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Short description

An adventurous 13-day self-drive holiday from Recife to Salvador

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Olinda
  • 2 Nights São Miguel dos Milagres
  • 2 Nights Barra de São Miguel
  • 1 Night Penedo
  • 1 Night Mangue Seco
  • 2 Nights Praia do Forte
  • 2 Nights Salvador


Recommended for:
Beach | History & culture | Natural world | Self-drive

You'll have the chance to explore some of Brazil's most beautiful stretches of coastline, packed full of breathtaking beaches, picturesque fishing villages and historic colonial towns, all the while enjoying the relaxed pace of life that characterises this laid back corner of the country. Your journey ends in the colourful city of Salvador, renowned for its vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture, lively street parties and abundance of Portuguese Baroque architecture.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Recife where you'll be met and transferred to your chosen hotel in nearby Olinda. Spend some time freshening up before embarking on a guided afternoon tour of Recife and Olinda. Begin in the city of Recife, taking in the most important sites of the largest cultural centre in Northeast Brazil, including the sweeping sands of Boa Viagem Beach, the 17th century Five Point Fortress, the Park of Sculptures and the Rua do Bom Jesus. Next you'll head to Olinda, the first capital of Pernambuco and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you'll encounter old cobbled streets lined with colourful houses, ancient churches and monasteries along with a number of artisan workshops and an abundance of cafes and restaurants specialising in local delicacies.

Stay: Amparo Pousada (Superior)

Day 2

Spend today at leisure further exploring Olinda, Recife and the surrounding region. An interesting excursion, which is well worth considering, is a cultural tour to the Ricardo Brennand Institute, located on the outskirts of the city. Originally built to house Brennand's own work, it's now home to an impressive collection of more than two thousand works by prominent artists from across the region and beyond.

Stay: Amparo Pousada (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 3
São Miguel dos Milagres

After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will take you to the car hire depot where you'll collect your keys and begin your journey south to Salvador. Your first overnight stop will be the town of São Miguel dos Milagres, around three hours away. Break the journey with a stop at Carneiros Beach, known for its crystal clear water and gorgeous golden sand, framed by swaying palms. Here you'll find some excellent lunch options, including Bora Bora and Beijupira Restaurants, which both offer enticing menus of local specialities. Spend some time relaxing at the beach, enjoying a swim or a visit to a local church before continuing your journey to São Miguel dos Milagres where you'll spend the night.

Stay: Caju Pousada (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 4
São Miguel dos Milagres

Today is free to explore the beaches and coastline near São Miguel dos Milagres. Patacho, one of the regions most secluded and quietest beaches is certainly a highlight, or perhaps walk the short distance to Tatuamanha River from where you can take a boat to see the local population of manatees.

Stay: Caju Pousada (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 5
Barra de São Miguel

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a morning spent relaxing on the beach. After lunch you'll drive around two hours to Barra de São Miguel, where you'll spend the next two nights.

Stay: Kenoa Resort (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 6
Barra de São Miguel

Spend today on a relaxing rafting tour to the region's beautiful natural pools, or visit the oyster farm at Vila Palateia in the heart of the beautiful Ecological Reserve of Lagoa do Roteiro. This fascinating optional tour begins in the company of local fishermen who'll take you along flooded trails through mangrove swamps, keeping an eye out for local flora and fauna. Finally, you'll arrive at Ilha do Meio for the chance to taste fresh oysters and learn how they're cultivated.

Stay: Kenoa Resort (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 7

Spend this morning enjoying the facilities at your hotel, departing at around 11 o'clock for the drive to Penedo via Foz do São Francisco. We recommend heading to the village of Piaçabuçu, from where you'll have the opportunity to enjoy two fantastic optional tours, firstly to the Dunes of São Francisco, followed by a boat trip to Foz do Velho Chico.

Stay: São Francisco (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 8
Mangue Seco

After breakfast, enjoy a walk around the town of Penedo, once an important commercial centre in the São Francisco region and blessed with a wonderful collection of baroque churches. From Penedo you'll drive three hours south to Mangue Seco, travelling on a section of the highway that runs all the way from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio Grande do Sul. We recommend having lunch before you begin the drive, as there are few places to stop along the route. Its also a good idea to pack a smaller overnight bag for your stay in Mangue Seco as there is no pavement to your beachfront hotel, making it difficult to transport heavy cases. Arrive in the village of Estancia and call Yves from O Forte Pousada who'll arrange to meet you at the car park in Pontal Village. From there you'll continue by boat to Mangue Seco.

Stay: O Forte Pousada (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 9
Praia do Forte

Enjoy breakfast at your pousada before enjoying a morning buggy tour through the spectacular dunes of Mangue Seco and, if the weather's good, a boat tour to beautiful Ilha da Sogra, a neighbouring island not far from Mangue Seco. It's well worth ordering a lunchtime snack from the Pousada as there are no options for eating on the Ilha da Sogra.

Later on you'll continue your journey south to Praia do Forte. On arrival, check in and freshen up before enjoying a gentle seaside stroll prior to dinner. If you've time its also well worth paying a visit to the Projeto Tamar headquarters where, along with seeing the amazing conservation work being done there, you might witness the amazing site of baby turtles hatching and heading out to sea.

Stay: Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 10
Praia do Forte

Enjoy a day at leisure to enjoy Praia do Forte, spending a day relaxing on the beach, swimming in beautiful natural pools, or exploring the beautiful Sapiranga Reserve by quadricycle or Pojuca River by canoe. If you're in the region between July and October, there's also the chance to enjoy whale-watching excursions.

Stay: Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 11

The final stretch of your journey is a short one; just 60 kilometres from Praia do Forte to Salvador. Drop your hire car at Salavdor Airport and transfer to your chosen hotel. Contact the local office in Salvador prior to departure from Praia do Forte so they can arrange your transfer to be waiting for you.

Stay: Villa Bahia (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 12

Spend today at leisure, exploring historic, colourful, characterful Salvador at your own pace. See the Mercado; the Lacerda Elevator, which connects the high and low cities (Cidade Alta and Cidade Baixa); visit Bonfim Church and try acarajé - a local Afro-Brazilian street food snack - in the Rio Vermelho neighbourhood.

Stay: Villa Bahia (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 13

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Breakfast included


Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

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


Low Season

from £3,430 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £4,855 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights from London to Recife and from Salvador de Bahia to London
  • Private airport transfers
  • Shared boat transfers
  • 9 days car hire in a Fiat Idea 1.4 w/ air conditioning or similar, with log book and maps 
  • 8 nights accommodation in a mix of 3* (Standard) & 4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis
  • 4 nights accommodation in a mix of 3* (Standard) & 4* (Superior) hotels on a full-board basis
  • Private city tour of Recife and Olinda

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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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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