The Northeast Region of Brazil (Portuguese: Região Nordeste do Brasil) is composed of the following states: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia, and it represents 18.26% of the Brazilian territory.
The Northeast Region has a population of 53.6 million people, which represents 28% of the total number in the whole country. Most of the population lives in urban areas and about 15 million people live in the sertão. It is famous in Brazil for its hot weather, beautiful beaches, rich culture (unique folklore, music, cuisine, literature), Carnival and St. John's festivities, the sertão and being the birthplace of the country.
The biggest cities are Salvador, Fortaleza and Recife, which are the regional metropolitan areas of the Northeast, all with a population above a million inhabitants and metropolitan areas above 3.5 million.
Salvador International Airport, Recife International Airport and Fortaleza International Airport connects the Northeast region with major Brazilian cities, operates international flights to the U.S. and Europe and some international chartered flights. The Nordeste, according to Infraero, has the second largest number of passengers (roughly 20%) in Brazil.
Salvador (Portuguese pronunciation: [sawvaˈdoʁ], Saviour; historic name: São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, in English: "City of the Holy Saviour of the Bay of all Saints") is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the Americas. For a long time, it was simply known as Bahia, and appears under that name (or as Salvador da Bahia, Salvador of Bahia so as to differentiate it from other Brazilian cities of the same name) on many maps and books from before the mid-20th century. Salvador is the third most populous Brazilian city, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The metropolitan area of the city, with 3.5 million of people, however, is the seventh most populous Brazilian urban agglomeration, and the third in Brazilian Northeast Region.
The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in Brazil's Northeast. The African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture. This reflects a situation in which African-associated cultural practices are celebrated. The historical centre of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture with historical monuments dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.