Itaipava beer cans

How to Drink Beer like a Local

Beer is a big part of the culture in Salvador. A running joke for the past few years, during the economic and political crisis, has been, “as long as we have beer, there is no crisis”. And, with any major cultural element, there are guiding principles that inform the culture and etiquette. First, beer-drinking is […]

Beach in Itapuã

Surviving the heat in Salvador

Located at just 12 degrees south of the equator, we don’t really have seasons in Salvador. Being a tropical climate, the average daily temperature year-round is between 75 and 80˚ F year-round (24 – 27˚ C) with little nighttime cooling. And, humidity sits at 80% year-round. The only way you can really distinguish summer from […]

Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil

Weather in Salvador, Brazil

Salvador, Brazil weather has just two seasons — shorts and a tank top vs. shorts and a t-shirt. No, I’m kidding. It’s just shorts and a tank top. Year round. In all seriousness, being just 12 degrees south of the equator, it’s toasty-warm and humid (80% humidity) year-round. The key difference between summer and winter […]

People on the beach at Porto da Barra beach in Salvador.

Neighborhood Review: Barra, Salvador

My husband and I have a saying, “Barra tem tudo” (“Barra has everything”).  We live in Barra, and before buying our apartment looked at a bunch of other neighborhoods, but kept coming back to Barra for the sheer convenience — and ocean views. Are there less expensive places to stay? Sure. Do they have the […]

Miniature replica of the first trio elétrico

Review: Casa do Carnaval

Opening in February, 2018, the Casa do Carnaval (House of Carnaval) was long overdue in the city that has the largest carnaval in the world. Fittingly, it sits in the historic center of Salvador, in a lovingly-restored building between Praca da Se and the Pelourinho. At $30 reais, it’s quite a bit more expensive than […]

Street scene from Salvador carnival, 2018

Beginner’s Guide to Carnaval in Salvador

To say my first Salvador carnival experience was overwhelming and bewildering would be an understatement. First, there were new and unfamiliar terms — bloco, camarote, pipoca, circuit, fantasia, adabá — that I had to understand to navigate the behemoth event. Second, in the two months since I had last been to Salvador, the logistics of […]

Fantasia of Cortejo Afro, Carnival 2018

Carnaval Fantasia and Abadás

When I heard I needed a costume for carnaval, I instantly thought of the glittered masks of New Orleans Mardi Gras. My friend and I went on a shopping adventure, walked out with masks and feather boas, and showed up on the carnaval circuit all ready to go. Excerpt we totally weren’t. We completely mis-understood […]

Trio Elétrico Olodum, Carnaval 2018

The Afro Blocos of Salvador’s Carnaval

Are you as addicted as I am to those strong, rhythmic percussive beats of afro-brazilian music? The ones that make your hips and shoulders start swaying back and forth before you even realize it’s happening. Yes, those beats! Then carnaval in Salvador is definitely a place you want to be. With the largest black population […]