Salvador Carnival info.
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Salvador Carnival 2009 dates:   Feb19 - Feb25
Salvador Carnival info guide. The Salvador Carnival is the world's biggest Carnival.
Discover Salvador Carnival in Bahia, Brazil, with this Carnival Video Guide.

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The Salvador Carnival is by far the biggest street party in the world. Every year, around 2 million people participate on the Salvador Carnival Parades. During six consecutive days, from 5pm to 5am, dozens of Bands make a parade along the streets, playing on big trucks (called Trios). Usually one or more Trios and Artists form a "Bloco".

There are two parade areas in the Salvador Carnival
- Barra/Ondina (by the Av. Oce‚nica)
- Campo Grande/Avenida (by the Av. Sete de Setembro)
Both areas of the Salvador Carnival have aproximately two kilometers. Every twenty minutes, a new Trio starts its parade either from the Farol da Barra or from the Campo Grande square.
There are three different ways to enjoy the Salvador Carnival:

Pipoca You can simply dance on the streets with the crowd for free, and usually called "Pipoca" (what means popcorn) a funny way to describe how a jumping crowd looks like when seeing from the distance.

Camarote You can watch the Salvador Carnival from a fix cabin, or tribune, called camarote, located along the avenues. They offer drinks, food and a dj dancing ambient. Tickets cost between one and five hundreds brazilian reais per day.

Abada You can dance on the Salvador Carnival inside a safety area sorrounding the Trio, protected by bodyguards and thus isolated from the crowd. To be accepted it is necessary to buy a pass (called "Abada"), a colorfull t-shirt that identify you as a member of the Trio/Bloco.

The price of these Salvador Carnival Abadas range between one and seven hundreds reais per day, depending on the artist playing at the Trio, and the time it makes the parade during the Salvador Carnival. The Abadas are exclusive for a Trio/Bloco.
Some Abadas include free drinks, and access to the bathrooms located inside the Trio. While wearing your t-shirt, you can jump in and out the safety area whenever you want.
With an Abada, you have much more space to move and dance in the Salvador Carnival. If you stay with the crowd, when the Trio passes in front of you, the Abada area, sorrounded by guards holding a rope, reduces the street area, so the crowd becomes a solid human mass, and sometimes moving is very difficult.
Getting on top of the Trios is just reserved for artist's friends and few lucky people. If you don't care about which Trio or artist to go with, you can buy cheaper abadas on the street, but if you don't speak portuguese be careful on what you buy.

Usefull recommendations for the Salvador Carnival:
Statistics have shown that Salvador Carnival is a very peaceful event, although there are a few number of incidents, most of them just rips-off.
Wear tenis shoes only, do not attend the carnival in sandals, since you might loose them and get your feet hurt. Do not use watches or jewelry during the Salvador Carnival.
If you want to bring your camera, put it in inside something you can wear, and buy an Abada. By being inside a protected area, you'll be free to take pictures with no hazard.
The traffic and transportation changes dramatically during the Salvador Carnival. So, staying on areas close to the Salvador Carnival Parades, as Barra, Ondina, Vitoria and Pelourino, is highly recommended.
Every year, the number of people attending the Salvador Carnival exceeds the vacancy on these areas. Therefore, booking a place with anticipation is recommended to get convenient rates.

If you wait until the last moment to book your place, you probably won't find a decent accomodation, or will end up paying more. Salvador Carnival accomodations are sold almost everywhere as a seven nights fix package. By staying less nights you will probably end up paying the full package price, so be careful when booking your flight.

Where to stay in the Salvador Carnival
There are basically two kinds of Carnival accomodation: Those with direct eye contact to the Carnival Parade, which are expensive, no matter the service and facilities, and those within a walking distance to the Carnival Parade, which have reasonable prices.
Lowest possible price - If you're looking for the lowest price and you don't care about accomodation facilities, a last minute Carnival backpacker can find a place to sleep on the floor for 200 euros a week, with no services included.
Dorm Bed Price - The price for a dorm bed on Salvador Carnival, ranges from 300 to 600 euros a week, depending on the location and comfort of the accomodation.
Private (double) room Price - The price for a double private room, ranges from 800 to 2500 euros a week, for the couple.

To stay in Salvador Carnival we recommend:
- Tropical da Bahia Hotel (luxury)
- San Marino Hotel
- Pousada Villa Verde
- Open House Barra

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The trios form the nucleus of the blocos (with the exception of the blocos afros). You pay to join a bloco and is given an abadŠ (a uniform consisting of a t-shirt), which allows one to parade with the bloco inside a protected area, a rope carried by security personnel what gives you more space to dance and safety in case you want to bring your camera. It is also comfortable because the trios have bathrooms and sell beers, and some give them for free. The people who aren't in blocos, and who are hence outside of the roped-off areas around the trios, are called pipoca (popcorn).

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