The route then takes you through a number of the region’s state capitals: Fortaleza, Recife, Maceió, Natal, João Pessoa, and Aracaju, as you start to snake south towards your final destination, the amazing city of Salvador.
Usually overlooked by foreign travelers, Fortaleza is one of the biggest cities of the country and is made absolutely gorgeous by its party atmosphere and idyllic beaches.
The pretty José de Alencar theatre is worth seeing, with its Art Nouveau décor dating back to the 1910s. Then you should have a night out around Praia do Iracema, which is one of the north-east’s most happening spots once the sun goes down.
The next major destination will be Natal, located on Brazil’s north-eastern tip and the capital city of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. The city itself doesn’t have much going for it, but the surrounding region makes Natal a must on any north-east road trip.
Before making it into the city itself, you will pass the lovely coastal locations of Galinhos, São Miguel do Gostoso and Genipabu, all of which are worth a stop. While most of the towns and cities on the journey so far have an overwhelmingly relaxed and chilled-out atmosphere, Recife is decidedly more urban and as such has great character and culture.
In Recife, the suburb of Boa Viagem is the most popular destination for tourists with its excellent nightlife and restaurants. Just don’t go into the water, as Boa Viagem’s beaches are notorious for shark attacks.
The last stop on the journey is Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia. Salvador is arguably the most African city outside of Africa, and is a rare example of a South American city where the culture of black slaves has been so well preserved and celebrated.
If after all that, you are still looking to go a bit further, head to the southern parts of Bahia state to visit the towns of Ilheus and Porto Seguro, which are also worth a visit. It takes you around 40 hours of driving for the entire trip, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy your stopovers.