Salvador da Bahia or Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and was founded in 1549 by the Portugese. Salvador is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas and is also the first slave market on the continent with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations. Hence, it is heavily influenced by African culture, cuisine, and music. Salvador is divided into “Lower Town” with the port and neighborhoods along the bay and “Upper Town” which is the rest of the city. These two parts of town are connected by an elevator, known as Elevador Lacerda since 1873.
Rio de Janeiro is known for its laidback beaches, samba, and its annual carnival. Unfortunately, it is also known for its violence and crime with the druglords and slums or favelas being very old social problems. Other than the famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema, the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and Sugarloaf Mountain are must sees.