Travel to Carnival Salvador

(x0)  | By: Jasminy | 5,628 Views | 7 Replies

Hi

We are a group of four girls were planning on traveling to Carnival in Brazil. We have been doing our research and crossed out Rio because we heard about how dangerous it is. Right now we are trying to figure out if we should go to Salvador.

From my understanding, its relatively non dangerous throughout the year - but we are concerned with the crime levels during Carnival. We all want to go to Brazil and experience Carnival - but do NOT want to be worrying/panicking 24/7 about being robbed/groped/god knows what else. We are fine with being cautious and dealing with minor theft, but from what we heard about Rio, it was just HORRIBLE.

So basically what I would love to know is:

1. Is Salvador safe during Carnival?
2. If traveling to Brazil during Carnival, what other locations would you travel to other than Recife/Rio/Salvador?
3. Do you think that it is worth going to Carnival in Brazil if we do not go to Recife/Rio/Salvador?

Thanks SO much!

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May

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Hi Jasminy,

I went to Rio over the winter holidays about a year and a half ago. I wouldn't say it was HORIBBLE, and i wasn't worried non-stop, but i was also traveling with a male. I would probably not go by myself or with just other females, especially during a time as busy as Carnival. I was not impressed with Recife at all. I felt it was rather run down and dirty and definitely thought it could have been skipped on my trip. I spent New Years eve in the Costa de Saupe. They have a lot of all-inclusive or semi inclusive resorts and had a huge party with free food and drinks, music, fireworks, etc.

You might want to check into something like this if you are interested in being there during the time of Carnival but not being in something too overwhelming. I think though, that to be honest part of going to Rio or one of the other cities during this time is the busy, crazy atmosphere, complete with crowds, lots of partying and unfortunately, you are going to get the negative affects as described in Salvador above. It's kind of like going to NY on New Years or New Orleans for Mardi Gras - it somewhat "comes with the territory". This is why we chose to do New Years Eve on the Costa de Saupe in the all-inclusive resorts instead of in one of the bigger cities. It was still a great party but a little tamer than what we'd get in the city.

May

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Ian Vue

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I also had a great time at the Rio Carnival last year.
In the street parties there are pickpockets - don't take anything you can't afford to lose, and you might get grabbed by an over-enthusiastic partier - but no worse than most clubs I've been to.

I've heard the carnival in Salvador is a whole different affair though - more or less a free love festival - with the street parties being roped off in areas close to the music, no where to use the bathroom, really high prices.

But in Rio - the Sambadrome is incredible can be expensive if you don't have a local friend (agencies inflate the tickets) - and during the rest of your time there the street parties "blocos" are free.

Accommodation is probably the biggest problem during the carnival period - book early with either a hostel or apartment. You'll pay 1400 BR (about $700) for a week in a hostel - or 4000 BR for an apartment.

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Alibaba

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I spent my time for carnaval in Rio 2008 and had an absolute ball.

I would have to say that the sambadrome is unbelieveable and wouldn't change my decision for the world. I met up with some people who spend Carnaval in Salvador and said that they had hands in their pockets at least 3 times during the street parades, although they also had heaps of fun. It depends on what you are in to.
Safety is fine as long as you are smart, Keep an eye on your valuables, but I find most people get a bit excited over safety especially when a South American country is mentioned, and the fear just builds from there. I felt a bit like you before I went, but completely changed my mind when i got there, not everyone on the street is a drug dealing, knife yielding, gringo hater!
Loads of hostels have deals going on aroud carnaval time, so do some surfing! If u need any recomendations let me know.
If you want a fun Carnaval, try Olinda (near recife) If i went back, i'd go there for sure.

I am jealous of you ladies !

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beck

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I have lived in Rio in 2004.
I went to both carnivals Rio & Salvador, and LOVED them!
Security suggestion: wear a money belt for your cash, like the locals do.
Take R$50 emergency money for a cab home just in case in your bra or socks.
Leave digi cam at home, take a disposable instead.

I actually found Salvador carnaval safer than Rio- HEAPS of cops everywhere. In the whole week long period only one person died. In the same period in Rio, I read in the paper that over 24 hours 12 people died in shootouts and brawls.
But as a traveller you don't need to worry about that: the worst that would happen is that you'd be pickpocketed or snogged against your will.

Salvador is a kissing fest - Me and my friends would have bets on the number of chicks we could kiss (I won kissed over 15 girls in one day) They sell antibacterial mouthspray for that reason.

If you think that would bother you, don't go ja ja !

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smith2010

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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, its poorest region. Over 80% of the population of metropolitan region of Salvador has Black African ancestry and yet residential segregation by race in Salvador is comparable to major U.S. cities like New York and Chicago.

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johnallinclusive

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Thanks for the info Ian Vue.


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bahia basix

Brazil Brazil
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Jasminy,

Safety in Salvador (as in every major city in the world) depends much on yourself.

Be discrete in every possible way, not showing bulky cameras, jewelry, overfull handbags, etc
Certainly during Carnival !
I suggest you just take the necessary money (divided over several pockets, even your bra) for the day and if you must a small cheap camera or cellphone with camera, and you'll be safe, no need to be paranoid ;-)

If you want to know something specific about Salvador or Bahia just PM me or contact me via my site, I am living here since many years and enjoying every bit of it

Greetz from the tropIX of Salvador da Bahia

Ivan Bahia Guide


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