Where can I find last-minute lodging near Salvador, Brazil?
January 10, 2005 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Last-minute Brazil accomodations: a friend and I are traveling to Brazil from January 28th to February 6th. She won a free ticket, it's a bit of a spur-of-the-moment thing, and of course it overlaps with Brazil's biggest festival. Please help us find lodging near Salvador. [MI]

We fly into Sao Paulo (GRU) around 11pm on 1/28, and fly back to the US 11pm on 2/6. (Her free ticket was only good for Sao Paulo.) We've found fairly cheap fares from Sao Paulo to Salvador through GOL.

I'm looking for cheapish (of course) lodging in or near Salvador de Bahia, or recommendations of how to find such places from the US. Recommendations of towns accessible by bus from Salvador that aren't likely to be slammed by tourists during Carnaval - in case we simply can't find lodging at all - would also be welcome.

I'm also open to other, completely different ideas on where to go once we touch down in Sao Paulo. I sort of have my heart set on Salvador, but maybe that was premature.

I apologize for asking you to help deal with our lack of foresight, I do understand trips to Brazil during Carnaval are usually planned much further in advance. And thanks for your help.
posted by lbergstr to Travel & Transportation around Salvador, Brazil (6 answers total)
If your question was asked a few weeks later, I'd be able to give you a great answer. I'm moving to Salvador in March. I'm afraid I don't know how you can find lodging at this point, but I just wanted to encourage you in your choice. Salvador is an incredible city. Anyone who tells you otherwise has probably not been there in the past ten years or so.
Carnival will be starting on Feb. 3, the day after another huge holiday that is pretty unique to Salvador, the Festa de Yemanja. It would definitely be something neat to witness.
I recommend this online guide to Salvador, which is written by an American, for more info about the city and where to go outside it.
Drink a couple of caipiroscas for me!
posted by wallaby at 8:54 PM on January 10, 2005

Response by poster: Great site, wallaby! It has a listing of places just outside of Salvador, which may be easier to get reservations at. Thanks!
posted by lbergstr at 10:30 PM on January 10, 2005

Response by poster: Ok, based on the impossibility of finding hotels in Salvador thus far, the current plan is to stay in Recife (where I have been able to find rooms, as long as Orbitz isn't lying to me) and hang out in Olinda. If anyone knows of a reason why I shouldn't do this, lemme know.
posted by lbergstr at 12:07 AM on January 11, 2005

wallaby, what are you going to do in Salvador? I study and teach in Florianopolis. My email's in my profile.

Sorry I don't have any Salvador tips lbergstr - too bad you're not going to Rio. But I've only heard good things about Olinda, and it looks great on TV!
posted by dmo at 5:15 AM on January 11, 2005

Salvador is great, although personally I prefer it less crowded than during
Carnival. There are still places available in Salvador. You may try some here
(portuguese), or if you want to contact an english speaking travel agent in
Brazil who can arrange accomodations for you e-mail me and I'll send some contacts
(I am not a travel agent).

In Pelourinho I suggest sampling different types of Bahian food at the Restaurante-Escola
do Senac, where the dishes have labels and there are options without as much
dendê. For something more creative, try Paraíso Tropical (71-384-7464).
The best sunset is from the outside terrace at Mercado Modelo, but for something
more expensive but worth it, try Trapiche da Adelaide. Praia do Flamengo is
one of my favorite beaches, and nightlife is sweet at the Rio Vermelho district
(best bahianas selling acarajé). I realise you are on a budget, but everytime
I am in Salvador I make sure I have at least one dinner at Trapiche Adelaide,
it is really worth it.Olinda is also great. Carnival is different, frevo is
everywhere, and there are lots of different things happening.

If you are sick of the crowds, get a daytime bus from Salvador to Lençois
(avoid nighttime transfers to Lençois as there have been many robberies
where the road is worst), and visit Chapada Diamantina. This is one of my favorite
places in Brazil and is really incredible. Some photos here
and here
(self link).

posted by ig at 5:39 AM on January 11, 2005

I was in Recife just over a year ago. Nothing there really but some polluted beaches (that plenty of people still swim in). I still liked it though -- I mean, it's Brazil after all! :)
posted by eas98 at 8:47 AM on January 11, 2005

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