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Carnival in Salvador - Articles Surfing

Deemed by some as the wildest street party on the face of the planet, Carnival in Salvador , Bahia is the place to be during those five crazy days in February or March . Different from the more spectator-oriented Carnival in Rio, Carnival in Salvador puts you in the middle of the music, the dancing, and the rhythms of the some of the most energetic bands in the world.

Once the center of sugar cane production and accompanying slave trade, Salvador, Bahia is Brazil's capital of African culture and Religion. Carnival is the time of year when this Afro-Brazilian culture truly shines, with every music group in the city, from traditional afro-percussion groups to more contemporary axe bands (axe is a modern mix of afoxe and other contemporary rhythms), performing day and night. Bands perform on enormous trucks (loaded with thousands of watts of sound) which crawl through one of three principal Carnival Routes. The trucks are called 'trios' because the first was a '29 Ford which carried a driver and two musicians, Dod' and Osmar (today the original car is in the museum at the Lagoa da Abaet' in Itapoan). In the years following the first trio's appearance in 1950, the bands stuck to the trio format, but have since evolved into a much more grandiose spectacle, complete with enormous bands, costumes, and dancing. All around the trucks is a roped off area called a 'bloco', a type of VIP area with security and refreshments. Outside the cord, usually deemed quite a bit more dangerous on account of the petty thieves and pickpockets, is where the 'pipoca', or popcorn (named for the synchronizing jumping of the crowd) dances and carries on. Another option is buying a ticket for one of the many 'camarotes', which are VIP lounges in hotels and restaurants along the carnival routes.

The Music

Carnival in Salvador offers so many options for different types and music, it can be a bit daunting. If axe music is what you are interested in, check out Margareth Menezes, Ivete Sangalo, Daniela Mercury, Timbalada, or Chiclete com Banana. For more traditional afro-percussion groups, Olodum, Ara Ketu, Muzenza, and Il' Aiy' are great options. For a look at some traditional samba, check out Terra Samba, and for a not-so-surprise visit by Brazil's Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil (also one of the most famous MPB artists and a leader in the Tropicalia movement), follow trio Expresso 2222.


DiscoverBrazil is proud to offer four different packages, each with different camarote and length of stay options. Please keep in mind that any of these packages can be customized to concord with your time and budget needs.

  • 8 day/7 night or 6 day/ 5 night stay at the Tropical Hotel da Bahia - This hotel is located in Campo Grande, the Carnaval's epicenter, and near Salvador's best attractions - the Historic Center, the Pelourinho, churches, shopping mall, theaters, the Mercado Modelo, and Porto da Barra. 5 nights pass for the exclusive Hotel Camarote (Feb 3-8) included in both packages.
  • 7 day/6 night stay at the Bahia Othon Palace Hotel. This hotel is located in Ondina, considered the best place to see the Bahian Carnaval parade. The Othon offers all the amenities of a five star hotel and an amazing ocean view. The only difference in these two packages is a choice of 4 or 6 nights in the Hotel Camarote.

An 'abada', a specific shirt needed to enter into one of the many blocos, is also available for a separate price. Please inquire. Price quoted is based on double occupancy. Flights are not included, but if you are interested in quotes for international or domestic flights, please contact one of our travel agents.

For more information and price quotes, contact one of our expert travel consultants:
From North America, call toll free: 1-800-495-8211
From all other locations: (55) (71) 3113-4206
Or, send us an email at customersupport@discoverbrazil.com

Submitted by:

Jason Blynn

Jason is a recent graduate of Amherst College, where he received a degree in Music and Political Science. He is currently living in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, working for Discover Brazil and enjoying the wonderful music and culture Bahia and the rest of Brazil have to offer.




Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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