The most popular destination in southern Bahia is the resort area around PORTO SEGURO , where Cabral "discovered" Brazil in 1500. Founded in 1526, it has some claim to being the oldest town in Brazil, and buildings still survive from that period.
In 1500 Pedro Alvares Cabral and his men, alerted to the presence of land by the changing colour of the sea and the appearance of land birds, finally saw a mountain on the horizon, which must have been Monte Páscoal, to the south of Porto Seguro. First landfall was made on a beach to the north of Porto Seguro; the anchorage was probably the cove where the village of Santa Cruz de Cabrália now stands. Local Indians were friendly at first, though they might have been better advised, since Cabral claimed the land for the Portuguese king, thus beginning over three centuries of colonial rule.
Porto Seguro is now about as far as you can get from pre-colonial tranquillity. It's become one of the biggest holiday resorts in Brazil, and heaves with tourists throughout the year, reaching saturation point at New Year and Carnaval. You may enjoy yourself here if your main interest is nightlife – but you've got to like crowds and not expect much peace and quiet. All the same, Porto Seguro has somehow managed to retain its reputation as a fairly classy destination.