SALVADOR CARNIVAL 2011 IN BAHIA
Enjoy the Carnival of Carnivals,
the biggest Carnival on earth, from Mar3 to Mar8, 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 street
while SALVADOR CARNIVAL in Bahia takes kilometers
Salvador Carnival, or Carnaval (as it's spelled in Portuguese)
always starts on a Thursday (february)
and it runs "officially" through Tuesday.
Unofficially, Salvador Carnival ends on Wednesday noon,
with a big parade of Timbalada and other trios.
It is not a coincidence that thousands
of Brazilians move to Salvador every February.
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 you entrance ticket
and allows you to get into 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 roped-off 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 ACCOMODATIONS
We recommend you to book your Salvador Carnival accomodation 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 accomodation prices.
Logically, the closer you stay from the two Salvador carnival parade areas
the more expensive the accomodation. But the impact of 1 million people
makes every single place become expensive.
No matter your choice, you are basically paying not for the accomodation itself
but for attending the biggest party on earth!.
SALVADOR CARNIVAL HOTELS
You can find accomodations for the Carnival week on a private double room from BRL 4000 to 6000.
The difference depends on the location and facilities.
Be aware that "attendance" isn't one of the attractions in Salvador Bahia Hotels, so relax.
SALVADOR CARNIVAL POUSADAS, GUESTHOUSES & HOSTELS
These are probably the best cost-effective accomodation 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
and many of these small places are managed by their owners
so you hav the chance to find a better attendance.
From the fancy guesthouses and hostels ran by foreigners
to the cheap (an usually ugly) places to stay
prices range from BRL800 to 1600 per person for a week,
again depending on location and facilities.
TIP: Although the area of "Pelourinho" have the cheapest prices for carnival
try to avoid staying there, it is too dangerous at night because is sorrounded by ghetos.
Besides, is far away of the beaches and since this is a walking area where cars are not allowed,
you'll have to walk a mile to get in and out and find some transportation
(this is particularly annoying when you come back at night exausted and probably drunk).
We recommend to stay in Barra area, the safest place, sorrounded by beaches,
and very comfortable with everything you may need at few steps, including transportation.
There are only few guesthouses/hostels,
that can offer good attendance in foregin languages
together with nice decoration, facilities and nice ambience.
To find Hostels and Guesthouses in Salvador Bahia
we recommend these guides that have realistic ratings about places which you can trust:
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 with three bedrooms for six/eight people, walking distance to the beach and the carnival
cost around BRL7500. You can find oceanfront three bedroom apartments for a bit more,
but those with a Carnival front view cost really a fortune!.
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 realtors and other places offering shared apartments
what is also a good chance for couples or small groups
who prefer the privacy of an apartment.
The point with apartments is this: Carnival has two parades,
one takes place on a very unsafe and ugly neighborhood,
(forget about accomodations 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 available apartments are occupied by families who agree to
rent their places during Carnival, so this is another issue
that makes prices jump so high, since these families have to pay
for their accomodation somewhere else. When looking for a Carnival
front view apartment it gets even harder since less than 1% of available
places are Carnival front.
This is why the sooner you book the better the deal.
Considering price and trustability we recommend:
SALVADOR CARNIVAL PARADES & ABADAS
TIP: if you want to go to Salvador Carnival
don’t think about saving money not buying "Abadás",
they are absolutely necessary and worth the price!
either to parade with the bands or staying
in a "Camarote", a kind of balcony or tribune along the parade route
from where you can watch the bands and when you feel like
jump into the streets with the real crowd.
Lets get familiar with some Carnival terms:
The bands play on top of huge trucks called "Trios".
The "Blocos" are organizations who can manage one or more Trios.
Sometimes, one artist or band plays in different Trios or Blocos.
The most famous bands (Trios), but not necessarily the best,
are Camaleão where Chiclete com Banana plays,
Crocodilo with Daniela Mercury, Olodum
The party normally last for one week, until wednesday noon (March 9th).
The Salvador Carnival starts around 4pm, an earlier on Saturday and Sunday.
There are two Carnival Parade routes where the bands play.
One close to the old district of "Pelourinho" and
another by the beach in Barra.
Each Trio plays almost every day in one of these routes.
You can by an "abadá" or a "camarote" for each day.
If you want, you can also try different Trios on the same day,
with the alternative to see everything the Salvador Carnival
has to offer.
In some camarotes you can have free drinks
and a dj ambience, having fun without getting too
tired. It also provides a great view of the party.
Just remember that it is not so safe and comfortable
(for the first timers) to stay on the streets as "Pipoca" (which means popcorn).
If you want to bring your camera we recommend to buy an abadá or a camarote.
Another traditional aspect of the Salvador Carnival
are the Afro blocos, important cultural agents for the
resurgence of African-Brazilian identity.
The most famous are the Ile-Ayê and Filhos de Gandhi
(Gandhi’s Sons), over 5000 men, all wearing white/blue
dresses and turbans.
So far, these are the parades during the Salvador Carnival:
1. Barra, starting at the light tower by the beach
2. Avenida, starting at Campo Grande square
3. Pelourinho, a small unpluged parade
1. Barra parade
The Trios start at the Farol da Barra (the light tower)
and go along the ocean to Ondina.
The course takes about three hours.
Nowadays there is a tendency for the bigger names to play on this parade.
2. Avenida parade
Salvador Carnival's official opening is at Campo Grande,
and this is where the political bigshots sit
and where the Salvador Carnival contest of blocos takes place.
The Trios move from Campo Grande by the Avenida Sete de Setembro
to Praça Castro Alves.
From there they turn around and make their way back to Campo Grande
by Rua Carlos Gomes, parallel to Avenida Sete.
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 the following Trios:
Olodum, Araketu, Tatau, Claudia Leite, Timbalada, Daniela Mercury and Psirico.
Salvador Carnival is heavily policed, specially in Barra.
Stands with a group of ten police
officers are everywhere and the streets are constantly patrolled
by these groups, moving in a single line and usually arriving quickly at 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
(as in the cast of most things we learn) 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 finance their own Carnival happiness at your expense.
This means "pickpocketing" in an often grossly unsubtle manner,
i.e. hands jammed into your pockets with no pretense at all made to disguise
the fact that somebody is trying to relieve you of your money.
How to avoid this? One way is to stay out of and away from the heavy crowd called "pipoca",
where is basically impossible to avoid pickpocketing.
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: use gym pants with no outside pockets at all.
MORE SALVADOR CARNIVAL IMAGES + VIDEOS
SALVADOR CARNIVAL RECOMMENDATIONS
Salvador Carnival Budget Accomodations:
Carnival Passes (Abadás)
+ Claudia Leite
+ Daniela Mercury
|Salvador Carnival parades|
|Salvador Carnival trios|
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|Salvador Carnival abadas|
|Salvador Carnival accomodations|
|Salvador Carnival start|
|Salvador Carnival camarote|
|Salvador Carnival streets|
|Salvador Carnival hotels|
|Salvador Carnival apartments|
|Salvador Carnival people|
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|Salvador Carnival pelourinho|
|Salvador Carnival bands|
|Salvador Carnival passes|