Brazil is truly an exciting country, mainly known for football, but its sheering beauty is also popular around the world. It has won the rights to host the Football World Cup in 2014 recently and its national football team is one of the best in the world. But Brazil is not just about Football, it is known for its outdoor parties called Carnivals. When it comes to carnival then the first name that comes in mind is Salvador, capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. This is the place where the dance form Samba was born. As a matter of fact, Salvador was first capital of Brazil from 1549 to 1763. It is also most populous city in Brazil but the culture and heritage here is fascinating and attract visitors to explore this fabulous city.
The climate here is typically tropical and remains quite humid with wet conditions all year round. The driest months of the year are May, June and July and some amount of rainfall is also seen during these months. The weather remains hot most of the time and March is the warmest month. The weather is usually enjoyable but best time to visit Salvador is between February and June.
How to get here?
The Salvador’s Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhaes International Airport is one of the main airports of Brazil and receives flights from the main places of Europe, South America and United States. The city center is just 28 km from the airport and you can easily get Executive or Normal Taxi or minibuses from outside the airport. The minibuses depart every 20 minutes for downtown.
Accommodation and Food
There are a lot of hotels, hostels, apartments and villas all over the city with affordable prices. In luxury hotels list, there are Hotel villa Bahia, Hotel Casa Do Amarelindo, Hotel Villa Santo Antonio, Hotel Solar Do Carmo, Hotel Bahiamar and other which offer all the additional facilities you desire. If you are looking for budget hostels then Ambar Pousada E Hostel, hostel Galeria, Hostel Cobreu, Barra Guest Hostel are good options. In apartments, La Villa Francaise, Pousada, Terra Nossa and Apartmentos Da Carlotta are quite famous.
The cuisine of Bahia state is considered as best cuisine in Brazil and most of the restaurants here offer South American food but there are some restaurants with other specialties also. Most popular dish here is grilled bahia fish badejo and you can get it at most of the restaurants. You can also try some Abara, a wrap with bean paste, dende oil and onions cooked in a banana leaf. There are other options like Burger King, McDonald’s, Bistro Porto Sol, Companhia da Pizza, La Figa and many more.
The Street Carnival
The Carnival in Salvador can be classified as the biggest street party in the world because almost 2 million people participate in it every year. Barra/Ondina and Campo Grande are two parade areas in the Salvador Carnival. Both areas are 2km long and every twenty minutes, a new Trio starts its parade from any of these areas.
There are three things you can do in the carnival. First is called Pipoca, in which you can dance on the streets with the crowd. It is totally free and you can enjoy it to the core. Second is Camarote, in which you can watch the whole carnival from a fix cabin. You will be served with food and drinks in your cabin. It will cost you around 300-350 Euros per day. Third is Abada, in which you can dance inside a safety area and protected by bodyguards. For this, you will have to spend almost 400 Euros and wear a colorful t-shirt that will identify you as a member of the Trio. Whatever the history of this carnival festival is, this is surely hell of a fun.
The Pelourinho is actually an old historic center and can be described as a city within a city. It is located in the western zone of Salvador. It was the old slave auction location when slavery was common. The slavery was outlawed in 1835 and after that it became a popular tourist destination. It is registered with National Historic Register and named a world cultural center by UNESCO.
Chapada Diamantina National Park
Chapada Diamantina National Park, known as the Lost World, is one of the most visited natural parks of Brazil. It was established in 1985 is mainly known for its amazing variety of ecosystems like Cerrado, Mata Atlantica and Caatinga. The waterfall here catches most of the eyes because it is the highest fall in the country and known as Cachoeira da Fumaca. You will be amazed to see the caverns of Lapa Doce and Pratinha and the amazing hills of the Capao Valley with incredible blue waters of the Poco Encantado.
Arena Fonte Nova
Arena Fonte Nova is a football stadium, built in 1951, which has the seating capacity of almost 67000 people. It is located near Ltororo Dam and can be easily accessed by public transport. This stadium is also chosen as a one of the host spots for FIFA World Cup 2014. It will host six matches at 2014 World Cup, including one round of 16 matches and a quarter final. It also has 2100 premium seats and extra 1200 seats in 70 VIP boxes.
Surely, you now have loads of reasons to visit Brazil. There is much more to explore in this only city of its type. So, pack your bags and enjoy the carnival.