Carnival in Brasil/Brazil
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 6:58 AM Last Post By: inaciomartinelli
Nov 7, 2012 8:16 AM
Carnival in Brasil/BrazilHello,
I'll be heading to Brazil towards the end of of January. I've wanted to go to Carnival for a long time but after reading quite a lot about it, I'm wondering if it's all worth it i.e the cost of Carnival in Rio/Salvador/Olinda.
Accommodation alone will be about £500 then everything else on top! I get the feeling I'll still have a great time in these places before/after carnaval. I'm still undecided.
My question is, can you recommend any smaller areas or towns that still celebrate Carnival that might be less commercial?
Nov 7, 2012 8:35 AM
1If you've always wanted to go to Carnaval then you should do it and do it at one of the "major" places, IMO. Each is a bit different. But it is getting a bit late to find a decent choice of accomodation.
Smaller places to pass Carnaval might include Ouro Preto. Many Brazilians go away to the beach.
If you want to get to know Brazil, on the other hand, Carnaval is not the best time, IMO. But I do like the runup (end of November to just before Carnaval starts) to Carnaval in Salvador and also in Rio, when the "rehearsal" shows the bands and samba schools give are in full swing.
That might be a good compromise for you. It's high season, but not quite the outrageous prices of Carnaval itself. And once you have gotten an idea of what Brazil offers, you could go back for Carnaval another time.
Nov 7, 2012 4:40 PM
2I found carnival in Salvador to be worth the cost despite visiting as part of a year long RTW trip. Actually apart from accommodation it wasn't that expensive. Vendors sell beers on the street for $1 and you quickly learn where the cheap food is at. Unlike Rio you don't have to pay for any expensive entrance fee and can just party on the street with everyone else. If you want you can buy a ticket to party inside a Bloco (basically the area around a truck with huge speakers and a live band/DJ) but you don't have to to have a good time. If you do party with the masses be aware that you will definitely be pick pocketed so stash your cash in a money belt or sock.
Nov 7, 2012 6:48 PM
3"Unlike Rio you don't have to pay for any expensive entrance fee and can just party on the street with everyone else."
Actually you can also do that in Rio. The Sambodrome parade is the most known part of Rio´s carnival, but there is much more on the streets, where you will find even more people than in Salvador.
Nov 7, 2012 8:24 PM
4#4 Yeah true I've heard there is plenty of action on the streets of Rio too, but really more than Salvador?? I've seen Salvador advertised many times as the biggest street party in the world with xx million people.
Nov 8, 2012 6:36 AM
5If all you want to do is get/stay stupid drunk, it doesn't much matter where you go.
Because I know people in the neighborhoods of the samba schools (who say "I AM Salguerio" or "I AM Vila Isabel.", not just "I root for Beija-Flor., such is the passion"), I find Rio's top samba school competition to be exciting, the samba lyrics and theme interesting, and the costumes and floats spectacular.
If you are a fan of the music and the Afro-based culture that forms it, Salvador is the place to be, though. You have the option of following one sound truck/band/singer, staying in a grandstand while they all pass by, or being among the pipoca (popcorn) crowds for free. And remember that of the folks who historically were involved in samba in Rio, many came there from Bahia, bringing their Bahian culture and musical roots.
Nov 8, 2012 8:49 AM
6Is the cost "worth it"? That's subjective, to put it mildly. I don't think Carnaval in other cities is a "copy" of Rio. In Fortalezaa, where we are, the big parade is much smaller and more basic, nothing like Rio. There are the usual "blocos" starting just after New Years. IMHO, if you've always wanted to go to Carnaval in Brazil, and are willing to spend the money for Rio, Salvador or Olinda, do that. Otherwise visit Brazil at another time. If you go to another city, unless you know well what will occur there and you want that, you'd still be spending more than normal on plane fares, hotels, and travel before/after the parade(s) there, and not seeing one of the big events which, presumably, got your interested in Carnaval in Brazil in the first place. If you go at another time of year, you'll save a lot of money and have an easier time getting around. There are festas throughout the year. They're nothing like Carnaval, but if you aren't going to one of the big 3 Carnavals, I'd wait. There are smaller festas (e.g., Sao Jao del Rei, outside of Rio, is supposed to be quite good), but I'd aim for that as an optin if you've already been to the one in Rio (and not just to save money). We can say the money for Rio, etc. is "worth it," but it's your trip and your budget.
Nov 8, 2012 9:11 AM
Nov 8, 2012 9:50 AM
8Thanks for the replies - I thought I'd get a notification when someone responded!? Obviously not.
I'm 27 so still enjoy to party but am definitely not into just getting as smashed as possible. I'm quite into photography but am a bit afraid of taking my dslr to either Salvador or Rio Carnival (apart from the Sambodrome)
Nov 8, 2012 10:20 AM
9In Salvador, you could get yourself a space in one of the camarotes (ticketed grandstands) to watch one day/night's parade and take photos. But I'd think trying to make taking photos a priority every night out on the street would be stressful at the very least and wouldn't let you really get into the music either.
Nov 8, 2012 11:15 AM
Nov 9, 2012 4:21 PM
Nov 10, 2012 2:21 PM
12You WILL have a great time in Rio at least as well before the carnaval as many of the sambaschools are already doing rehearsals from November onwards and can get pretty crazy! Some people even say that the real fun is just before the carnival. Staying in a favela makes it another experience as the sambaschools originally come from there and their parties are still supposed to be the best!
Nov 10, 2012 3:11 PM
Nov 10, 2012 3:42 PM
14This two hostels are located in Vidigal, one of the most famous and well located favelas in Rio. Since an UPP was installed there, it´s safer than most parts of town.
I think it must be interesting for a foreigner to stay in a favela. It will certainly give you a different look of it.
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