Introduction

The Recôncavo, a region of green, fertile lands surrounding the Baía de Todos os Santos, brought riches to Salvador (and the Portuguese crown) with its sugar and tobacco crops. The profits reaped off these lands also spurred the growth of once-rich towns like Cachoeira.

Cachoeira, affectionately known as the jewel of the Recôncavo, is a sleepy place, full of colorful, mostly preserved colonial architecture uncompromised by the presence of modern buildings. The town sits below a series of hills, strung along the banks of the Rio Paraguaçu across from its twin, São Félix – the two towns are connected by a striking British-built bridge divided for cars and pedestrians. A steady trickle of tourism flows through the area, attracted by Brazil’s best tobacco, its reputation as a renowned center of Candomblé (a Bahian religious tradition) and a strong wood-sculpting tradition.