3 ways to "live the Carnbaval
Carnaval Tips
Official Advise
Salvador Carnaval is a pre-Lenten affair, beginning the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and runs through Ash Wednesday led by Carlinos Brown and timbalado
See Dating Carnaval for future dates

3 ways
 to "live"
the carnaval

Some say that Rio's got the most amazing carnival. If you consider the costumes, then I'd agree. But the party is DEFINITELY in Salvador.  It's the best party you'll ever have. There are 3 ways to "live" Salvador's carnival. These are my recommendations. 1. BLOCO (the safest and most wild): a bloco consists of 2 trucks and a whole bunch of people. In the first truck there will be a band playing. In the second truck, a bar and bathrooms. And the people, all around the trucks. The thing is that they travel all around town, dancing. You've got to pay the fee (usually a 3-day fee or a 6-day fee) and you can wear their uniform. This is the safest way to experience the Carnival.
2. CAMAROTES: These are parties overlooking the streets where the blocos pass on. They're more expensive, and boring. They have this cocktail first, then they'll spend hours watching the blocos pass by, dancing at their rhythm, and then there will be a private party. Quite safe, and more expensive than blocos. Recommended for people that don't want to party a lot, and for the ones that get tired easily. Not for me.
 3. STREET: You can always watch the blocos go by behind the cordeiros [ropes]. It's quite crowded and quite dangerous. Most of the poor people don't have access to pay the bloco fee, so they party outside. If they see that you're a tourist, they'll probably try to steal something from you. Anyway, after the whole walk, the bloco leaves, and you'll end up in the street. But everyone else will do the same, so it'll be safer. By the time the bloco gets to the end, you'll be wasted, so all you want will be a bed
by IIGUANA on Nov-2003 at virtualTourist

The largest street carnival on Earth is held in Salvador Bahia, the ?Land of Happiness? and  gateway to the tropical north east coast of Brazil.
Brazil Carnaval portals on world's greatest street party:

Considered the most African city in the Western Hemisphere,

 Salvador is a 450 year old city of many stories and contrasts. As the former capital of Brazil nearly all the mainly Yorub? speaking West Africans  slaves were first brought to this City. Today over 80% of the City has African blood and the City celebrates African culture in its food music dance and of course its festivals.

The famous historic Pelourinho section of Salvador restricts amplified music but there will still be an abundance of polyrhythms rhythms here either from the radio or percussion. This is where the many old cathedrals and museums are located; a remnant of Salvador?s role as the gold, sugar and political capital of Brazil. It was named after the stockade where slaves were once punished and ridiculed On the sidewalks artists work in bright bold colors. 

Some TIPS to enjoy 7 days with no trouble:

1) Join a bloco, its the simplest and best way to enjoy the Carnaval. When your not joining your bloco, wear and comfortable clothes and a cap you won't mind losing to the huge crowds

2) Good shoes like tennis shoes are important to making your Carnaval last.

3 Wear sun protector cream during the day.

4) Give preference to light food, salads, fruits, fish and chicken meat at meals. Street food is part of Carnaval but show some discretion and avoid the stand if you think it is  unhygienic or concerned about the origin .

5) Drink lots of mineral water

6) Careful about valuables: Don't wear a watch or jewelry and don't use unsecured accessible  pockets. Be careful about valuable cameras, consider using a disposable camera.  Bring your money in a small bag under the shirt or stuff in a sock. Keep your keys in a secure pocket not easily picked.

7) Avoid arguments.

8) Children must bear identification: name, address and telephone number. They must join carnival only at specific points or during children blocos parades.

9. Carry ID and the address of where you are staying and perhaps the address where you wish to go

Joining a bloco is one of the safest options for the tourist who is at Carnival for the first time. The other one is watching the party from one of the boxes (camarotes) installed at Barra, Ondina and Campo Grande. At Pelourinho, you find the most calm Carnival with no amplified sound You can get there by car, with no problems, via Barbalho, and park easily at Largo do Carmo.


Foods feature the dend? (palm oil) which is also to be found on the West Africa by the name acar?. The berimbau is a symbol of Salvador, shaped like a bow, it is the instrument that forms the rhythm for the mesmerizing capoeira dance/martial art which is now taught all over the world but began here. The predominant influence is the Candombl?, the worshipping of the ancestral deities or orix?'s (orish? ) from Africa where each deity represents an element of nature. The mystical undertones also inform the Ax? (pronounced ah-SHAY) Carnival.

The City sets aside fifteen miles of streets on three circuits for six days of parades. Led by million dollar moving stages called trio electricos carrying well known bands playing the most popular songs of the season, thousands will come together while entertaining over 800,000 visitors. Each band hopes thousands will buy their abadas (large colorful shirts) and parade inside the ropes with them. The Carnival lies at the very heart of Brazilian identity where coming together in collective pandemonium is an emblem of the nation. The obsession with Carnival supports a huge industry of fun and helps Bahia maintain its reputation as the musical capital of Brazil. 

Axe Carnival is the most popular Carnival form today in Brazil with many Cities importing t it year round for their own major festivals. An off season carnival in Brazil is called a Micareta and Bahia?s 2nd largest City Feira de Santana holds one of the largest. Bahia has other major pre-Lenten carnival destinations Porto Seguro, Ilheus, and Itabunand.

The third greatest Carnival in Brazil is also in the Northeast in Recife-Olinda but while it has a strong Ax? side to it is best known as forr? (for ?all) Carnival which refers to a frenetic dance step guaranteed to get your blood racing. Salvador Carnaval for many years has been the first to sell out, making Recife an attractive option for late bookers. Carnaval.com has an extensive guide for Recife Carnaval at www.carnaval.com/recife/carnaval

The early nineties the visionary governor of Bahia Antonio Carlos Magalhaes (ACM) made of Tourism it's main priority through major investments in infrastructure. Today the current Salvador Mayor Antonio Imbassahy is again taking big steps to turn Salvador into one of the world's greatest tourist attractions. Salvador's International airport is expanding to triple its size, a 20 berth cruise ship terminal is being built as is the city's first subway system. By 2003 all of Salvador will be enjoying treated water and a complete sewer system which will allow the now much improved All Saints Bay to be certified as environmentally safe.



Congratulations to the Carnival of Salvador, Bahia on being recognized by the Guinness Book of Records 2005 as the biggest street party on the planet. Each year, two million people will jump up in the streets of Salvador during the six days of this great folia [party], including more than 800,000 tourists who enjoy themselves behind 100 electric trios and carnavalescas bands. Acording to Guinness Records, the bahian Carnaval invades 26km of streets and avenues, generating US $254,000,000 in business.

Return to Salvador Carnaval page   [F] Salvador, Bahia in aforum
To Carnaval Main Page (restores frame menu)

Olodum, Salvador's internationally famous ambassadors of Samba-reggae can often be found performing in the Pelourinho on Tuesday nights. Their group is easy to join through their retail outlet and attracts many international visitors

Axe is also a popular greeting best-understood as meaning ?may the force be with you.? 

the pipoca  its best to not mingle too much with these thick spectator crowds who are named after popcorn because of their habit of being tightly crunched together jumping up and down to the music. This is a good way to find hands in your pocket checking to see if you were careful about where you kept your money and ID.

Official Advice from the Carnaval regarding:
 Security and health's advices

? Take with you enough money to spend the whole day or night;
? Take with you an identity or an authenticated document;
? It is important to take notes about the address of the place you are as a guest and the telephone number for contact;
? Leave jewels and expensive objectives in the place you are as a guest;
? Use comfortable sneakers. We advise you not to use sandals;
? We advise you to go out in groups;
? We advise you not to leave the carnival block during their course;
? If you need to cross the street during the course of the carnival block, wait in a safe place until the song is over or the eletric trio passes by you;
? Do not take expensive cameras with you;
? We advise you not to use bags or purses during the event;
? We advise you not to take cell phones with you. It is better to buy phone cards and use the public telephones;
? Before going out to the streets, combine a place to meet the whole group in the end of the day or night;
? Do not drink if you are driving;
? Take care about the sun. Protect yourself;
? Eat light foods;
? Drink a lot of mineral water;


Brazil Carnaval portals on world's greatest street party:
official Salvador Carnaval web sites: carnaval.salvador.ba.gov.br/ || Portugu?s || Espanhol ||Ingl?s || To English by google
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