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Question
Hello, I am looking to take my family to Brazil but would prefer the countryside or better said the rural part but with easy access to a town or city.  I am especially interested in exploring Bahia because of my West African background.  Where do you think I could possibly go with my family?

Answer
Well, I wish that I had asked your question before I moved to Brazil 10 years ago!
The part about "easy access to a town or city" is absolutely critical. There are hundreds of wonderful rural areas in Bahia, but most of them are an hour or more from a "town", and unless you are a genuine pioneer, your patience will be sorely taxed by the absence of the civilized infrastructure you are probably accustomed to -- like reliable electricity, trash pick-up, foods more "exotic" than rice and beans,a dermatologist, someone who can fix a refrigerator, etc.

The key, however, is how you define "town or city". If you mean a true metropolis -- similar, say, to Sao Paulo, Rio, Chicago, Houston, etc. -- then you must find a community near Salvador. If you're thinking more of a city with around 50,000 inhabitants, then you could consider places near Victoria, Ilheus, etc. Most of these larger towns are on or near the ocean, and there's plenty of rural area nearby. Of course, you'll pay more than if you were truly out in the sticks, but it sounds like you're willing to pay a reasonable premium to have some modern conveniences nearby.

My advice? Make a scouting trip with Salvador as your base. Rent a car and drive north up the coast for a week, then a week to the south. You'll find many interesting possibilities.

Best of luck!
  Frank

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Frank

Expertise

Iím an American, retired, and have been living in Brazil for 8 years. (My wife is Brazilian.) I would be happy to answer questions related to the following: visiting and traveling within Brazil; living in Brazil (as an expat or retiree); Brazilian food/music/customs/traditions, etc; doing business in Brazil (except legal questions). Please note that I CANíT address legal-related topics, including questions on visas, passports, marriage to Brazilians, etc. (There are other, very qualified experts on this site who can do that.)

Experience

I worked in Brazil (for a multinational) for several years before retiring. I live in the south of Bahia in a small town on the coast, have lived and worked in Sao Paulo and have spent considerable time in Rio. Although Iím married to a Brazilian, I had to learn a lot of things the Ďhardí way about living in rural Brazil, and Iíd be especially happy to share that learning with anyone considering living here permanently.

Publications
I wrote the first professional home study course for the American Society of Travel Agents (but that was a few decades ago, and Iím sure itís long out of print!).

Education/Credentials
B.S., Education (Music); M.A., Hotel and Restaurant Management

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