Thursday, 31 July 2008

Salvador da Bahia Sports Travel

Diving in and around Salvador

For those of you who enjoy diving or snorkelling here are some diving operators in Salvador:

Dive Bahia
Av. Sete de Setembro, 3809 Porto da Barra-Salvador
Fone: (071) 264-3820 - E Mail:

Bahia Scuba
Av. Contorno, 1010, loja 12, Bahia Marina
E Mail:
Fax:(71)322-0044 / 9975-3839

Av. Otávio Mangabeira, 815, loja 15, Shopping Pituba Sol, Pituba Tel: (071)

Av.Garibaldi, 92, Garibaldi
Tels: (071) 245-6872 / 99836935

R. Prof. Lemos Brito, 28, 2.o andar, Barra
Tel: (071) 264-3111

R. da Paciência, 223,1.o andar, Rio Vermelho
Tel: (071) 264-3111
E Mail:

Av. Conceição da Praia, 26, Comércio
Tel: (071) 264-3111

kite surf

On the beach of Piatà near a little bridge there is a Barraca that is the bahianos kite surfers meeting point.....there is a littel river near here so it's not to much crowded and they can do his sport in the perfect way...betwwen the 4 and 6 pm the termic wind is perfect!

Beach Soccer

If you like soccer at all you really should join in on a pick up game at the beach. You'll encounter all levels of play. You can either join a game or just juggle in a circle with others. Soccer at the beach can be a sticky issue for some, so try not to play too close to sun bathers. If you don't feel confident enough to play then you should at least watch a game.

This is where I played a lot since it was near where I lived. This is Praia da Amaralina. The sand was dry and soft here, "areia fofa". You get winded real fast. On Sundays you'll find games down this entire beach.

CHELITO-Fishing, diving, and boating.

Did you ever experience the colour of the DEEP BLUE SEA? Unbelievable!
Go linefishing with a local fisherman, he knows how to find the best spots, he will show you how to fish on a longline, he will let you pull his line if you like, and he will do what he can to make sure you dont feel uncomfortable during the trip. He knows what bait to use, and provides ofcourse whatever is needed.
Snacks and drinks can be arranged, or bring your own.
The captain is familiar with the sea, the bay, and all the islands around here, and will gladly take you to the best locations for a daytyrip. He is an experienced diver too, and the boat is equipped with air compression equipment.
If you go during the months of august and september, you will have opportunity to see humpback whales!!!!
Price goes from 300R$ to go to the nearest islands for up to 6 people.
Fishingtrips are around 300R$ for 1 prs, and 600R$ for up to4 prs.
Divingtrips have to be arranged individually.

For fishing, you are welcome to bring your own gear, or you can use the "original stuff" that is long nylonlines with hooks and lead attatched, pulled by hand.
Bring sunprotection, a hat and some clothes in case of sun and/or rain.
• Theme: Fishing Trips
• Address: Porto Da Barra
• Phone: +55-71-91055317 Den/engl/portug
• Directions: In front of Forte Santa Maria Call me, or (Send me a mail,after mid march until september) ask for Ronaldinho directly on the ramp in Porto Da Barra

Salvador da Bahia Warnings or Dangers

no jewelery, less money

Salvador is a big city, with a lot of mininos da rua and poor people that can do robbery only to eat, so dress in simply way, without jewelery, wothes or precious thing, not a lot of money, but you can take cradit cards cause are not true money!
In the beaches don't leave your bags alone, a pair of shorts or snikers are expensive for a lot of people.
You have to respect the difference, you can travel, but the most of the people have only the money to eat!!!

Pelourinho Pickpockets & Street Thieves

If you can avoid Pelo altogether, it's a much more authentic trip. However, there are fine reasons to go there (Dada's restaurant, great shops hidden away, beautiful colonial architecture), so if you must go, then do so. It's not unsafe, its just a hassle. Schoolchildren will incessantly approach you asking for 1R (often with just a finger raised if they dont speak your language) and women will offer their newborn babies as evidence that they havent enough to eat, while you try to enjoy your lunch at an outside table at the cafe. Dont look to the restaurant for assistance, often, they will expect you to give to the needy. Simply be firm in your refusal, should you choose that route (If you vacation on a budget like I do, you will give a bit, but your hard earned reais are valuable to you!!) and walk away. Often you can be charmed by people claiming to work for AXE BAHIA who will offer you fitas (ribbons) as gifts, at no cost. before you know it, you'll have on a necklace that costs $10R. Not that much, indeed, but when you hadnt planned to spend ANYTHING on a necklace you neither want or need, it can become an annoyance. Be firm in your refusal and dont make any conversation with people in an effort to try to explain why you cant help everyone.

Don't Rely on the Policia Militar

I set out on foot for a restaurant about an hour after sunset on Monday, 14 July 2003. I soon got lost. I should have turned around and gone back the way I'd come. Instead I walked on, finding myself on Ave Contorno, the main street leading from Campo Grande in the Upper City to the center of the Lower City.
Halfway down I decided to take a ladeira, a small lane, directly back to the Upper City. I was reassured by the presence of a policeman, a member of the Policia Militar, at the head of the ladeira.
The cop's response to my request for directions was to signal two thugs who knocked and held me down, rifled my pockets, and ripped off my watch and pouchete (money belt).
A friendly passerby then took me by the arm and led me to a police car at Praca Castro Alves; those cops drove me to the Policia Militar station in the Pelourinho, where I gave a statement which was entered into a computer. Had they taken me to the Policia Turismo instead, something more might have been done.
Lesson: Warnings about avoiding the ladeiras connecting the Upper and Lower Cities are to be taken seriously. Otherwise, Salvador is still one of my favorite places.

Tourist Hunters

If you are walking around Pelourinho, be carefull, 'cause even being an amazing place, its colours hiddes many dangers, and the most popular are the Hunters !!! These guys are there everyday, like caracters from a comic book story, almost all the time just watching people, or better, their "victms". They first come to you friendly, then try to get your confidence, and once you trust them you're trapped, specially if you're a girl or woman. Men are not out of risk, they have no problem in making you pay them everything they ask you ! They also take you to areas out from Pelourinho, where you'll be an easy target, you'll get robbed, they steal cameras, money, tennis shoes, watches and so on, you're lucky if you come back home with your clothe, so whatch out ! They're so damn crazy that they fight in between to see who will go to the next girl or guy ! The Touristic Police Station in Pelourinho has a book with many snaps showing these troublemakers' faces, so if you have the unpleasant experience of being robbed or hurt by a hunter, go directily there and luckly you will find your agressor. The best you can do if you go to Pelourinho is: to walk prefferencially in groups, not carrying a lot of money, NEVER show your money in a wide open place, not carrying whatches or expansive tennis shoes, and be always wide oppened eyes whereever you go for a drink. You shall also don't give the guys any kind of attention, just say " não, obrigado", and follow your way up. I'm a local, and be sure that following these advices yo will have a good experience at Pelourinho !

PS: Take care also with the capoeira players, many of them are hunters as well ! If they ask you for money for snaps of their public showtimes, DO NOT PAY, 'cause Pelourinho is a free place, and all that you don't buy shall not be payed, if they threat you, just call the police !
• Phone: 71-32414120

Most bahian (salty) dishes are...

Most bahian (salty) dishes are prepared with dende oil. Dende is a special kind of palm tree (Elaeis guineensis, Jacq., Monocotiledonae, Palmae) and its oil is very thick and strong. Moqueca, Acaraje, Vatapa, Abara, all of those are fried in dende oil or have it in its composition. The thing is, it takes time to get your tummy used to this oil. So when you eat any of those dishes, be sure everything in your intestins is in order and eat nothing else that's strong the same day. Make sure the food was not re-heated, if you eat acaraje look at the pan where the lady is frying them - the oil must be black with an orange-brownish aureole. There should be an onion in the pan too, frying. The onion will help the flavour and your intestins as well. Don't eat acaraje on the beach or somewhere you can see the dow's been standing for the whole day. You have to eat the acaraje when it's still hot.

Be careful

Salvador, like many places in Brazil unfortunately, can be dangerous. While we were there I remember seeing police on almost every street corner where there were tourists. In a way this is good, but the fact that it is necessary is sad. Stay clear of the downtown area in Ciudade Alta at night -- as well as the elevator. Taxis at night from point to point is a great idea. We had no problems outside of downtown -- Pelourinho, Barra, Ondina felt good to be at night.

The infamous Rua 28 de Dezembro.

As for Pelourinho, heavy policing keeps the area generally very safe, there is, however, an area which should be off-limits to anybody who doesn't know what they could be getting into by entering it, and that is the area to the right of Praça da Sé as one enters the praça, and to right of Terreiro de Jesus as one enters from Praça da Sé. The first street parallel to Praça da Sé is okay during the day, it's the electronics shop district, but by night this street and certainly those deeper into this area should definitely be avoided. It's beyond me what runs through the minds of those hare-brained tourists who consider wandering these unwelcoming-looking streets at all! The far side of this area (called vinte-e-oito -- twenty-eight -- by the locals, after one of the principal streets running through it -- Rua 28 de Dezembro -- also known as Rua dos Tijolos) is defined by the Ladeira de São Francisco. This is the street that descends from the Igreja de São Francisco to the right as one faces the church, heading straight down to the infamous Rua 28 de Dezembro.

Don't walk home alone!

What ever you do, dont' walk home alone in Salvador Bahia, especially at night/early hours of the morning. Small gangs of thieves hang around waiting for easy (drunk) tourists to punch and rob. Take a taxi or walk with others. Even if they are strangers. They are very blatent. You have to remember there are no security cameras in places like this. All you have to depend on is the fat policeman who is not particulary interested in your passport and wallet getting stolen.

acaraje. danger or maybe pleasure of mouth?

If you walk out to the street, you will see those ladies in traditinal looking dress making tasty looking sandwiches. hmm I was there very hungry, so I went to them, and asked what that was. of course, I ended up feeling the language barrier once again. and decided just to try it.
yes I did try it. but.. hmmmmmmmmmmmm gotta say.. it wasn't my cup of tea. =)
the girl I met in Bahia said she can't stop eating it cause it's just too delicious for her. the sandwich itself has more than 1000 kcal, which is pretty fattening, still she can't stop eating it cause it's too nice. I didn't think I would ever like it like her does, cause.. it has got really weird, strong smell. I heard that even in brazil, some don't ever eat it.

but again.. eating aracaje gave me good taste of difference of two cultures. maybe thoe weird differences are somethings that my travel was for.. =)

Dangerous to walk around in Salvador

Salvador is picturesque, with very interesting afrobrazilian culture and the best souvenirs’ shopping in Brazil but it is dangerous. We were told by a policeman not to walk in the midday on a distance of 0.5km on the central street on the harbor, as an attack by thieves was possible. We were also told not to go to less touristic areas of the small old town and not to wonder around after 5 o’clock in the afternoon. All these made are stay to Salvador rather tiring…

Poverty and Crime

The one negative thing about Salvador is the enormous poverty of many of its inhabitants. In Pelhouirino be prepared to be followed everywhere you go by hordes of begging street children– you will often have children come up to your table if you are eating outside to ask for food. This can be very difficult emotionally as it is impossible to give money and/or food to all of them. There are also areas that are strictly off limits to foreigners because they are considered dangerous. Pelhourino has many policemen patrolling the area (basically just to protect the tourists) who will come after you if you wander down certain streets to warn you that it is not safe. Although we truly loved Salvador and made some wonderful friends there, these aspects of the city became very wearing and we were glad to leave for our quiet island part of the trip after three days.

Salvador da Bahia Tourist Traps

Pelhourinho in general!

Most of Pelhourinho is one big tourist trap... Seems like people from all over the city flock to try and get a piece of the pie. It can be quite overwhelming... so make sure you don't spen your whole trip there or you will become jaded!
People who come and beg for moeny generally are doing it every day... If you are going to give just give and keep it moving... like wise if you are not going to.... Hmmming and Haaaing just gets you deeper in and more people will want to come and see who the suckers is so they can try and get a piece of the pie!
I suggest getting a map and just going to a new location every day.... tht is what I did and it was alot of fun!

Candomble is a religion. You...

Candomble is a religion. You have to respect it as you want yours to be respected. Sometimes though travel agencies or tourist guides set up 'candomble fests' that are not true at all, that are just theatre and apply a lot of tricks to make you shocked and impressed. If you want to see a show representing candomble theatrically, go to Ballet Folclorico da Bahia, from mondays to sundays except tuesdays, at Pelourinho (Teatro Miguel Santana). If you want to attend a serious cerimony, get informed not at the Tourist Bureau, but at CEAO (Centre of Afro-oriental studies of the Federal University of Bahia - it's in Pelourinho).
Here's a good hint to find out if it's a serious fest you'll attend or just a fake one: most serious candomble temples wont allow you to take pictures or videotape the cerimony, or record the music. Also nothing is charged from you to watch those festivities. You can never go wearing black clothes and the main room is divided by gender.

Watch out for the Bahians!!

You'll be pegged as a tourist from the word go. You'll also be desended upon almost immediately by big ladies dressed as Bahian's who will almost force you to take a picture with them. THEN, they will ask for money for the privilage. They will ask for alot. In dollars. They only need a few reais...not a few dollars.
Pay them. At least something small. Or they will continue to hassle you.

taking photos of capoeira

if you take photos of people dancing capoeira, you are very likely to have guys asking you to donate money to capoeira schools.
these guys are usually drug addicts who have nothing to do with the capoeira guys but are looking for easy money and they can be quite agressive.
ask the dancers before you take a photo to make sure any possible money goes in their pockets and not in some criminal guys pocket. for the rest of brazil don't worry.
brazilians love having their photo taken.
ask the guys before taking a photo.
let a girl take the photo.

Internet joint

At the bottom of the hill that runs from Largo do Pelourinho, you'll find this place by hanging a left at Rua do Paco. It's one of the first doors on the right and you'll see the signs for "internet". Just don't get trapped on VT too long!

Mercado Modelo - It´s not cheap !!

Get off the Mercado Modelo, they give the price as your face !
Prefer to by handcrafts at the airport.
Only the T-shirts are cheap, but the quality...

Street food

Do not eat food that is sold on the street. It is not prepared in good (clean enough) conditions. I was trapped in the toilet for half a day after eating a tipical bahiense snack on the street!
If you really want to try, take only a bite, and throw away the rest.

Solar Do Unhão

Solar Do Unhão is a cool place. There is jazz in the evenings out front, there's a modern art gallery and the dance presentation in the restaurant is highly recognized, but the food is overpriced and not that good. I'd recommend going there for all the things I mentioned above, but I wouldn't recommend sitting down for a meal, unless you want a good seat for the show. You can usually wander in the restaurant close enough to see it and they won't kick you out if you don't sit down for lunch or dinner. If you do go take a cab. Busing or walking is not a good idea for safety reasons.

Taxi drivers know who is local...

Taxi drivers know who is local and who isn't. If you're coming from another country there isn't really much you can do about this. Brazilians from other cities sometimes try to talk with a baiano accent. One thing you might try if you have to take a cab for safety reasons or just don't want to bus it is get an idea of what the fare should be from a local like the hotel front desk, shopkeeper or waitress and negotiate the fare with the cab driver before you take off. The driver may or may not agree to a price ahead of time, but this way at least he'll know that you know the fair price and will be less likely to rip you off.

If you Are Alone Girls will approach you
If you are travelling by your self and if you are specially a boy alone, girls will approach you offering themselves to accompany you.
When it happend to me it was quite annoying because she didnýt let me get throug and I was scared about others trying to take my pack or the things I Had on my pockets out, but hopfully she just wanted to offer me herself, Just say you donýt need anyone and they will go away.

Not oNly Girls Will Approach You

Not only girls will approach you, All kind of people will approach you offering local stuff or aking you for money or to buy them some food, from kids to adults men and women, all the people around Pelourinho are looking for walking dollars (tourists) to take their money out. It is a bit tiring and makes the visit a bit difficult to enjoy.

Pousadas - Know where to stay !

Some of the Pousadas in the northern section of Salvador are in some run down areas. Know what area you will be in before you book your hotel / pousada.

Salvador da Bahia Nightlife

OFF Club: Wild and Raunchy

Staying in Pelorinho, there is not any thing really going on past 1am. Used to going to clubs at around this time, we got into a taxi and asked the driver to take us to any nightclub that was open. He took us to OFF club. IT is not immediately evident that it is a gay club as there were a few heterosexual couples. The downstairs area gave the impression that nothing was going on. It was sparsely populated with people scattered on sofas looking quite bored.
Aftert about an hour we went upstairs and the party was in full swing. The bartenders/dancers were on the tables. The men in just yellow pants and the women in yellow pants and bikin top. Alcohol was being poured into peoples mouths straight from the bottle, after which they were blindfolded and given a head spin. They were also blowing whistles.
It was alot of fun... made me almost forget that I couldnt pull most of the men in there!!!

Looks like anything goes... the less clothes the better

• Theme: Nightclub
• Address: Street D'Avila Days, 33 Barra
• Phone: (71) 2656215.
• Website:

Live shows
All the night there is a show in Pelourino, if you have enough time to search are good, but a little bit ‘touristic’. Every mondey and thusday drums band play here.
Olodum and Timbalada blocos have special drums and dancing school for ‘minhos de rua’ (children that live alone inthe street), to give them a job, so you can find show of this school...try in the newspaper ‘A Tarde’. In the same newspaper you can find show of ‘samba de roda’ (ancient samba session), pagode music, or brega music in different part of Bhaia. Don’t stop to search.....Bahia is music!
Some place ask for long tousersn no bermuda.

Samba De Pagode, Live Music Bar: Samba

She is working here every evening, and has been doing that for more than 30 years!
Espetinho de churrasco, com salada e farofa ; 1 R$!
Beers are cheap too.
The place is packed with locals every evening, they come for dancing and showing off their fantastic abilities into the sexy samba De Pagode! Dont miss this fabulous spot!!!

There is no doubt, that the locals coming here, are wearing their best clothes!, Dress modest for a dancing night.
• Theme: Dancing
• Address: Pelourinho
• Directions: Pelourinho. I forgot the name of the bar, but you will easily find it in a X-road just behind the "Cantinha La Lua area" on the way down to the Pelourinho. Desciption: Near the "restaurant with the basket elevator", A Bahiana is on the corner,

Rio Vermelho: Best Hopping Areas in Salvador da Bahia

The best hopping area in Salvador da Bahia is Rio Vermelho. Ask for "Mercado do pesce" and then walk around to find out the square you like more. Not far from the street action there are several pubs and clubs to explore. On Thursday-Saturday, from 10pm till late.
Every Tuesday in Pelourinho there is the "Terza da Bencao" (Tuesday’s Blessing). The historic centre turns into a big live music shows. Don’t miss Olodum drum troupe. for information on concerts and Carnival rehearsals and be ready to get wild.
Pelourinho is the classic place for tourists therefore after 11pm, most of the "normal" people go home to caught the last bus and you turn just into a ball of dollars rolling down the street for hookers and street vendors...

Itapoan offers two spots. One is a square full of people drinking "cerveza" and the other one is by the Lagoa de Abate just few minutes walking from the most famous acaraje of Salvador: Cira's. Friday-Sunday, from 8pm till late.

Dress casual.
• Theme: Eating and Drinking
• Address: Rio Vermelho, Mercado do pesce.
• Phone: 0055 71 91859179
• Directions: If you go to Rio Vermelho hopping area ask for "Mercado do pesce" and then walk around to find out the square you like more.
• Website:
Portal: Get the light side of the ghetto!

Only few minutes by car from Pelourinho operates this warehouse show house. Starting off around 8pm until 1.00pm depending on the night. Very basic but that is Bahia! Better to go with some local guide. Anyway there is security at the door and inside. Make an agreement with some taxi driver in order to collect you at the door when you are ready to leave.
Most of the music is pagode (the real heart of the ghetto), sometimes reggae, hip hop and very seldom electronic.
Age 16-20. Dress a bit down.
• Theme: Live Music
• Phone: 0055 71 91859179
• Directions: Only few minutes by car from Pelourinho, next the ferryboat in Comercio. Ask to a taxi driver.
• Website:

Bahia Cafe: Upscale partying

I cannot remember what night I went here, but if you get the book "Salvador for Partiers" it tells you what is on on what nights. It is a restaurant and bar as well as a club, so when we got there people were eating and listening to music at the same time.
The entrance was 25 Reais which ensures a certain amount of alcohol, maybe 20 Reais or so. so you get a card of some sort, which they mark off how many drinks you have had. If you go over the amount you paid on the door, you pay the excess at the end.
This was the only club that we wnet to that played Pop/R&B/Rap. They only played about half an hour of it and the rest of the music was Brazillian pop music and other random stuff.
Classy and sophisticated
• Theme: Nightclub
• Website:

Beco da Gal: Live music in Salvador da Bahia

Very popular on Wednesday is the kind of place you go if you feel like street party all night although it takes place in a alley and you pay for it (5 Real). Live pagode and samba. Get there at 10pm.

Dress down. Age 25-40.
• Theme: Live Music
• Phone: 0055 71 91859179
• Directions: Next to the "Perini" supermarket in Rio Vermelho.
• Website:

Fashion Club: Clubbing in Salvador de Bahia

The club scene in Salvador is limited to the small Salvador’s elite. Almost all the clubs offer live music too and only few of them leave djs take over completely of the dance floor. Fashion Club is the classic club in Salvador with a bit of everything. Two floors, big dance floor for a college crowd. Djs stage and live music. Age 18-25. Get there 10pm or queue.

Dress up
• Theme: Nightclub
• Address: Av. Otavio Mangabeira 2471, Jardim do Namorados
• Website:

Aeroclube: RockinRio

They have a few different things going on at Aeroclube... Its basically a nightclub... mostly very young folk... On Moday Nights they have Rock in Rio... which is the night I went on... unfortunately I got the in the early hours of the monring to it was winding down... I also went on another day where the people were slightly older and Samba music was playing...
No dresscode I remember
• Theme: Nightclub
• Address: av. Otávio Mangabeira, 6000 • Boca do Rio
• Website:

Atellier Maria Adair: Atellier Maria Adair

My favourite bar. This is simply a wonderful place to spend the night. It's in a house in Pelourinho, under the atellier of the artist Maria Adair. The pub is her son's and is just about one of the cutest places in town - the crafts made and painted by the artist are everywhere (inside the glass tables, hanging from the ceiling, the menu...). Service is EXCELLENT - extra compliments for Barreto, the chief waiter. You can buy the crafts if you want to, and I tell you, they are not expensive. They have the best drinks in town, the best food (with greek, french and italian items). Amongst the drinks I recommend my favourite Suco do Orgasmo (Juice of Orgasm). It's coffee licqueur, with coffee icecream, vanilla icecream, ginger, gin and a tiny bit of triple sec.

• Theme: Eating and Drinking
• Directions: Rua J. Castro Rabêlo, 2, - Pelourinho, phone 321-3363. In the same street as Quincas Berro D'Água Square.
• Other Contact: If you're homofobic, your nights

Bar do Goethe: Bar do Goethe

Very good atmosphere, nice serving, good prices, good food, always a good cultural alternative. The chief waiter, Miguel, will do his best to serv you. I strongly recommend the fried aipim (yukka). They are masters in it, although it's a german bar...

Indoors and outdoors ambiences.
as long as you're not naked, anything goes...
• Theme: Concert
• Directions: AV. SETE DE SETEMBRO, 1809 - CORREDOR DA VITÓRIA Inside the Goethe Institut (can't miss it - red and yellow house just before Campo Grande) SALVADOR/BAHIA/BRASIL - TEL.: (0xx71) 336-1580
• Other Contact:

Roda de Choro: Roda de Choro

THere is a big sensation among the scholars of music about what appeared first - Jazz or Choro. Choro (means 'weep' in portuguese) is a brazilian jazz-like music, with some special spicy touches and very peculiar beat and groove. Every thursday of the year you can check what's all about in this traditional Roda de Choro. In the group Janela Brasileira ('BRazilian Window') play some of the best musicians in Salvador, including the master Cacá do Pandeiro. Other unique qualities:
It's free
It's wonderful
It's in a very pleasant cabaret of a very pleasant theatre
This theatre is in a very pleasant square
As long as you don't show up naked...
• Theme: Concert
• Directions: Av. Sete de Setembro - Passeio Publico Cabare dos Novos Teatro Vila Velha Campo Grande
• Other Contact: (port


If you'd like to go to a nice pub with indoor and outdoor possibilities, good serving, good price, excellent food, full but not crowded, then Boteco do França (Franc,a) is your call. Just across the street from the Sesi Theatre in Rio Vermelho, getting the local breeze and having a good time all night long. You won't be bothered by beggers there, since it's traditionally not a touristy place. Franca is the name of the owner, an experienced waiter that after working for years in excellent restaurant-pubs like Extudo and Postudo made his dream come true: now he is the boss, the waiters are the best and never in a bad mood, meals are quick and delicious, price is accessible and he doesn't have a time to close - they will remain open until the last clients decides to go home, and will not make frowny faces to scare you away.
Whatever you want. I'd recommend a pullover, though, since the sea breeze can get pretty cold sometimes...
• Theme: Eating and Drinking
• Directions: Rio Vermelho, just across the street from Teatro Sesi (100 m after Cheiro de Pizza)
• Other Contact: Now open for mondays and for lun

French Quartier: French Quartier

If you like good quality jazz and a nice view to the ocean and don't mind paying a bit more money for a pleasant night, this is your place. It gets very crowded from thursday to sunday, so I recommend you get there before 22h.
Check their site or call to see what's the musical attraction of the night. There is always a good thing going on...
I recommend you dress yourself up a bit better before going there. Nothing fancy, but sober. And take a coat with you, the air conditioning is severe.
• Theme: Live Music
• Directions: Jardim dos Namorados Av. Otávio Mangabeira, s/n, Lote 1, Quadra 2, Pituba - Salvador - Bahia CEP: 41.715-900 TelFax: (71) 240-1491
• Other Contact:

"Tereza Batista" square: "Terca de Bencao" in Pelourinho

Live music in Salvador da Bahia on Tuesday means Pelourinho. Mainly Teresa Batista square, where Olodum use to perform. Small but powerful place with the right mixture between tourists and locals. Get there at 9pm.
Dress casual
• Theme: Live Music
• Address: Praca Tereza Batista
• Directions: Pelourinho
• Website:

Centro Cultural Do Bispo: Live music in Salvador da Bahia

Centro Cultural Do Bispo is far more than a "casa de show." It is a social and cutural center open to experiments in music, dance and the visual arts. During the day, it offers workshops in several artistic mediums, as diverse as experimental theatre to dj studio. Insofar as its nightlife goes, one finds a surprisingly seemless mix between foreigners of all nationalities and the local bahianos. Check out the schedules in order to be sure of what is going on each week. Although Pelourinho has countless spots that can't be missed, Bispo is definitely unique among them on Friday and Saturday nights. The cultural group Circo Maluko performs live music: samba, afro, maracatu, flamenco and more, always closing the night with a DJ spinning electronic music. Get there at 10pm. Age 18-30.
Dress alternative casual.
• Theme: Live Music
• Address: The address is Rua do Bispo 11, Pelourinho
• Directions: Near Praca da Se', Salvador da Bahia.
• Website:

Pimentinha: hang out on Monday

Hanging around outside this bizarre bar before clubbing is the hedonistic ritual on Monday in Salvador da Bahia. Age 20-30. Get there at 9pm.
Dress casual.
• Theme: Eating and Drinking
• Address: Rua Dom Eugenio Sales 11
• Directions: Boca do Rio

Salvador da Bahia Restaurants

Point do Guarana da Amazonia: A Taste of the Amazon

You find this little place on the main street of Barra that leads to Pelourinho. It only has a couple of tables and people from the beach or passersby usually come for the bowl of tasty dish from the Amazon region.

As far as I know, this is the only place in Salvador where you can taste the culinary delights from the northern state of Para, which I found the most delicious (and unusual) in the whole country. They get the ingredients for the dishes from Ilha de Marajo. Since I was just coming from this beautiful island, I was happy to talk to the friendly owner about her native land.

It's the most famous acai spot of Salvador. You can get it in a bowl of different size. They also have guarana and juice, ice cream made from variety of fruits of the Amazon, like acai, cupuacu (certainly my favourite!), bacuri and muruci. If you are lucky, you can also get cupuacu cake and this is very yummy too! From the main dishes they offer tacaca (the absolute winner!!) and manicoba.

I don't need to mention that I took every opportunity to visit this place:)
• Theme: Local
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: less expensive than average
• Address: Avenida Sete de Setembro
• Directions: Barra, across the street from Porto da Barra beach

SENAC: "All you can eat "restaurant near J Amado Museum

SEnac is a school of cuisine, weiters and barman and this is a school restauranti in the center of Pelourinho, in a a colonial building. U can find comida bahiana, like plates from other part of Brasil.
There are two types of buffet:
Comida Típica - 40 plates and 12 desserts, from mon to sat 11h30 to 15h30,and 18h30 to 23h.

Comida a Peso - u pay the weight of the food u have in the plate from mon to friday, from11h30 to 15 pm


Cep: 40.025-140 Email
Telefone (71) 3324-4550 Fax (71) 3324-4551
• Theme: Buffet
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Praça José de Alencar, 13
• Phone: (71) 3324-4550
• Directions: Pelourino district - In the square of Jorge Amado museum, if you are in front of the museum the restaurant it's on the left square side near a beautifull curch, it's inside a Foundation, at the first floor.
• Other Contact: restaurantepelourinho@ba.senac.b

Sorriso da Dadá: Dadá's Smile, must be inspired by the moqueca! :-)

Cool, colorful and funky atmosphere, Sorriso da Dada exists in an old house in the heart of Pelourinho...
There are individual little rooms that create a cozy/warm atmosphere... Tim and I decided that we were sat in the "Gringo" room- back in the very back... Cool room though, with a big mural of Dada herself with that famous smile!
The service was good enough... The menu featured traditional Bahian offerings.
Let's see, Tim had chicken in a banana cream sauce... was quite nice and tasty!
And yes, I had moqueca... see my general tip for the recipe!
The portions were pretty huge, we couldn't finish them.
We drank caipirinhas of course... they were strong as heck here.
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Rua Frei Vicente, 5
• Phone: (71) 3321-9642

Sorveteria da Ribeira: The Best Ice Cream in the City

It has been considered the best ice cream in the city for more than 70 years. People come even from Itapoa to another point of the city to taste a great variety of flavours, from nuts and chocolate to all imaginable fruits from the Amazon region. They have a reputation for the ice cream being made from natural fruit.
A beautiful view of the sea of Ribeira and the low price bring the visitors back. About 800 people come daily on weekends.
It's open daily from 10am to 10:30pm.
They offer 52 sorts of ice creams and a lot of them launched themselves. Some of their specialities are the flavours of mangaba, jaca, carambola and tapioca.

My favourites were tapioca and cupuacu. Ah, yummy!!!
• Theme: Ice Cream
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: less expensive than average
• Address: Largo da Ribeira, 87, Ribeira
• Phone: 71 3316 5451
• Directions: the end of Ribeira bus line

Maria Mata Mouro: Lovely atmosphere, delicious food, great service

Named after literature written by the Brazilian Hilda Histh, about a character, Maria Mata Mouro felt pleasure in what she ate. (I think I've got this right, correct me if I'm wrong!) This place is a darling little gem in the heart of Pelourinho... the atmosphere is charming and quaint, the back garden seating area is lush and romantic, the service is attentive but not overbearing... we had a lovely dinner here!

The menu is heavily influenced by Italian cuisine but not entirely... Ask for the table by the trickling fountain in the back. We had prosecco here... several bottles! The couvert was deeeelicious.... great breads, flat breads & dips. We had the matarmouro salad & Carpaccio to start- both were presented well and tasted great. I had Penne ao Pesto for dinner (the ONLY night I didn't have a moqueca of some sort!!!) and Tim had the Burgundy Filet with risotto. We were impressed with both
Why is it we NEVER have room for dessert when the offerings sound soo incredibly good!??!?!
• Theme: Eclectic/International
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Rua Inacio Acioly #8
• Phone: 321-4244
• Directions: Pelourinho
• Website:

Dishes of the street

This is a list of bahia dishes that you can eat from vendor on the strret or on the beaches.
Quejo fundido: rectangular chunks of cheese served on a stick after been tosted over coal, slyghtly salty and with oregano.(1 or 2 Reais)
Acarajè and Abarà: acarajè is deep fried bread of mashed bkackeyed beans flour, in dendè oil (strong palm oil) filled with sundried shrimps, pimenta (hot pepper souce), vatapà (special paste with shrimp, peanuts, coconut milk) cururù and sald. Abarà is similar to acarajè, but boiled in palm leafs. This product are cooked and selled from ‘Baianas de Acarajè’, women dressed with tipical crinolin white dress ( white is the color of Iansa, orisha of the wind in condomblè).(1-3 reais)
Churrasco: it’s like a kebab, chunk of meat, served with farofa ( made with tapioca flour) ( 1-2 reais)

Boi Preto: Churrasco: a world of meat

One time in your trip have to try a churrasco: the meat are cooked on the grill on a big ‘churrasco’ (spit), the waiter arrive at the table with the churrasco and explain the type of meat, so you can choose to take a piece or not, afert arrive another weiter can eat all you want since you put a red button on your plate.
The best Churrasco in Salvador is Boi Preto.
• Theme: Steakhouse
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Directions: on Orla Maritima road north side

Yemanja: Tasty & traditional acarajé, moqueca & caipirinhas

Famous for its traditional and delicious Bahian cuisine... Charming decor (A lovely mural of the sea decorates the back wall; the side wall features broken china pieces set in stone for unique effect), servers in typical Bahian dress of white dresses and headresses and a lively and bustling atmosphere, located along the beach.

Be sure to peruse the dessert cart overflowing with delectable Bahian desserts of coconut and such.
We began with Acarajé... fried cakes of beands, onions, dende oil and shrimp with a typical pureed yuca-type sauce.
Tim and I shared scrumptuous moqueca de pitu, a sweet-tasting freshwater prawn in the traditional coconut, garlic, onion, parsley, pepper and tomato stew.

Then, for dessert Ninon convinced me to try this dessert of sweet curtled milk, not as bad as it sounds! :-)
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Av. Otavio Mangabeira 4655
• Directions: Boca do Rio, The Beaches
• Website:

Il Forno: Great pizza selection

This pizza joint in Barra near the lighthouse is located in a nice old house that has been transformed into a pizzeria. The menu had at least 40 different kinds of pizza and the service was prompt and attentive. I ate downstairs, but there is also an upstairs with a patio. The kitchen is open so you can watch them putting your pizza into one of the ovens and smell the cheese melting while you wait starving.

I ordered a Broccoli and Garlic pie and drank an Antarctica chopp. The pizza was better than I expected and the mere fact that they have so many great choices on the menu, makes this place worth a try.
• Theme: Pizza
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Rua Almirante Marques de Leao 77
• Phone: 071 264 7287
• Directions: Near the lighthouse in Barra

Sorriso da Dada: A gap-toothed wonder

Don't let the exterior appearance deter you from eating at Dada. Once inside, you'll find a cozy room with paintings of the proprietor herself, Dada. She is a warm looking Afro-Brazilian woman usually depicted in traditional clothing and with a bright smile accented by a charming gap between her two front teeth. Too bad I didn't meet her while I was at her restaurant. Based on the photos of famous celebrities (Hillary Clinton, for example) on the walls with her, she looks like a very friendly lady.

I started with a caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil that's made with sugar, lime, ice and a sugarcane liquor called cachaca. Then, I ate a couple appetizers which filled me up just fine. The casquinha de siri (crabmeat) was really good. I also had vatapa. Yum.
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Rua Frei Vicente, 5
• Phone: 071 321 9642
• Directions: Pelourinho
• Website:

Lambreta Grill: Fresh Seafood Simply Prepared

Spectacularly well-hidden, this gem boasts freshly caught & grilled seafood on lambretas (think fajita grills). There arent many frills in the decor, but the caiprinhas here will make your remember that you are INDEED in Brasil. Very popular with the locals, this place is often crowded and lively. Ask to sit upstairs if downstairs if flooded with families for a quieter experience.
Shrimp with garlic & oil, little mollusks (cant remember the local name) with the pureed sauces draped over them. Order two plates of these delicacies per couple (i.e.,2 platters for 4 people). Mistakenly we didn't, and were politely yearning for more even after the meal was done.
**this is one place in Brasil (Bahia particularly) where you can find broccoli in winter** The vegetables in this restaurant are absolute perfection!
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: less expensive than average
• Address: Rua Alexandre Gusmão, 70
• Phone: 335-0107
• Directions: Rio Vermelho

Sucos: Excellent Selection of Tropical Fruit Blends

Brazil is one of those countries where tropical fruit is in abundance. Local markets are usually the place where you find the greatest selection of fruit from the area which may vary as to the region. Mango, papaya, pineapple, bananas, coconut, passion fruit, guava, cashew, melon and watermelon you can get nearly everywhere. Still the most exotic fruit comes from the Amazon region. Ah, I just never had enough of acai, cupuacu, bacuri, murici and graviola.
To get your daily dose of vitamins you can instead go to the near juice bar. You can find them in all bigger Brazilian cities.
It was a Saturday towards noon and I was strolling the streets of Barra with Lidija. After the long Friday night we were just in need of some vitamins. She liked Sucos and used to go there quite often. So she suggested we could have a breakfast there.

What a difficult decision among so many different fruit and mixtures, the choice was really endless. After a long consideration we took one cupuacu and one selected tropical fruit blend, both of them with the addition of guarana and crunchy cereals. They were absolutely delicious!!! and besides, an excellent energy supply :))

The good thing about Sucos is that they even offer home delivery 24 hours a day.
• Theme: Local
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Rua Marques de Ceravelas
• Phone: +55 71 3331 0693
• Directions: Barra

Sorriso da Dada: Dessert to die for

You didn't think I'd skip dessert, did you? I can't remember what this was called, but it was an amazing, rich chocolate cake of some kind. The cake was moist, almost wet, so it's possible that it was made without flour. The sauce on it was a warm, creamy, sugary coconut wonder. Wow. It was great!

CASA DA GAMBOA: Bahian Elegance

One of the most elegant restaurants in Pelourinho, Casa da Gamboá serves up a Bahian "nouvelle cuisine." The classic Bahian dishes such as bobó de camarão are still on the menu, but the kitchen has gone beyond to create some fabulous modern fare. The camarão ao molho de manga is a tropical explosion of flavor; big juicy prawns are flamed in cognac and served with large pieces of mango in a creamy mango sauce. The elegant peixe tropical, or catch of the day, is grilled in a clove, cinnamon, and fruit sauce. Open from 12:00hrs to 23:00hrs
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Rua João de Deus 31, Pelourinho
• Phone: +55 71 3321 3393
Village Novo: Dish of today-Prato de dia!

From 13.h to 17.h , many both tourists and local people have discovered that the Village now has turned into a restaurant. You can choose, either to eat in the restaurant, or to take away. Prices are around 6 R$ for a large portion.
The new thing here is that they serve an everyday different dish. Always local food. Grand portions of well prepared Bahiana cuisine, from cosido, feijoada, to muqueca!
Mondays though, only the standard breakfast, pancakes, sandwiches, and lasagna(big and good!)

• Theme: Local
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: least expensive
• Address: Avenida 7 de Setembro 3659
• Directions: Porto Da Barra
• Website:

Acido Naturais: Vitaminas and sandwich paradise

This is the paradise of Vitaminas ( local fruit milksake made with an incredible variety of fruits) or u can try a good Acai' ( iced amazonas fuit with Guarana' and flakes, pure energy!) or Cupuacu or Claorofilas.
If u are hangy u can made your sandwich and u pay the right wheigt ( comida a kilo).
there is also a corner where u can buy surf apparels, shirts, hats,...

• Theme: Health Food
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Phone: Pituba 71-452300
• Directions: There are 2 restaurant: Imbui' - On rua das Araras, paralle to Av. Jorge Amado 71-3622434 Pituba - Parallel road of Av. Paulo VI, turn near Super pao, and turn lef on the corner of Gm Supermercado 71-452300
• Other Contact: Imbui' 71-3622434

Baraca Da Benta: Tira Gostos at the Beach

On the Porto Da Barra Beach, you will find her baraca underneath a forest of umbrellas.
In there Benta is cooking her delicious fishes on her little burner every day. She buys the fish from the fishermen when they come in, and serves them immediately for her hungry costumers, who will be waiting while drinking a beer in the baraca.
The place is a very popular spot for local Salvadorians, who always gather there because of the friendly and fast service.
To keep her costumers comfortable she and the girls helping her, will see that you dont melt, by occationally cooling the sand and everybodys feet with seawater.

Corvinha, Peixe Vermelho and Sardinhas, fried Na hora, served with Salada, Farofa, and Molho De Pimenta á la Benta! With that some nice cold beers!
Condensed pleasure!!
• Theme: Seafood
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: least expensive
• Address: Porto Da Barra
• Directions: Beach Baraca

Bar dos Internacionais: Bar dos Internacionais

Not a tourist restaurant. Excellent prices, massive quantity of food, no one trying to sell you stuff and chill out atmosphere.
Lambreta. Lambreta is a special kind of oiter, boilled with lemon, salt and other spices. Wonderful! This place is known for having the best lambreta in town! You can also have 'chumbinho' - the famous and expensive 'vongoli' that are cheap and ordinary in Bahia.
• Theme: Other
• Directions: Travessa Engenho Aleone, 01 - Mouraria Tel: (71) 322-2167 Tue - Fri from 17h on Saturday from 10h to 18h Not far from Forum Rui Barbosa
• Other Contact: Tables on the middle of the stre

Restaurante O Picuí: Restaurante O Picuí
There are some sorts of typical food in Brazil. One of them is Comida Nordestina (Northeastern food). What does this mean? The Northeast is the poorest driest hottest most full of illiteracy and misery, underfeed in the country. And because of all those things, it is also a victim of prejudice by people from the other regions of Brazil. Thing is there is a GREAT culture there to be known, GREAT cuisine (despite all difficulties - or should I say BECAUSE of them?), the best beaches in the country, cheapest tourism and much more.
Salvador is the capitol of Bahia, wich also makes part of the northeastern region. Read a bit about those tensions before you come to Brazil.
Back to food,
Carne do Sol (Meat of the Sun) is one of the most delicious thing you'll ever eat. It's a delicious salty soft meat, with baked aipim (a delicious local root) covered with enbottled butter, fried aipim, vinagratte salad, farofa (manioc flour fried with butter and onion).. huuummm! And you can get enormous portions in this restaurant, four people will eat from it and all of you won't be needing another meal for at least a day.

Carne do Sol

• Theme: Other
• Address: Rua Joao Ponde, Barra
• Other Contact: Very pleasant place. Seems like

Varal da Dada: Varal da Dada

The owner of this restaurant, the lovely Dada, is known and reknown as one of the best cook in the country. Her specialty? Bahian food. She wrote a very famous book called 'Tempero da Dada' (Dada's spices) with portuguese and english versions of some of her receipts. *** ATTENTION *** There is a restaurant in Pelourinho called 'Tempero da Dada'. It used to belong to her, but when she got divorced her ex-husband got it for himself. So the only Dada thing there is the name. In Varal da Dada - not in a touristy place, no people trying to sell you souvenirs, a pleasant and calm and fresh veranda - she is the one cooking and she comes to your table and talks to you if you invite her. She is very sweet and prices are more than fair.

Bobo de Camarao (Shrimps boiled in dende oil and yucca cream.... hmmmm...)

• Theme: Other
• Directions: RESTAURANTE VARAL DA DADÁ Rua Teixeira Menezes, 55, Alto das Pombas, Federação Tel: 332-1777 e 331-4382
• Other Contact: Tue - Sun 12h to 18h Mastercard

Salvador da Bahia Travel Guide


Everyone in Salvador was saying how lovely Praia do Forte was, in fact, they were saying it in Rio too. The travel books made it seem like a small resort town. We've got enough of those here so I wasn't completely convinced until we got there.

To ge there you'll need to take a tour from Salvador, hire a taxi for the day, or rent your own car... We rented a car.

When we pulled off the highway at the sign that advertised Praia do Forte and TAMAR I had no idea what to expect, we travelled down a winding dirt road for a while and then... there it was, this village, so remote yet charming, with thatched roofs and huts, small shops, small cafes and such. We headed for the beach first... gosh, it was lined with some of the most beautiful palm trees I've ever seen.

After alittle R&R beside the ocean we visited TAMAR, the sea turtle project. Very cool little set up with a variety of sea turtles and sea life to observe and even TOUCH at one of the many pools. Be sure to stick around for a feeding, those little guys go crazy when fed, it's cool to see.

After TAMAR we strolled the main thoroughfare of Praia do Forte, checking out the little shops, seeking out a place for dinner... There were tons of choices. We settled on a place and enjoyed more caipirinhas and a good meal. I'll write a tip on that place soon.

After dinner we found a unique ice cream shop with what seemed like a thousand flavors... and strange flavors at that! Ninon had CORN ice cream...Another unique aspect of the ice cream shop was that you served yourself from the big buckets of ice cream. I'd never seen that before!
There seemed to be a lot of cozy little pousadas in Praia do Forte, I could see how a person could stay there and vegetate for a week.... I'd definitely go back.

In a land so full of music & dance see a folk show

OK, so, usually I would see such as a bit too touristy but all the music and dance that is Salvador drew me to experience the show at Solar do Unhao.
Solar do Unhao exists in this great 18th century colonial building of stone and exposed wood beams, down a steep hill- Warm lighting invites you in, the scent of a Bahian buffet fills your nostrils. And BAM! your photo is snapped with a woman in traditional Bahian dress which someone will later show you, glued to a plastic plate that you can purchase.... :-)
Tim and I opted to skip the dinner buffet and have wine instead as we watched the show... (We had dinner at Sorriso da Dada on Rue Frei Vincente later that night). I think we paid $40 REAL per person for the show alone.
The performance began with the sacred dances of the Candomblé, then Puxada de Rede in honor of Yemanjá, the goddess of the sea, followed by Maculelê, an acrobatic stick and sword dance from the cane fields.
The most amazing part of the show in my opinion, was an exhilarating display of Capoeira- it was incredible. The show ended with the Samba de Roda, a spinning, swirling version of this exuberant national dance in which those in the show dragged members of the audience up onto the stage to samba away with them...

There are two nightly shows, call for exact times.

• Address: Solar do Unhao is located on Av. do Contorno
• Phone: 329-0660
• Directions: Take a cab here.

Folcloric ballets: samba de roda, capoeira and more

In the square of Jorge Amado museum, near a beautifull church there is a foundation to learn a job to young ‘not rich’ boys and girls: they can learn brasilian cooking, became weiters or learn about music and traditional dancing, so every night you can taste in a good ‘all you can eat’ restaurant a lot of brasilian dishes made by themselves and see a beautifull show about ‘orishas’ of candomblè, capoeira and the slavery history......but they speech only portughese!
Another chance is Balè Folclorico da Bhaia: rua Gregorio de Matos 49 - 55(71)3221962

Cidade Baixa (the Lower City)

Cidade Baixa is part of the city at the foot of the bluff. The most easy way to get from Cidade Alta is by Elevadora Lacerda. This historic district was made up of the port of Salvador and adjoining warehouses and business. There's little of interest for tourist here. Most of the original structures have been demolished and replaced with private and government office buildings from the early 20th century. ¸
However, it's not completely without interest. You are likely at least to pass through to get to the Terminal Maritimo, where you can catch a boat to one of the islands in the bay. And there is one essential stop, Mercado Modelo, offering seemingly endless choice of regional arts and crafts. Cidade Baixa extends westward to the area known as Bonfim, a neighbourhood famous for its Afro-Brazilian festival and home to the famous Igreja do Bonfim. If you go on little further, you soon come to Ribeira.

Mercado Modelo

Mercado Modelo is a Salvador's largest market and one of Salvador's landmarks. An old covered market with the best selection of the artesanato in the city, is set on its own by the old harbour, across the road from the foot of Elevador Lacerda. It was built in 1861 and originally used as the customs house for shipments coming into port. In 1971 the building was converted into the present-day Mercado and in 1984 quickly rebuilt after the fire.

It functions again as a centre of Bahian arts and crafts with more than 250 stalls. Here you'll find capoeira trousers, Bahian traditional clothing, lacework, jewelry, wood carving, trinkets, musical instruments and CDs, souvenirs and much more. Prices here are about the same as in Pelourinho, but don't be afraid to bargain, especially for jewelry and handicrafts. Some of the nicest souvenirs are the painted statues of candomble deities - look for the sign "antigos religiosos".

In the square in front of the market you'll find more arts and crafts stalls with a host of hippie-style items and occasional capoeira demonstrations and live music. Even if you don't buy anything, Mercado is a very enjoyable place to visit. There is always something going on in and around the market and it's always crowded with Bahians and tourists. In the back is the covered patio area, where you can relax and have lunch or a cold drink. You find a Banco do Brasil ATM machine and an information ofice to the left of the front entrance, and upstairs there are a couple of good restaurants.

It is open Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 9am-2pm.
• Address: Praca Visconde de Cairu
• Phone: 071 3241 0242
• Directions: Cidade Baixa (the Lower City)

Pelourinho - The Old Heart of Salvador

There is no visit of Salvador without spending some time in the old city of colourful pastel-hued colonial buildings, cobblestoned streets and a sense of history, clustered around the Largo do Pelourinho, also known as Praca Jose de Alencar.

Pelurinho is a living museum with numerous buildings from 16th and 17th centuries fully restored to their original beauty and charm (there are always buildings undergoing restoration as the job is practically endless). It's the largest example of Baroque architecture in the America's, declared in 1985 a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site.

"Pelourinho" means whipping post and this is where African slaves were publicly punished during colonial times. Slavery was outlawed in 1835, and over time, this part of the city, though home to artists and musicians, fell into disrepair. A major restoration effort resulted in making the area a highly desirable tourist attraction.

During the day you can walk the streets, looking into the many clothing and art shops, bars, restaurants, museums and churches. At night Pelourinho offers music and dance events in its many public squares. The Laranjeiras area is loaded with charming restaurants offering delicious Bahian food and a number of programmed events take place during the week.

No other place reflects so well the soul of Bahia as Pelourinho!
• Directions: Cidade Alta (the Upper City)

Porto da Barra Beach

This beach is locaded in Barra. As it is a kind of bay, there are no waves, that´s why many pepole go there to swim.
At this beach you find many tourists, because Barra is a tourist neigborhood. But you also find people from Salvador, specially students. Almost forgot: It is possidle to practice diving here (i´ve never tried!).
Its it one of my favourits.

Catedral Basílica

Constructed in the 17th century, with gold, marble, wood and ivory, mixing baroque and rococo styles.
In this church we can usually appreciate concerts, such as Bahia’s Symphonic Orchestra presentations.
For me, it is the most beautiful church of Salvador (and the city has MANY churches), an amazing place.

• Address: Praça 15 de Novembro
• Phone: (71) 321-4573 / 3484
• Directions: Terreiro de Jesus Centro
• Website:

Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Rosario dos Pretos

Built by and for slaves between 1704 and 1796 to honour Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks, this church didn't receive due attention outside the local Afro-Brazilian community until long after it was built.

The church uses a mixture of themes, both African and Catholic. The blue and white facade is a mixture of baroque and rococo architecture with oriental-looking towers. After extensive renovation, it is worth a look at the side altars to see statues of the Catholic church's few black saints. One of the highlights of this church is the painting of the Passion with a black Chirst. African rhythms pervade the service.

It is open Mon-Fri 9:30am-6pm, Sat 9:30am-5pm, Sun 10am-noon.
• Address: Largo do Pelourinho
• Directions: the old city centre of Pelourinho

Sport, drinks and foods on the city beachs

It's impossible to stay in Brasil without spend some time on the beachs: you can choose quite, desert palce, but all the brasilian love to stay on beaches with 'barracas' ( beach bar) drinking fruit shakes (vitaminas) or "bem gelada cerveja", eating fish or shrimps, playing beachvolley, football, fishing, doing capoeira, surf, windsurf or is a way of life, like music that you can listen everywhere.

• Address: 10 minutes along the Orla Maritima, north side
• Directions: In Salvador you can do beach sport in a lot of palce but I prefer Piatà because is a littel bit more outside from the city center and it's we practice kitesurf.

Elevador Lacerda - The City's Largest Landmark

In 20 seconds, Elevador Lacerda (Lacerda Elevator) takes you from Praca Tome de Souza in Cidade Alta (the Upper City) to the Praca Cairu in Cidade Baixa (the Lower City). You travel more than 70 meters in one of the tallest public elevators in the world. Some 50.000 passengers make the trip every day (about 120 at a time) using four elevator. It's especially suitable for visiting of Mercado Modelo and the harbour. The fee is unbelievably low. Usually there are short queues but the elevator runs quickly and so does the queue.

Jesuits installed the first manual rope-and-pully elevator around 1610 to more easily transport goods and passengers from the port to the settlement (before that, slaves would ride mules up and down the hill carrying heavy loads). In 1868 an iron structure with clanking steam elevators was inaugurated, replaced by an electric system in 1928.

Elevador Lacerda is an Art Deco masterpiece and Salvador's largest landmark. Don't miss the fantastic view on Baia de Todos os Santos from the windows behind the elevator entrances!
• Directions: from Cidade Alta to Cidade Baixa

Igreja de São Francisco/Ordem Terceira de São Fran

Beautiful from the outside yes, but step inside and be sure to spend a good amount of time observing the ceiling of the room that you first enter.
It would be good if someone that works there helps you a bit, but the ceiling features a magical mural. Depending upon where in the room you are standing, images within the mural change- it's fascinating really.
Once you've paid to enter step out into the courtyard, if you're not totally awed by the beautiful blue and white porteguese tile work about you, something's wrong with you! :-)

Each panel (and there are several!) of the courtyard depicts tales of faith, death, friendship and 'the world' depending upon what exists just beyond that wall- the wall of faith has the church itself on the other side. the wall of death has the cemetery beyond it, the wall of friendship has the monkhood behind it and lastly the wall of the world has the streets of Pelourinho behind it.
OK, now.... go into the actual church and marvel at the mass quantities of gold EVERYwhere you look. This place is gilded to the hilt in high-baroque fashion. It practically glows gold. You'll just have to see for yourself...
. Address: Praça Ancieta (off Terreiro de Jesus)

Savour some Acaraje

Baiana women are everywhere selling acaraje...
You will recognise them by the hoop skirted frocks and the white headwraps. The last time I arrived in Salvador I ate my first Acarje there directly outside the airport car park.
Baianas have secured a monopoly on the dish. Acaraje is a protected food in that is is designated as a national food item where one has to be licensed and dressed in traditional cloths in order to fry and sell it in public.
Acarje is shelled and ground black eyed peas deep fried in palm oil/dende oil. Abara is the steamed version... I was suprised because it is exactly the same dish West Africans call Moi Moi... I had heard about this food before I went on here... come to find out I had been eating it all the time!
It is served split in half and then stuffed with vatapá, shrimp, salad and okra.

It is so delicious and filling... you have to try!
Address: Pelourinho, beach areas... restaurants...

Palacio Rio Branco

I was told that this is now a museum, but it once was a government palace. It sits high above the lower town in the Praça Tomé de Souza, which also contains the City Hall of Salvador. The Rio Branco Palace is definitely the most architecturally interesting building in the square. You'll also find the Elevator Lacerda which gracefully drops you down to the lower town and gives you great views over the Bay of All Saints below.

Casa de Jorge Amado

If you're trying to decide which museum to visit in Largo do Pelourinho, go to this one instead of the Museu da Cidade. Once again the signage is exclusively in Portuguese (people must have thought I was a slow reader when they saw me struggling to decipher the information on the signs).
As the name implies, the museum is dedicated to Brazil's most well-known writer, Jorge Amado. Unfortunately, at the time of my visit, I had never read one of his books, but since I love literature, I was very interested in learning about him. Keep in mind, I don't read Portuguese, but from what I could tell, Amado was fairly unknown for a time. Then he was accused of being a communist and fled to Prague where he remained in exile for awhile. Then, when the dust settled he began to focus his stories on the lives of women and the poor and set most of his stories in his home of Bahia. The streets of Pelourinho are the setting for his popular novel, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.
Check out the website below for more info and reading suggestions.
• Address: Largo do Pelourinho 51
• Phone: 071 321 0122
• Website:
• Other Contact: 3 reais admission

Have your picture taken with a Bahian woman...

When we got to Pelourinho we noticed many woman dressed in typical Bahian dress...

These Bahianas, bedecked in white turbans and white dresses to resemble candomblé priestesses will eventually approach you and ask if you'd like to have your picture taken with them for a small fee. Why not?

Aeroclube Plaza Show

This place reminded me of Orlando?Ultra colorful and lively, it's like an outdoor entertainment center and mall rolled into one. But the locals seemed to flock to it. Featuring restaurants, food and drink kiosks, tons of shops, bars, a night club, a miniature golf course, go carts, bungee jumping, you name it...
Doesn't feel like Salvador there. But it's something different to do, especially if you're traveling with kids.
This is also where Fashion Club is located... a nightclub some of the concierges at our hotel told me about. Didn't venture out to it though.
Sorry I didn't take pictures, like I said, it looked and felt like Orlando so I didn't see it necessary.
• Address: Av. Otávio Mangabeira, 6000
• Directions: On the beach side of the street just North of Yemanja
• Website:

Watch Capoeira
Most days in Praca de Se (Pelourinho) you will see young men playing Capoeira, as well as drummers... drumming. Just have some spare dosh to give them because they don't take too kindly to having their pictures taken without pay.
Capoeira is an art form that emerged in Brazil during the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade. It is mostly practised in Salvador blending music, ritual, acrobatic movement, and combat, capoeira is at once a dance, a game, and a dangerous martial art. You will often here people saying that they are going to "play Capoeira."

• Address: Praca de Se
• Directions: in Pelourinho, The Historic District

A Candomble Ceremony
We booked through a travel guide we met in Pelourinho to go to a ceremony. It cost us 40 Reais each.
We were picked up at about 9/10 pm in a mini bus and went around hotels to pick up other people. The ceremony was held in a community centre in a favela.

In the communal ceremonies of Candomblé, the orixas are summoned through ritual drumming, chanting, and dancing in terreiros or houses of Candomblé. Exu, the messenger spirit who intervenes between the believers and the orixas, is the first to be summoned by the drummers and dancers. Exu opens the way for the orixas to descend to the earth.
As the Candomblé ceremony gains momentum, orixas become manifest in particular initiates who enter stated of ecstatic trance, becoming mediums through which orixas perform ritual dances and make their presence known to the believers.
It was midnight when we left and the ceremony had not yet finished. It was very interesting to watch but I think it was perhaps a show put on for tourists... but nonetheless I can understand that because if it was real they wouldn't necessarily want a whole bunch of tourists observing and taking pictures.

Directions: Can probably book through the Tourist Office in Pelourinho... Rua Gregoria de Matthos

YES you can also samba!!!

=) Don't get me wrong, I am not one of the dancers in the pic, I got this pic from google, so if anyone from the pic get to see this, don't sue me abusing your pic, ( I just got this pic cause thought was too good)
yeah there are couple of samba schools where you can indulge yourself into samba madness. I wanted it so much, but couldn't manage to sign up for it, cause of lack of time. Maybe next time..
but the brit I met in the hostel said wasn't too expensive (oh well, to a brit, virtually everything in brasil might seem cheap though), and also pretty fun, too!!!!!!!
Have fun in your samba night!

Visit a Favela
dont know if this is something I would reccommend everybody to do... but I certainly was curious... hearing so much about Favela conditions... danger etc...
I was scared when I first got there because of everything I had heard... but when I got there it really was fine... Yes it is poor and the conditions are somewhat shabby... but they are just people living not robbers... drug dealers etc... they have eating and drinking places... beauty salons etc...
I was fortunate enough to have someone I met take me to their family's home. They were very welcoming and made me feel comfortable. We sat down had cofee and watched a talent show on TV.
I wouldn't reccommend going in the dark or when it is raining because those slopes are a bi%*h. I was struggling to climb the hills and the lack of drainage makes it all the more worse.

Cidade Baixa

Salvador is a city of two halves, divided into the Cidade Alta ("Upper Town") and the Cidade Baixa ("Lower Town") by an escarpment some 85m (275ft) high. The easiest way to travel between the two is to take the elevator known as Elevador Lacerda, which was built in 1873 (the first to be installed in Brazil) and, fortunately, been restored several times over the years.

The Cidade Baixa is Bahia's commercial and financial centre and port. It is busy and safe during working days, but largely deserted and considered unsafe at night. We spent most of our time in the Upper Town but one morning took the elevator down (it costs just a few cents) to explore the area at its foot. Emerging from it the first thing we saw was a large covered market, the Mercado Modelo, which is a major shopping point for locals and tourists alike, with everyday food stuffs and delicious-looking seafood alongside craft and folk art pieces such as musical instruments, masks and carvings.

At the far end of the market we emerged onto a street facing the water, where young boys were practicing capoeira outside a small café and collecting plenty of tourist tips for their trouble. We were happy to sit here for a while, enjoying the show while we relaxed with a cold drink – well worth the few coins we paid them for their efforts.

There was also a stand selling the traditional berimbau, a percussion instrument consisting of a wooden bow about 4 to 5 feet long (1.2 to 1.5 m), with a steel string, and a hollowed-out gourd attached to the lower portion of the bow as a resonator. These instruments are an integral part of capoeira.
• Directions: Take the Elevador Lacerda

Tuesdays Carnaval Blocos

Anybody who goes to Salvador have to experience these drums! Sometimes it feels like the different Blocos are "fighting" to make the loudest sound. All the streets will be filled with music, especially first and last tuesdays of the month.
You dont even have to go to a bar to get yourself a drink, as vendors will come around offering icecold and very cheap softdrinks and beers to the audience.

• Address: Pelourino, Center of Salvador
• Directions: The streets of Pelourino tuesday nights from 20 – midnight

Nigerian Cultural Centre

Bahia, the state with the largest percentage of Blacks, is the capital of this religion, which closely follows its African roots and traditions among the Yoruba people of Nigeria and the Bantu people of Angola and the Congo. Yoruban traditions, including the most commonly used names of the orishas, predominate... so it is only approriate that there is a Nigerian Cultural Centre.
• Address: Pelhourinho
• Directions: I dont have the exact address and can't find any detail about it but it was in Pelo and can be spotted by the green and white flag hanging outside.

Dique do Tororo

Dam built by the dutch (NATURALLY!) a long time ago and recently reformed, Dique do Tororo is simply dazzling. In its surroundings you find good restaurants, places to work out at, sidewalk so you can promenade along the lake, benches for those in love, boats, canoes etc...
• Address: Tororo
• Other Contact: The dam is full of sculptures of


Enough of walking around zombielike in the harsh heat of the day , from 16th century church to 17th century church...? Now you're starving and thirsty and you want to rest in the shade..... Go and have lunch at the open air Cantina da Lua near Terreiro de Jesus and diagonally across from Igreja da Ordem Terceira de Sào Domingos. On the first picture we slowly gather at the right place planning to pig out as much as possible. On pic # 2 it's like : "After the Deluge"....The table looks like a battle field.... After hanging around for quite a while , pic # 3 shows our group at dusk near the Elevador Lacerdo ( 1872 and refurbished 1930 ) , with the Bahia De Todos Os Santos ( Bay Of All The Saints) in the background and the Cidade Baixa below. Driving along the Bay / Ocean Boulevard , we come to the point where the Bay ends and the Atlantic starts , there is this beautifully lit lighthouse which is more tourist attraction because of it being built on top of a fortress ( pic # 4 ) and finally , before heading back to the hotel THE typical brazilian refreshment - very tasty and healthy - coconut water , served in it's natural cask at shacks along the Ocean Boulevard. ( pic # 5 )
• Directions: Cantina da Lua near Terreiro de Jesus and driving along the Bay / Ocean Blvd

Abaete Lagoon

The city of Salvador has a lagoon where laundrywomen used to launder in the past. Nowadays there are some public buddles close to the lagoon, where laundrywomen still do hand wash. You can see them walking with a clothes package on their heads.

La ciudad de Salvador tiene una laguna en donde las lavanderas solían lavar al ropa en el pasado. Hoy en día hay varios lavaderos públicos cerca de la laguna, en donde las lavanderas aún lavan a mano. Se las puede ver caminando con un atado de ropa sobre sus cabezas.

BEACHES - III Stella Maris


Stella Maris
The name of this beach is latin and means 'Star of the Sea' - the name in portuguese of the starfish. This beach is absolutelly dazzling and the most surfable in Salvador. White sand, wonderful sunset, troubled water - we like it wild, we like it rough!
• Address: After Itapoan.
• Other Contact: You'll need to take the bus 'Pra

Salvador, as I have said, is a party-town. While nearly every night can be party-night here, the authorities - themselves party animals - actually organised special street parties on weekend and TUESDAY nights.
During these nights, stages, food and drink stalls are set up at the various squares - Largo do Pelourinho and Largo Terreiro do Jesus, for sure - and the party starts early.

From 8pm onwards, there ought to be some bands playing away, and locals should start hip-swaying and forro-dancing somewhere soon.
Then, as the night progresses, the streets heat up with more and more people gathering to join the Olodum drummers, following them behind like Pipe Piper, and dancing crazily away to very vigorous beats. Nearly every alley-way is crammed with people hanging out, dancing and listening to great music. Sometimes, there are concerts somewhere. Simple local bars become very crowded, chairs are set out on the streets nearby and impromptu bars are created as endless alcohol gets dispensed.

As more and more cans of beer are consumed and tossed, and perspiration gets sprayed about, you might see more and more couples suddenly hooked up and kissing and making out right at the alley-ways, oblivious to all around.

One big amazing party!
Note that, on the contrary, Monday night is dead-town.

Rio de Janeiro Sports Travel

Hang Gliding in Rio

Hang Gliding was one of the reasons I visited Rio and I contacted Paulo Celani a week before I arrived in Rio to make sure that I don't miss the opportunity.

The conditions for flying depended on the weather and we had to call it off for few times. According to Paulo, cloudy days can be even better than very sunny, clear and hot days.

On my third day in Rio, we flew from Pedra Bonita Ramp, located at the Tijuca Forest National Park, at a height of 1700 feet (520 meters) and landed on Sao Conrado "Pepino" Beach.

The flight lasted about 20 minutes. According to Paulo, the flight time depends on the wind and the weight of the passanger. Weight limit was 220 pounds (100 KG).

The whole trip took approximately about 2 hours to be back at my hotel. They picked me up from my hotel at 10am and gave me a ride back around noon. According to Paulo, the best time is between 9am and 2pm when we have the chance to get better wind and stay longer in the air.

Paulo and his hang gliding instructors were all certified instructors by the Brazilian Hang Gliding Association and they were all insured instructors.

Previous experience was not required to go on a tandem hang gliding flight. On the ramp, right before the flight, they gave me all the explanation necessary for the take-off, flight and landing. All very simple and easy. It was not cold during the flight and I was fine with a t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes. According to Paulo, you can also wear sandals that can be tied to your feet.

You can make your reservation in advance by email ( or you can call Paulo at 9985-7540, 9798-1804 and at night to 2268-0565.

The cost for the hang gliding was R$240 (US$100) and this included the transportation from and back to my hotel. The optional fee for photo was R$60 and for DVD was R$150, which included the photo.
• Theme: Extreme Sports
• Phone: 9985-7540
• Website:
• Other Contact:

See a futebol (soccer) game at Maracana

Seeing a game at this famous stadium, built for the 1950 World Cup, was one of the highlights of our trip, you don't really even need to be a sports fan to get caught up in the excitement of the matches. At one time this stadium held 200,000 people (and that number may have been reached a couple of times in its history), seats have been removed and the capacity is around 100,000, still a heck of a lot of people!

We had heard so many cautionary tales about traveling to Rio that we decided to go on one of the guided excursions to Maracana with the same guide we did a day tour with the previous day. The cost is 50 reals ($25 US), most of which is for transportation as the face value of the tickets were 5 reals ($2.50 US). For me it was worth the extra cost of having guaranteed transportation, a local to explain some of the customs and a group of people to sit with.

The day we went, there were 2 semi-final matches, our guide said the more popular teams were already eliminated which might have partially explained the low attendance. But we sat for the first match with one teams group of fans and then moved for the 2nd game to another section that came complete with the own flags, plastic flags for the fans and a drum section. It would be impossible not to get caught up in their enthusiasm!!!! The 2nd match was tied at the end so it went to a penalty shootout and our team won-YEAH!

Vendors bring around drinks and snacks during the matches so no worries about going thirsty or hungry. But I wouldn't recommend the Globos, they taste like cardboard-blech!

Bicycling along the beach

Bicycling along the beach would definitely be on my to do list when I visit Rio again next time. The beach was very long and it took me several hours to do a round trip but it was definitely worth the trip. Not only you get to observe the spectacular views but it was also a great way to burn calories from having all the Brazilian BBQs.

I recommend renting bicycles from Andre (contact # below). Although Andre doesn't speak English well, he brought a bicycle to my hotel exactly at the time he promised.
• Theme: Biking
• Phone: 2511-5168/2511-5093
• Other Contact: 9195-3760/9155-8270 cell

Thrillseekers' delight

An optional part of our tour was to go hang gliding from one of the peaks in Tijuca National Park down to the beach, one of our group of 4 opted to do this so we went up and watched as fearless person after fearless person jumped off the cliff. I thought the vultures circling around were an ominous sign but our fearless guy went ahead, got himself strapped into his gear and jumped off the cliff for the short ride down to the beach (the heavier you are the faster it will go). I think he paid $120US for the pleasure of flinging himself off the side of that cliff, it might be less if you booked separately without being on a tour but hang gliding is not an activity where you want to go with the cheapest guy!!!!

We passed on this, me because I had already tried parapunting in New Zealand and while the ride itself isn't that scary, the hour sitting around waiting for your turn was absolutely nerve wracking!

There's also an option to go via tandem parachute but as we were climbing up to get to the ramp where they launch there was an ambulance that went by, our guide said there were more accidents from using the parachutes than the hang gliders.

He reported back that the only scary part was running down the ramp, once he was in the air he said you really didn't have the sensation of being that high up, kind of how I felt when we went hot air ballooning.


There are 2 main types of Capoeria: Angola and Regional. I have just started practicing Angola (a more controlled and slow moving version while Regional is faster and more aggressive). It is an amazing sport and fun to do. The movements aren't like anything I have ever done before. I highly recommend either watching a practice or Roda or joining in on a practice.

The group I meet with is very relaxed and everyone is entitled to a demo (free) class.
So check out mine or find one near you!

FYI: We have traditional Rodas every Saturday at 3pm. Everyone is welcome to watch

No shoes needed. Wear workout clothes if you do not have Capoeira pants. Be prepared to work your ass off.

• Theme: Other
• Address: Rua Conde de Baependi 71
• Phone: 2265-9099
• Directions: It's located at Victory Academia in Laranjeiras accross from Lojas Americana

Climbing at Urca

Urca (the base of Sugar Loaf) offers more then just a running/walking path. This spot offers numerous types of climbing. For those without ropes or who need to practice more, there are spots where you can do horizontal climbs. This is also a great spot to warm up. For more advanced climbers there is an amazing rock on the water that will challenge even the best. There is also a third spot that is perfect for negative climbing work and mid-level climbing. Just look off the path towards the water and you'll see the climbers.

For all climbs other then the horizontal you're going to need someone to lead and all equipment. There are hooks already in the rock to use.

If doing the horizontal work you need someone to spot you if you are cautious but it isn't high at all.

• Theme: Climbing
• Directions: At the base of Sugar Loaf. It's next to the government buildings and the little little stretch of beach. It's in the far left corner.

Rio Beach Sports

Whether you want to participate or watch, everyone can have fun with beach games. Brazilian Volleyball is a lot of fun, but hard because you can use everything but your hands and arms! Beach football is also extremely popular amongst the Brazilian youth. They have football games in the morning and in the late afternoon (too hot during the day). Both sports are a lot of fun to watch and if you want to participate you can try that too.


All right, you can usually do it if you come to Rio, but you will have two options...Once going to a very touristic hill in rio and paying a fortune to fly...Using paraglyders or handglyders of course!!! the second option is going to Niteroi where many local people have fun jumping from the hill with paraglyders, it is a flying school with very serious and efficient instructors. and they charge very small fees for the visitors!

I went there many times! and this is my face of happiness when I fly like a voiture in the skies of Niteroi with a gorgeous landscape of Rio and Niteroi at the same time!!!;)

Good paraglyder and with an excellent instructor called Luciano!;)

• Theme: Extreme Sports


It is hard to go there by bus, because there is no bus that takes you to Prainha...It is hard to go there walking, you have got to cross some hills to finally reach this gorgeous paradise. So the best way to go there is using a car and also get to know someone who knows the area quite well.

But when you head your way to Barra da Tijuca and follow the coast going west, you will find a Natural Reserve called Grumari...Prainha is the first beach of this Reserve!


• Theme: Surfing
• Directions: In the order..Barra da Tijuca, Recreio, Macumba and finally Prainha!!!

Pumping up in the Zona Sul

Rio is a "body beautiful" city, so it's easy to find a gym (in Brazil they are called Academias) to work out in. Most have reasonable daily/weekly rates. If you don't want to pay to exercise then you can always get a good workout at one of the various exercise stations on the beaches.

I have worked out at more gyms in Rio than I can remember, but my favorite is a gym called Neves Academia which is on N.S. Copacabana just north of Rua Dias de Rocha. It isn´t a fancy gym and it has a lot of rusty weights and old equipment, but it is popular with serious weightlifters and muscleheads. My kind of people.

Another good gym that actually has dumb-bells that go as high as 100lbs (45.5kgs) is a gym called Equip 1 Fitness Center. It's also located on N.S. Copacabana, just north of Rua Santa Clara. This academia is spread across 3 floors, yet despite this fact it can hardly be described as spacious. None-the-less, with rates of R$105/125/ or 145 for a week/15 days/ or 1 month I'd say it's a pretty good deal for a respectable facility. The rates are a bit higher if you also want to take part in their spinning or aerobics classes. Some of the staff members speak English.

A popular gym that is frequented by the well-to-do is called BodyTech. It has two locations I know of: one on N.S. Copacabana directly across from the side street of Rua Dias de Rocha (about 100 meters south of Neves Gym on the other side of the street) and there´s another one in Ipanema on Rua Gomes Carneiro; close to Rua Canning. The daily and monthly rates are steep, but they do have good facilities and a fetching staff of garotas.

In Ipanema there is a gym called Ipanema Sport Club that is open 24 hours a day with good equipment PLUS they have daily, weekly, and rates for two weeks that are quite reasonable. A pretty good option if you happen to stay in this part of Rio. It´s on Rua Visconde de Pirajá; less than a block west of Praça General Osório.

Don't Miss Volleyball Played Soccer-style on Beach

While Brazilians wowed the world by being the ONLY country to win the World Cup five times (Penta Campeao!), their prowess is best demonstrated by watching them play volleyball with their feet. It is truly amazing to watch three people per side play volleyball using only their feet. NO HANDS. They can keep the volley going for great lengths of time.

If you're lucky, you might just stumble across the competitions on the beach during your visit.

Rio de Janeiro Shopping

Hammock: Hammock

I still regret I did not buy one. There is a street market along Copacabana beach where you can find a wide variety of hammocks.

The prices vary but you could by a decent one for about 100 reals which is about USD 33.

Rio Sul: Great Mall

This mall has everything from all the best in women's clothes, men's clothes, to furniture. It also has a good food court, great shoes, and a movie theater.

A bikini for the ladies. You have to have a Brazilian bikini. Shoes. Jeans. I have found my best jeans in Rio and at a fraction of what I would pay here.

• Theme: Other
• Website:

Rio de Janeiro Tourist Traps

A little homework can save you some money

It's always a good idea to findout, in advance, how much you should expect to pay for your taxi ride from an airport to your hotel. The hotel would be the best place to ask this question if you are not able to get the information through the virtualtourist site.

It's also a good idea to ask the driver about the cost of the ride before getting into the taxi. Otherwise, you might end up paying for the ride, driver's lunch, and his daughter's new clothes. :)

On the day of my arrival in Rio, a taxi driver approached to me at the airport and tried to rip me off by offering a price 6 times more than what it normally costs to get to my hotel. He told me R$300 to get to the hotel in Leblon when it should only cost around R$50. That was ridiculous.

Fotunately, I had done my homework prior to arriving in Rio and knew exactly how much it costs to get to my hotel. I found myself another taxi driver who offered a reasonable fee.

So it's true. Homework does pay off at the end. Haha.

Beware of Vendors at the Corcovado Train Station

The Corcovado Train is a very popular tourist attraction ( I've taken it twice - see my Corcovado Railway travelogue ), and well it should be, because it is a spectacular trip.

Be very careful of the various vendors that surround the sidewalks and parking areas near the station at the base of the hill as they can be very aggressive in their selling of various things. They are not selling things inside the official station grounds for a reason!

If you have to go past these people, try to get past them as quickly as possible. It is tempting to want to stay and watch their antics, but be very careful in doing so, as this opens you up for being surrounded on all sides by various street vendors yelling at you. Avoid these street vendors and the Chinese made crap they are selling as Rio de Janeiro memorabilia.

Be really careful that this distraction does not open you up to robbery or other attack.

Go around behind the station, and visit the (free!) museum of the Corcovado Train, and a few other areas while you wait for the train to depart.

If you want to visit street vendors, there are many throughout Rio that have better items and more authentic items - and are less agressive than here.

The various vendors that are inside the station area, as well as those at the summit at the statue, are more polite, and have true Rio de Janeiro memorabilia for sale.

Anywhere in the City

Snatching of jewelry while walking
Money changers offer good rates

Don't wear expensive jewelery
Don't check into a bus alone
Stay in southern parts of the city
Make a copy of your passport and leave the passport in the hotel safe
Take only as much money as you really need

Keep all in your hotel safe
Wear a money bag around your neck below your shirt or keep it in front pockets.

Along Ipanema

Don't discuss with anyone while your wallet, purse or camera is on your blanket at the beach. Be alert at all times.
Dealers try to get you into a conversation, while some others are checking what could be taken along....

Don't take the persons into your hotel rooms unless you are sure to know them for quite some time - even if those dark eyes promise you that they like you so much!

Be aware of drug dealers - even don't get close to the idea.
Don't expect too much help from the police. And don't sign any documents before you have talked to your business friends or even your embassy or consulate.

Be alert and have always a friend guarding your belongings.
Watch your belongings when dealers are approaching to sell drinks or souvenirs

If not necessary to bring more than a towel- leave all your valuables at the hotel

Favela-Tours in Rio...

One of the biggest tourist traps in Rio de Janeiro, in my opinion is doing the 'Favela tour'. It's a guided tour inside a favela (shanty town).

I believe people can be curious about how people live in a slum, but visiting it like visiting a zoo, sounds a bit strange for me !!!
I have never done this in any place of Brazil nor will I ever do it!!!

The poor and poorer favelas can be very dangerous. Drug dealing is common and popular amongst the poorest of the favelas. The crime rate is very high in these places. The poor sell drugs to the poorer and it is an endless chain. I reccomend only seeing them from far.

If you still are interested in such kind of "Favela Tour" please never go yourself there or trust anybody you knew a few hours before who wants to show you around....
it is like a self-suicide!!!
If you are really interested to see how the poor are living there, then please contact a Tour Operator and go there within a group!

I will not post any of the Favela Tour -Operators here 'cause I am against this kind of tourism, but if you really want to visit a shanty town you can be sure that you find something, at least you can ask at your hotel reception for it.

For those of you who understand to read in portuguese you can have a look at the Favela's Webpage: />
For the people who are interested in the biggest Favela in Southamerica called "Rocinha" in Rio:

Plataforma 1

Well, first of all I have to say that I didn't know where to put the Plataforma 1-Samba Show,...if it would be better to put it together as NIGHTLIFE or as TOURIST TRAP...
As I am more the kind of "native Rio-tourist" I have never gone there to this show, but I have experienced one time this kind of show in Germany (which was pretty fantastic), but when I think of going to a samba-show in Rio itself I would not really recommend this show, because it is more like a LAS VEGAS-show than really shows you the samba and Carnival-atmoshere like it is!

What's offered is supposedly a song and dance showcase of Brazilian culture. True, the rhythms are fast and catchy and the women are gorgeous and extravagantly costumed, but the whole slick and packaged product has all the spontaneity and charm of a McDonald's Big Mac combo--and about as much connection to Brazilian culture.

If you really want to go here's the adress:

Rua Adalberto Ferreira 32 -Leblon
Tel: 021/2274-4022
Fax: (021) 512-1243
E Mail:

Prices : Admission price depends on whom you book through. Minimum price R$80 (US$40)

Bus: 415

You'll have a much better experience watching and participating in the Carnaval rehearsals, the Blocos, or any of the live music venues around town where real live Brazilians (as well as visitors) gather to enjoy the music played by contemporary artists.

Discoteca HELP-Copacabana

To all of you who maybe are thinking to go to the very famous and - I guess- biggest discothec in Soutamerica called "HELP" in Copacabana be aware of that there you will only find prostitutes, no normal women to go out with the day after or something like that....
for all this women you have to pay!

And besides of this, there are a lot of brazilians who knows that every night a lot of foreigners are there, so pay a lot of attention, because there it can be dangerous ....!

To those of you who still are interested in here's the Web-adress:

Okay, if you are a single boy/man and want to know a beautiful brazilian girl/woman better go to other clubs or discothecs in Rio, ..there are a lot of options better than HELP!


Everything is in reais, so it is still not so expensive for you, but it is, the Christ is a very touristic place, and the prices are for tourists, but if you do not want to be treated like a fool when you spend your money.
I am sorry all the stores in the Christ and also in the Sugar Loaf mountain, but the prices are not honest!

May 14th, 2005

Remember that every souvenir can be cheaper in Santa tereza, in the Hippie Fair in Ipanema and in the little fair in front of Help Disco in Copacabana! Even cheaper are the art crafts sold in the Feira do Nordeste.

You can buy post cards, little pins or very small stuffs, but do not buy overpriced touristic souvenirs.

In Petropolis you can buy statues of Christ, and they are cheaper than in the Christ Mountain itself!;)

Change money

Don't change money with the touts at the airport arrivals hall.

If you arrive at the old terminal take the elevator to the top floor shopping area. There are cash machines and a Banco Brasil with an exchange service on this floor. All the touts at the arrival area change the dollars that you give them at the bank at a much better rate than they give you.

Save money on football at Maracana

We went to a football game at Maracana. First of let me say it was amazing!!!! Second we paid 80Reals per person, that included transportation to/from hotel and the ticket to the game. We found out later that the actual ticket was 5Reals! And there are no seat assignments, so you sit where you want. So if you have a few people, better off taking a taxi, even if after the game the taxi will be more expensive than usually. But, in any case, did I mention that the game and the stadium spirit were amazing :)!

Lots of traps on the way to the Christ

If you have a car in Rio and decided to go up to the Corcovade mountain to see the statue of Christ, you might end up being exposed to couple of well-equipped trap-guides on the way. Once you exist from the Corcovade exist from before the tunnel, you will end up at a crossing where you will pass under a bridge. There you will see guides with green tshirts (very clever) jumping in front of your car and trying to urge you not to keep on with the car.

If you stop, they will kindly introduce theirselves as authorized guides, show logos on their tshirts, open their guide books to orient you about the place and provide prices. They might tell you that "cars not allowed from this point on", there has been crime cases where the police has banned car travel etc. Final case will end up with an offering of bus trip up and down, 36R per person!

Keep on and when you come to another crossing half-way to the top, you might see the red tshirt guides who will also ask you to guide you on the way. These are, my guess, are local kids trying to grasp a share of tourist wallet. They are not that well equipped and ask for a favor-like contribution to have them into your car and provide local guidance on the obvious.

When you come to the first green tshirt guides, first thing I would do is not to stop, kindly greet and keep on.

If they stop you, you can kindly listen to the initial conversation, say that you will drive up yourself and know that it is actually allowed.

In case they come up with "new regulations by the police" and "no access to the cars", ask why there is no gate there!!!

If all these doesn't work, simply be tough to say thank you, ignore the guys and follow the path. You will come to a car park area, leave the car, pay 2R, take a minibus to the top (which is 10R per person and takes about 10 min by drive. It is almost 2,5 to 3 km uphill so don't go up walking anyway) and enjoy the view.

Prostitution in Copacabana Beach

At night all Copacabana coast will be crowded with prostitutes but be careful around the Sofitel Hotel, this is a place for the transvested "girls".

Prefer the girls around "Help" discoteque.

Always ask the price and check with your hands if it´s a girl or not. Good luck.

'Discoteca Help' is not what...

'Discoteca Help' is not what guides say. That's a huge room full of 'women for pay'. No dance, no dance music, no party.

If you travel for sex, be...

If you travel for sex, be aware. Not all the prostitutes are women. Use hand test as suggests.

There was a disco, named...

There was a disco, named 'Help!' next to our hotel. It was advertised as 'latin america's biggest disco'. We through we'd go check it out so we paid the $16 cover to go inside. What a disappointment. It was very empty and many women there seemed to be looking for johns. We looked around and found it a bit pathetic, so we left. Avoid Help! at all cost unless you are looking to pay for some local fun. (By the way I hear the local latex is not to be trusted...)

Watch out when someone calls you "Amigo!"

Although most carioca's may be very, VERY friendly, there are some naughty Carioca's who might want to trick you into something you don't want to get into.
At Lapa, someone was calling for me, and had I stopped and listened to him, who knows what might have happened! He might have bought me a drink, that's true, but let's not be naive; it could have turned out completely different. Fortunately, I never found out.

When you do listen to them, take every possible caution, you never know what might happen...

Try talking to people yourself, and don't listen to the "Ey amigo!" callers...

Favela Tour

Fafela Tours are definately a tourist trap. Although they claim to be completely safe (since the druglords are paid a fee to let you in) there is absolutely no guarantee to your safety due to gang rivalries (gangs attack favelas "run" by other gangs in disputes to take over the drug trade in the area) and police actions. People die on a daily basis in Favelas on acount of gang and police actions.

The other big problem is that these tours pay the druglords a fee to guarantee the safety of the tourists. This fee is used to maintain drugtraffic.

Just don´t go.

There is no alternative.

Watch out at Copacabana

Seriously, I cannot stress this enough! Copacabana can be a really dangerous (though very exotic) place! I heard several stories about girls offering themselves at night at night clubs near the Copacabana (for money, not for free of course, no such thing as a free, euhm, lunch!). Especially when you don't look Brazilian you might get in trouble.
I felt really unsafe when I was walking around while it was raining. A couple of menacing-looking people passed by, seizing me and checking me out... They didn't do anything, as I probably looked too macho and masculin to them (roflol!)...

If you want to take pictures, please do so, but go back immediately after you took them, or put your camera away somewhere safe... Best is to go with as many people you know as possible.
Best advice I got was to put your belongings in a plastic bag (like your regular Carrefour, or GB bags) and to take absolutely as little as possible!
It's not always safe to ask your neighbours to watch your stuff, as they might also take your things and run off...

The alternative to this beach is Ipanema! I don't understand anyway why Copacabana is so popular... Ipanema beach is much nicer, more easy going, less crowded, more colourful...
Niteroi and Leblon also sounded nice; although I saw some pictures from Angra das Reis (or sth) and that looked really like paradise! Sth. to check out on my next trip...

TAM Airlines Sucks

TAM Airlines is one of the main airlines that services Iguassu Falls but to not use them. My flight from Buenos Aires was suppost to leave at 8:00 AM but when I arrived at the airport at 6:50 AM the TAM agent informed me that they had neglected to inform me that the flight was now at 7:00AM! Instead of working with me to get me there or refunding me my money they simply told me I would have to find another carrier if I wanted to go that day! Luckly Aerolineas Argentinas saved the day with a flight to the Argentine side of the falls where I took a cab to my hotel on the Brazillian side.

Watch out at the business district in the weekend!

We stumbled across the business district coming back from the Rodoviaria to get tickets to Brasilia and found ourselves in the midst of hords of homeless people laying on the ground...
We got off the bus and saw clochards everywhere. It gave a really bad feeling, and I was getting really anxious! It only ended when we were amongst 'normal' people again near the new Cathedral... The picture below was taken at great risk; I was feeling like I was being followed all the time, and I really wanted a picture, so I took the chance.
Of course no one was following me, but I felt very paranoid. It was just the whole atmosphere, I guess. Knowing that you have more in your pockets than they will have in four or five months...
Funny thing is that during working days the place is packed with people and you feel very safe, it's really like a different world then!

You have absolutely no reason to go there, believe me! But if you do go, wear fast shoes :-)
But no fancy sports shoes, they might nick them :-/

Try Cinelandia or any other part of the Zona Sul ;-)