The northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia boasts 685 miles of coastline and is the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture. On crowd-free beaches from Natal to Maceio, swim, snorkel, or insinuate yourself into beach soccer games by day, and by night enjoy demonstrations of the region’s famous hybrid creations—samba and the martial art capoeira. Start at local’s favorite Busca Vida in the 16th century city of Salvador. For a little action, head to the surf town of Itacare. For seclusion, and Brazil’s best diving, head to the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, a little-known marine sanctuary 200 miles offshore.