Bahia is much more than Salvador. You have Itaparica and several other smaller islands, the Recôncavo Baiano, Cachoeira and São Félix, dozens of beaches, churches, and museums.
Many Bahians love Itaparica, the largest island in Baía de Todos os Santos. They prefer to swim in the calm waters of the bay than in the rough and tumble of the ocean. It’s quite a pretty island, but not really a must-see destination. Weekends here are crowded (especially in summer), transportation can be slow without a car, and the beaches aren’t as pretty as the more accessible beaches north of the city.
The island is built up with many weekend homes, but has few budget hotels. Many of the beaches are dirty and the best part of the island is owned by Club Med. Yet there still are a few clean beaches where you can just lie on the sand beneath windswept palms and gaze across the bay at the city .
At the northern tip of the island is the city of Itaparica and the São Lourenço Fort. Built by the Dutch invaders in the 17th century, the fortress figured prominently in Bahia’s battle for independence in 1823. The Solar Tenente Botas (Mansion of Lieutenant Botas), on the square of the same name, the Igreja Matriz do Santíssimo Sacramento, on Rua Luís Gama, and the Fonte da Bica (mineral water fountain) complete the city sights.