Enjoy the Carnival of Carnivals,
biggest Carnival on earth
in Salvador Bahia [Brazil]
Salvador Carnival is "The World's Largest Party".
No other popular party in the world is more famous
than Salvador Carnival in Bahia Brazil.
It is an explosion of happiness you’ve certainly never
seen before. The Carnival happens in every city of the country,
but no other city in Brazil has a carnival as
the Salvador Carnival. We know that this may sound
strange to foreigners who always ask:
“what about Rio?” No doubt, the carnival parade in Rio
is maybe the most beautiful spectacle in the world,
but if you are looking for real fun, the Salvador Carnival
is the place to go.
Salvador Carnival is different and bigger.
If in Rio you are a spectator of the parade,
in the Salvador Carnival you are the show.
If in Rio the carnival parades are done in two days,
the Salvador Carnival last one week!!!
Carnival in Rio parade is just 700 meters of closed streets
while SALVADOR CARNIVAL in Bahia takes kilometers
of open streets.
Salvador Carnival, or Carnaval (as it's spelled in Portuguese)
always starts on a Thursday
and it runs "officially" through Tuesday.
Unofficially, Salvador Carnival ends on Wednesday noon,
with a big parade until wednesday noon.
It is not a coincidence that thousands
of Brazilians move to Salvador every carnival.
Let us try to explain how the things occur.
Instead of the famous parade of Samba Schools
with those wonderful fantasies that most of the people
know, Salvador Carnival happen
“behind the Trio Eletrico”.
THE SALVADOR CARNIVAL WAY:
Roughly speaking, the Trio Elétrico is a
big truck, driven very slowly, loaded with thousands
of watts of sound equipments and with a band playing on
the top. Surrounding the truck, there is a big
rope carried by hundreds of security guards.
This structure is organized by a private company,
Each Bloco sells a different T-shirt called
“Abadá”. This T-shirt is your entrance ticket
and allows you to get inside the rope area.
The biggest Blocos, like the Camaleão, have over
four thousand people, dancing, drinking,
kissing and having fun during Salvador Carnival.
The people who aren't in blocos, and
therefore are outside of the rope areas
around the trios, are called "Pipoca".
Inside the rope the security is good and the
situation is reasonably organized,
what cannot be said at the “Pipoca”.
SALVADOR CARNIVAL ACCOMMODATIONS
We recommend you to book your Salvador Carnival accommodation in advance.
Forget about reasonable pricing and international standards,
instead, think about offer and demand.
Salvador is a 3 million city, and in just one week of Salvador Carnival
1 million people gathered to enjoy the party.
So this is it about Salvador Carnival accommodation prices.
Logically, the closer you stay from the two Salvador Carnival parade areas
the more expensive the accommodation. But the impact of 1 million people
makes every single place become expensive.
No matter your choice, you are basically paying not for the accommodation itself
but for attending the biggest party on earth!.
SALVADOR CARNIVAL HOTELS & POUSADAS
You can find these kind of accommodations
from BRL 5000 to 8000 a week for two people.
The difference depends on the hotel location and facilities.
Be aware that "attendance" isn't one of the attractions in Salvador Bahia Hotels, so relax.
SALVADOR CARNIVAL GUESTHOUSES & HOSTELS
These are the best cost-effective accommodation in Salvador Carnival,
Either if you don't mind to share a room or if you're coming in a group of 4+
each dolar will give you more satisfaction in these kind of places. Why?
Because Salvador is still away from tourism international standards
so the more you spend on an accommodation the more you'll complain about it.
From the fancy guesthouses and hostels run by foreigners
to the cheap (an usually ugly) places to stay
prices range from BRL 1000 to BRL 2000 per person for the week,
depending on location and facilities.
There are only few guesthouses and hostels, maybe just three,
that can offer good attendance in foreign languages
together with nice decoration, facilities and great mood.
Putting together price with accommodation, we recommend:
To find Hostels and Guesthouses in Salvador Bahia
we recommend these guides that have realistic ratings about places:
SALVADOR CARNIVAL APARTMENTS
Apartments are a great chance for groups, although
you have to be careful from who you rent the apartment.
A nice full equiped apartment for six people, walking distance to the beach and the carnival
cost around BRL 8,000, but If you want something oceanfront with direct view to the carnival parade
be prepared to pay something above BRL 14,000.
Logically price also depends on how you want to share the apartment,
weather you want to stay two people in a room or more.
There are also guesthouses and realtors offering shared apartments
what is also a good chance for couples or small groups
who prefer the privacy of an apartment instead of a shared room
on a hostel. The point with apartments is this: Carnival has two parades,
one takes place on a very unsafe and ugly neighborhood,
(forget about accommodations in the "Avenida - Centro" area)
the other takes places in Barra - Ondina, fine and safe areas.
So it's simply a matter of availability. Consider that two thirds
of apartments offered are occupied by families who agree to
rent their places during Carnival, so this is another issue
that makes prices increase, since these families have to pay
for their accommodation somewhere else.
That is why the sooner you book the better the price.
Considering price and trustability we recommend:
SALVADOR CARNIVAL PARADES & ABADAS
One tip, if you want to go to Salvador Carnival
don’t think about saving money not buying the Abadás!
It is absolutely necessary.
Other good option is buying an abadá for a
“Camarote” (a kind of balcony along the parade route)
from which you can watch the trios and whenever jump
into the street when you feel like.
The most famous Blocos, but not necesarily the best,
are "Timbalada", "Crocodilo" led by Daniela Mercury
and the traditional afro group "Olodum".
The party normally last for 1 week.
There are two main parade routes where the Trios (trucks) pass
through. One close to the old district and another by the beach (Barra).
Each Trio plays for 3 days on each parade. You can by "abadás"
for all these days, or just for one day.
If you want, you can also mix different Trios, that is
the alternative to see everything the Salvador Carnival
You can also buy "abadás" for the Camarote (balconies),
an option for those who want to have fun without getting
into the messy crowd.
This also provides a great view from the party, free drinks
and a dj ambience.
Just remember that it is not so safe and comfortable
(for the first timers) to stay at the “Pipoca”,
so we advice you to buy an "abadá".
Another traditional aspect of the Salvador Carnival
are the Afro blocos, that are important agents for the
resurgence of African-Brazilian identity
and play a major role in social development and educational programs.
The blocos Ile-Ayê, Cortejo Afro and Muzenza are among them.
So the are Carnival parades:
1. Barra parade
2. Avenida (Campo Grande) parade
3. Pelourinho unpluged parade
1. Barra parade
The trios start at the Farol da Barra (the light tower)
and go along the ocean until Ondina.
The course takes about three hours.
Nowadays there is a tendency for the bigger names to play on this parade.
2. Avenida (Campo Grande) parade
The trios move from Campo Grande, by the Avenida Sete de Setembro
to Praça Castro Alves.
3. Pelourinho unpluged parade
It has been added in the last years
No trios here, rather a lot of old-time marching bands.
SALVADOR CARNIVAL TRIOS / BLOCOS
From the musical point of view we recommend these Trios:
Olodum, Cortejo Afro, Araketu and Daniela Mercury.
Salvador Carnival is heavily policed, specially in Barra.
Stands with five or six seated police
officers are everywhere and the streets are constantly patrolled
by police groups moving in single file usually arriving quickly to break up into any incident.
How to avoid being robbed during Salvador Carnival
The words "Land of Happiness" are often used to describe Bahia.
While there is a strong element of truth in this, the reality
is a little more complicated.
The larger truth of the matter is that you are in a poor city with plenty
of inhabitants who would happily try to by their food and drink
by "pickpocketing" in an often unsubtle manner,
i.e. hands jammed into your pockets.
How to avoid this? One way is to stay out of and away from the pipoca
(the Carnival open crowds) the name comes from people jumping up and down
like popcorn popping to the music rhythm).
But who wants to come all the way to Bahia and do this?
Tie your keys into your shoelaces and keep your money stuffed into your sock.
Better yet: keep your money either in an inside pocket or in a change purse attached by a strong safety pin, to the inside of your Carnival shorts.
Better yet: do the former using gym pants with no outside pockets at all.
MORE SALVADOR CARNIVAL IMAGES + VIDEOS
SALVADOR CARNIVAL RECOMMENDATIONS
Carnival Room Accommodations:
Carnival Passes (Abadás)
+ Cortejo Afro
+ Daniela Mercury
|Salvador Carnival parades|
|Salvador Carnival trios|
|Salvador Carnival crowds|
|Salvador Carnival blocos|
|Salvador Carnival abadas|
|Salvador Carnival accommodations|
|Salvador Carnival start|
|Salvador Carnival camarote|
|Salvador Carnival streets|
|Salvador Carnival hotels|
|Salvador Carnival apartments|
|Salvador Carnival people|
|Salvador Carnival area|
|Salvador Carnival barra|
|Salvador Carnival avenida|
|Salvador Carnival pelourinho|
|Salvador Carnival bands|
|Salvador Carnival passes|