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Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

London, United...
1 post
Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

I'm want to visit Salvador in Sept 2011, but in two minds about it. Researching online is giving me mixed signals about everything from location, language and people issues as well as the weather.

Is Sept still a rainy month that it will prevent me from enjoying the beach, sightseeing, etc?

Is not speaking Portuguese such a big barrier for getting around and enjoying myself? Do one really need a local tour guide?

I prefer not to stay in the middle of the tourist trap areas but obviously as I'm not a local either, I don't want to stay in the neighbourhoods I don't know how to navigate in, any other reasonably priced places to consider?

OK, not being politically correct here, we know non-blacks (i.e. white) travellers tend to conjugate together and generally get better treatment when they travel. Thus, it would also be great to hear from other black travellers (darker complexion in particular) on how they found treatments from the local businesses (i.e. hotels, restaurants, etc) which to my understanding are run by mostly white Brazilians and white foreigners?

Santos, SP
Level Contributor
362 posts
192 reviews
1. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

In Brazil we don´t have problems with race. If you are white, black, japanese,etc. you will be be welcome. Don´t worry about it.

Salvador has a terrible public transportation. Avoid it. Ask in your hotel the best way to visit Salvador.

Near Salvador, don´t miss Morro de São Paulo. It is an islan, two hours by boat from Mercado Modelo in Salvador, with some virgin beaches. Stay from 3 days to a week there can e fantastic. Payatention thet there is no car inside the island!

If you have enough money stay some days in a Resort at Costa do Sauipe

Sayulita, Mexico
Level Contributor
1,641 posts
78 reviews
2. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

"OK, not being politically correct here, we know non-blacks (i.e. white) travellers tend to conjugate together and generally get better treatment when they travel. Thus, it would also be great to hear from other black travellers (darker complexion in particular) on how they found treatments from the local businesses (i.e. hotels, restaurants, etc) which to my understanding are run by mostly white Brazilians and white foreigners?"

Answer: you must be joking?

If you travel to Bahia Salvador you will find that most people living there are black.And even "white" people living in bahia have some african heritage...

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
4 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

I lived in Brazil 40 years ago. At that time, Salvador was my favorite city. But I was back in Salvador a few weeks ago (Aug 15-19, 2011.) In a word, Salvador was "disappointing." Unless I hear the city has changed for the better, I will probably not return. Streets and beaches were full of litter. The city is crowded. I saw many homeless people searching through piles of trash> Streets are filled with stray dogs, pushy vendors, and graffiti on nearly every wall. Getting around by bus is inexpensive, but buses are often stuck in endless traffic. It is an old city, but its (formerly) charming old buildings, as well as streets and sidewalks, are deteriorating. A friend who lives there says there is much corruption and therefore funds meant for restoration & upkeep of the city has been pilfered by politicians. Everyone I spoke to told me to be careful especially in crowds. I am a senior female American, obviously not a Brazilian, & experienced no problems, but I speak Portuguese and generally knew the city, which helped. I didn't wear jewelry and never flashed around money. I kept money & credit cards in 3 different hidden locations under my clothes, and only a small amount in a pocket to spend ---or in case I needed to fork over funds to a thief. I carried minimal belongings in a very small backpack (inexpensive camera, extra battery & memory card, a bottle of water, folding hat, sunscreen, and sun glasses.) As others have stated, race should not be an issue as most Brazilians in that area are a mixture of African, European and/or indigenous decent. But, is it worth it? I would say, NO.

Sayulita, Mexico
Level Contributor
1,641 posts
78 reviews
4. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

@CWoods240.In any urban city there will be graffiti,homeless people and some dirt.When i was there 2010 in july the city/beach was clean and presentable for any tourist who wants the Salvador Experience.

In Rio there are some robberies,dirt,graffiti and homeless people everywhere.Still it´s a city that is beautiful and one can experience the beauty of it.And many people keep returning to it every year.

So i would recommend to anyone to visit Bahia Salvador where Brasil was born and the old Capital Rio de Janeiro.Because where there is beauty,there will be also some ugliness present.

ZeZe

5. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

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Removed on: 08 September 2011, 21:38
Glasgow, United...
2 posts
6. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

i was there in june and loved everything about salvador tho the roads were a nightmare i traveled to rio for to days very cheap to fly to and a must go kind of place . i loved it so much i am trying to go back in september but the tickets have gone up in price so any help in getting cheaper tickets would be great flying from glasgow

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
128 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

I have been living in Bahia / Salvador for years now.

To answer the initial question "Is Salvador worth a visit in September ?"

Most certainly yes !

The rainseason is passed at that time and temperatures are tropically reasonable (around 30°C) whilst humidity is low.

About the other comments above ... well yes indeed it is a major city of Brazil (over 4million inhabitants) which means there are some disturbing areas to avoid indeed.

But generally the city is safe if you take a minimum of precautions (as Cwoods from Pitsburg writes here above).

Dirt is a bit typical for the mentality of the Baiano's (ie. they drink a can of refri an drop the can where-ever they are is unfortunately the way many people act ...)

In our neighbourhood (Centro Historico & Bairo do Carmo) we have cleaning people wiping the streets twice a day, and garbage is collected everyday, so in the end it all remains under control.

There is also a new mentality growing in the Prefeitura (CIty Council) to restore buildings (upcoming elections are no strange to that of course) so we see a lot of houses being restored or repainted.

Still there is a way to go into education of the population but it is (slowly) getting better.

Greetings from Salvador da Bahia

Ivan

Bridgeport...
Level Contributor
2 posts
19 reviews
8. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

Hi,

Thanks to Ivan, and others, for the responses. I am considering a multi-state trip to Brazil, with the majority of the time being spent in Salvador. I had most of the same questions as in the initial posting, minus the last one.

However, there is still one unanswered question: Is not speaking Portuguese such a big barrier for getting around and enjoying myself? Do you really need a local tour guide? I'm contemplating trying to learn Portuguese, but I'm told Portuguese is a very difficult language to learn. Can someone please advise? Thanks!

Vatican City, Italy
Level Contributor
760 posts
9. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

You don't really need a tour guide,although if you get a good one and no I am not nominating poster #7 ,it may ehance the experience. There is a hop on hop off our bus that will take you to most of the sites you are likely to visit.

http://www.salvadorbus.com.br/en/

Most of the larger hotels and pretty much all of the hostels will have someone who speaks English. Beyond the tourist environs, very few people speak English, you can literally go months without hearing anyone speak it. Learning at least a few key phrases will make life easier and of course it's polite.

Thats said countless thousands visit every year speaking no Portuguese. You shouldn have no problems.

10. Re: Is it worth visiting Salvador da Bahia in September 2011?

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Removed on: 10 October 2013, 02:06