Salvador Carnival 2019 festival in

Salvador Carnival

The Best Carnival in Brazil?

Salvador Carnival 2019

Rio's Carnival is much the more famous, but those in the know will gently suggest that the best Carnival in Brazil is actually up in the north-east, at the huge street party that is the Salvador Carnival.

In contrast to the spectacular formal parades which are everyone's image of the Rio Carnival, Carnival in Salvador is a much more democratic affair which focuses on an enormous street party. 2019's Salvador Carnival will feature six different parade routes through the city but instead of elaborate costumes and massed ranks of drummers, you have lines of blocos or carnival groups which each have their own trio electrico (soundsystems mounted on articulated lorries) which snake their way through the streets, each accompanied by their 'abadas' or dancers. You can actually become an 'abada' by the simple act of buying the right tabard the day before, or like most people just stay as a 'pipoca' (popcorn!) and take your place in the crowded streets to dance the night away.

Because there's no Sambadrome/Street party split, you can just choose the bloco you want to follow, or try a different one every night. In general we recommend trying a different route every night so that you can see more of the city. It also means that there are no pricey Carnival tickets to buy, which makes Salvador Carnival a much more affordable proposition than Rio.

Carnival in Salvador also differs to Carnival in Rio in that the focus is not just solely on samba styles. Instead it features many Bahian styles of music such as Axé, the term given to artists from Salvador that make music based on north-eastern Brazilian, Caribbean and African rhythms with a pop-rock twist. Salvador Carnival also much more obviously celebrates its black history. In the 1880s the Bahian black population celebrated carnival by dancing and playing instruments in the street, this was looked down on by the ruling white elite. However, the black population defied the ban and the spirit of this lives on in Bahian carnival groups such as the Afoxês, who take inspiration from the African religion Candomblé.

Salvador Carnival Packages

If you'd like to experience the Salvador Carnival for yourself in 2019 then we'd be delighted to put together a carnival package for you. Everything we do is 100% tailor-made so if you want to include this as part of a longer trip to Brazil, that's fine, but we've also put together a holiday to focus on the 2019 Salvador Carnival. It's based on 6 nights at the gorgeous Solar dos Deuses pousada in the Pelourinho, where you'll be at the heart of the action. The package includes all accommodation, internal flights and transfers, and even a schooner tour of the beautiful All Saints Bay, all for the fantastic price of £1350pp:

ATOL Bonded Salvador Carnival Holidays
  • Thursday 28th February: Arrival in Rio or Sao Paulo
  • Friday 1st March: Fly to Salvador
  • Saturday 2nd March: Free time for Carnival
  • Sunday 3rd March: Free time for Carnival
  • Monday 4th March: Free time for Carnival
  • Tuesday 5th March: Schooner tour
  • Wednesday 6th March: Fly back to the UK

Salvador is (if it's possible...) even more fun than Rio, so why not start your Carnival adventure now...

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