Porto da Barra is a cool place for mixing with the locals. If you want to really experience Bahian happiness, I suggest spending a day on the beach here, away from the more touristy areas. Look for the "shrimp" man. He walks up and down the beach peddling the best camarou (sp?) in lime juice. Christmas Eve 2012 sitting on the beach at Porto da Barra eating fried fish, drinking caprinha and enjoying a beautiful sunset in 90 degree weather is one of my favorite memories. Try it; you'll like it!
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