When you’re through wandering around Cachoeira, cross the rickety British-built wooden bridge that leads across the river to the town of São Félix. Aside from some attractive pastel-colored riverfront buildings, the main interest of São Félix is the Centro Cultural Dannemann (Av. Salvador Pinto 29, tel. 75/3425-2208, www.centroculturaldannemann.com.br, 8 a.m.–noon and 1–4:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat., 1–4 p.m. Sun.), a warehouse that has been converted into a contemporary art center.
Aside from interesting temporary shows, the center hosts the prestigious Bienal do Recôncavo every second November (in even-numbered years).
Famed throughout the world for its fine cigars, Dannemann still produces its heavily perfumed smokes on the premises. To catch a glimpse—and a whiff—of the process, make your way to the rear of the building where women dressed in white sit at ancient wooden tables, rolling cigars as if it were still 1873. Even if you don’t inhale yourself, you might want to buy a few to take home as the ultimate gift for the smokers in your life.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition