Carnival is celebrated all over Brazil

The Best Carnival in Brazil is ….

Carnival is celebrated all over Brazil, but the the two most popular Carnivals are Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Bahia. I have been to both and had the time of my life. It is extremely hard to pick which is better. In Salvador, you feel as you are in a huge non-stop party because there are millions of people on the street – dancing, drinking, following their favorite bands – it’s actually the largest street party in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. In Rio de Janeiro, it’s literally one of the most amazing shows I have seen in my life – the costumes, choreography, music, passion – It beats the hell out of any Vegas Show (makes a Vegas Show look like a Highschool play). Carnival 2011 packages start on March 3rd, but hotels and flights are already starting to sell out. If you are interested please contact Tours Gone Wild IMMEDIATELY at leads@toursgonewild.com or toll free 1-877-456-WILD or (786) 522-3667. It’s a can’t miss event and we offer the following packages: Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Salvador Carnival, Ultimate Package (Combination of Salvador & Rio) Below I have compiled a comparison of both Carnivals. If you have been to either one, PLEASE contribute.

Factors Rio Salvador Comment
Weather X X It’s late summer in both destinations. Expect weather in the high 70s to high 80s
Flight Time X Rio de Janeiro is a much larger airport than Salvador and there are direct flights to Rio or Sao Paulo from all over the world. The only direct flight from the US to Salvador is on AA via Miami and there some flights from Spain and Portugual that fly directly there as well. The flight time between Sao Paulo and Salvador is 2.5 hours vs. a just 45 minute from Sao Paulo to Rio.
English Spoken
X
Rio de Janeiro is a much larger city and English is spoken more in Rio, but generally you will not find a lot of English speakers in Brazil in general. There will be TGW staff members in both cities so they will help you out as much as possible.
Food
X
The Salvador cuisine is world reknown and delicious. If this was any other time besides Carnival, I would go with Salvador, but during Carnival, you will have a lot more options in Rio for food because it is a larger city.
Beaches
X
Salvador has a ton of beaches, but between both cities, you can’t top Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, especially because of the eye candy.
For Singles
X
The best carnival for singles is in Salvador. You have Brazilians from all over the country that go to this Carnival and the main slogan is “Solteiro em Salvador!”, which means Everyone is Single in Salvador!
For Couples
X
X
If you want a more romantic experience, I would definitely go with Rio because there are more touristy things to do and the party isn’t as wild. If you are a crazy couple (and we’ve had a ton within the years), then you will enjoy Salvador Carnival.
For Families
X
Hands down, Rio de Janeiro is the best carnival for families unless the kids are over 18. There are more things to do in Rio and the Samba Parade is jaw dropping although it does end pretty late.
For Brazilians
X
Salvador is hands down the most popular Carnival for 18 – 35 year old Brazilians. You will meet people there from the South, Big Cities, Interior, Amazon and Northeast.
Age 20 – 30
X
Definitely Salvador, if your young and want to party, this is the place to be.
Age 30 – 45
X
X
It all depends if you want a crazy party or a more sophisticated experience.
45 Plus
X
Generally, you will enjoy Rio de Janeiro more as it’s a little bit more tame, although don’t get me wrong, Rio de Janeiro in general is not at all tame, it’s just a bit tamer than Salvador Carnival.
Party Atmosphere
X
No doubt it’s Salvador. Imagine millions of people just going absolutely nuts.
Sophistication
X
Rio is definitely more sophisticated than Salvador because it is a larger city and does have more exubarent parties like the Copacabana Palace Ball for instance. Although Salvador does have parties that are creme of the creme, like the Salvador Camarote. In both cases, all of the exuberant parties are very expensive.
Show
X
Carnival in Rio is the Greatest Show on Earth and beats any other show/parade in the world.
Tourism – Sites
X
Salvador has some historic sites, but during Carnival everything is pretty much closed. If you do want to check some sites out, it’s definitely better to get there a couple of days before Carnival.
Hotels
X
Rio de Janeiro is the 2nd largest city in Brazil, so it is going to have way better hotels. There are some good hotels in Salvador, but do not expect the 5 or even 4 star hotels you have at home.
Music
X
X
Axe (Salvador) vs. Samba (Rio). Samba is world reknown and has some crazy beats. You definitely have to have rhythm to dance. What I’ve seen is that the ladies usually get it and the guys just move their feet. Axe is a mixture of Brazilian pop, rock and Afro-rhythms and literally by the end of Carnival you’ll know the words to a lot of the songs.
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