on the back of the gold boom, with artists and craftsmen such as the ecclesiastical painter Mestre Athayde and the master sculptor Ale…

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Colonial Brazil articles

Top 10 Luxury Beach Resorts in Brazil

With over 20,000 miles of coast, there’s plenty to choose from, so we’ve panned through the silt to bring you only the very best in beach stays.

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0623 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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