Cachoeira, the cradle of Brazil since the 16th century, is an inland town in the rural zone “Recôncavo” of Bahia, along the Paraguaçu River. The town exported sugar, cotton and tobacco and was a thriving commercial and industrial centre.
First inhabited by Indian tribes, it was later settled by the Portuguese families of Dias Adorno and Rodrigues Martins.
It became known as Nossa Senhora do Rosário in 1674.
It was a strategic area and was linked with the city of Salvador, the former colonial capital.
It became a parish on December 27, 1693.
It also became Vila de Nossa Senhora do Rosário do Porto da Cachoeira do Paraguaçu in 1698.
Sugar cane farming, gold mining on Rio das Contas, increased traffic on royal streets, and navigation on the Rio Paraguaçu combined to boost the regional economy in the beginning of the 18th century. In the beginning of 1800, the Cachoeirense society became very important politically. It actively participated in the war of the Independence of Bahia in 1822.
The town became a city under the imperial decree of March 13, 1873 Cachoeira is considered a national monument of the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico Artístico e Nacional (IPHAN)
It is currently undergoing a nice tourist revival, and is a centre of candomblé. Considering the important role Cachoeira played in the colonial history of Brazil and of Bahia in particular we think it is a must to visit this charming little town. But, we bring you Cachoeira in a different way already by driving into it taking the smallest possible “road” and immediatelly throw you a great view!
It needs a bit of insight to get to those small little places but we know many of them. Another example of this one can discover a few miles down this impressive Paraguaçu-river where we would like to show you the remains of an “engenho” (sugar mill) that as built there many hundreds years ago.
Of course, life does not always have to be serious and we can have a relaxing boat ride (optional) on the Paraguaçu-river
For those who want to make a 2-day-trip in the Recôncavo we have, besides Cachoeira, many other things to show you. As a matter of fact we will bring you as close as possible to the real “Baiano’s” and their everyday life.
As for example in Coqueros where people are repairing a saveiro-sailships like one does it for several hundreds of years already.
Coqueros is also known for it’s artisanal pottery industry.
And we go deeper inlands to visit “manioc-plantations” and their famous “casas de farinha” where their casave-roots are transformed to eadible flower. These are littleproduction units where local families perform a heavy job but those people always welcome a rare foreign visitor.
More typical local activities are the local cigar factories, at Dannemann you are invited to make your own luxury cigar.
So you see we have many things to show you in the Recôncavo area. It is up to you to make a choice after our briefing ;-)
Cachoeira has also another mysterious link : it’s Candomble religion.
It is an Afro-Brazilian religion, practiced chiefly in Brazil by the "povo de santo" (people of saint). It originated in the cities of Salvador and Cachoeira, at the time one of the main commercial crossroads for the distribution of products and slave trade to other parts of Bahia state in Brazil.
This religion is based on the anima (soul) of Nature, also known as Animism.
It was developed in Brazil with the knowledge of African Priests that were enslaved and brought to Brazil, together with their mythology, their culture and language, between 1549 and 1888.
The rituals involve the possession of the initiated by Orishas, offerings and sacrifices of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdom, healing, trance and percussion.
Candomblé draws inspiration from a variety of people of the African Diaspora, but it mainly features aspects of Yoruba orisha veneration.
Once a year (February) there is the very emotional “Festa de Iemanja” (February), goddess of water, don’t miss it !
Brazilians enjoy many versions of moquecas, or stews, from different regions of the country. The most known version of fish stew is the 'moqueca de peixe' typical for Bahia, and is fish prepared with coconut milk and palm oil. Served with rice, farofa de dendê, and pirão (a typical sauce). Palm oil (dende oil) adds a special authentic flavor to this dish.