How to Get Around Brazil by Bus

By Pedro Souza
June 19, 2017

With an area of more than 8.5 million km², Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. In a massive country that lacks a proper railroad infrastructure, knowing how to get around by bus is an essential skill. This is especially true if you want to explore the country but cannot afford to do it by plane or by car. Buses in Brazil are not only cheaper but they are also quite comfortable, and are often equipped with air-conditioner and reclining seats.

One can also travel almost anywhere through the bus lines in Brazil, which offer a wide range of options. Some of the destinations reached by buses are not accessible by planes, which makes them extremely useful even for those who are not limited by a budget. Also, let me remind you that among the areas not accessible by plane are among some of the most beautiful places in the country.

First of all, you should remember to plan your trip in advance. A good way of doing this is through Busbud, which allows you to choose from a great variety of schedules from most of the major bus companies in Brazil. This will allow you to choose a route of your desire at a time that is convenient for you, as well as good seats. It might also save you a good deal of time that would be spent waiting In a bus station. You still have the option of going to a bus station and buying a ticket there, but they are less convenient are quite hard to navigate if you don’t speak Portuguese.

You should also do some research and check which type of bus you want to get in. Buses vary greatly in both quality and price. Some buses will even offer comforts such as a front-seat TV and a WiFi, but they are also a lot more expensive than some of the other options available. Another thing that is always helpful is to speak some basic Portuguese so you can talk to bus drivers and bus station employees.

When travelling by bus, you should also take some precautions to avoid falling prey to thieves, which are known to target travelers. You are more likely to be targeted in a bus station, so be sure to keep all your belongings close and never leave them unattended. It might be useful to keep your money in a money-belt as well. When you are inside the bus, do not leave your possessions under your seat, especially if you are sleeping.

Another thing you should be prepared for is dealing with long bus rides. If you are travelling the country by bus, you might even have to deal with 20-hour rides. If you are the type of person that gets hungry during trips, be sure to bring some snacks with you. Even if the bus offers food, it might not satisfy you when dealing with long trips. It is always good to bring a distraction as well. Trips through the country and during the day are great for enjoying the scenery, but night-trips can be excruciatingly boring. Bring some books, comics, magazine or electronics that will entertain you.

Be also ready for unexpected changes. You might face problems due to weather conditions, road conditions or mechanical issues. If you are open to these changes and know what alternative routes you can take in case you face any problems, it might save you from a lot of stress. And last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have a good trip!

An Introduction to Higher Education in Brazil

By Pedro Souza
June 19, 2017

Brazil is not only a great country for living and visiting, but it also offers many opportunities for studying. Many Brazilian colleges appear frequently in the QS World University rankings, with USP (Universidade de São Paulo) and UNICAMP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas) being the two most prominent ones in the last ranking.

Educational institutions in Brazil are often evaluated, as a form of quality control. Postgraduate programmes are evaluated every two years by the government, and if they get a low score they are then monitored by the Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES).

There are different types of institutions that offer higher education in Brazil. The first of these institutions are universities, which are focused on teaching and research on different areas of human knowledge. Universities need to be recognized by Brazil’s Ministry of Education, which is known as MEC. For a university to be recognized by MEC, at least one third of its teaching staff must have a PHD. Then there are University Centers, which are institutions focused on multi-course teaching but with no obligations to carry out research.

One can also get higher education in Integrated Faculties and Schools of Higher Education, which offer both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Both of these institutions need to be recognized by MEC as well when opening new courses. Integrated Faculties are subject to a set of regulations made by a larger university institution to which they are affiliated, while schools of higher education offer one or a few courses in a specific area. Both of these institutions have little autonomy.

There are also institutes that offer courses and carry out research on specialized subjects, as well as isolated private colleges, which are not linked to any university and are not required to conduct research. These colleges offer graduate and post-graduate courses, and are very easy to be admitted into most of the time. Prices and quality in these colleges vary. Some private colleges offer excellent courses, but often at inaccessible prices.

Undergraduate degrees are known in Brazil as a “bacharelado” (Bachelor’s), and take from three to six years to complete. One can also take technology degrees known as “tecnologia”, which take from two to three years to complete and offer specialized courses with a focus on practical knowledge in areas such as agribusiness and metallurgy.

In order to apply for any institution that offer higher education, it is mandatory to have finished high school. Since 2009, one can enter certain universities using grades from the National Survey of Secondary Education (ENEM), a test that students take in the last year of high school. For the majority of courses, students will take a test offered by the college which is known as “Vestibular”, and which varies in content and subjects according to the institution and course that one intends to join.

If students have applied for in person education, they are required to attend at least 75% of the lessons and evaluations offered by the institution they have chosen. In many institutions, however, some teachers will not take note of students who are missing. One can also choose distance courses, which use printed and visual media, as well as the internet. Some courses are offered in English and other languages that are not native to Brazil. This tendency has been growing, as learning institutions have been showing an increasing interest in attracting foreign students. That being said, most courses are still taught in Portuguese only.

Free Things To Do in the City of São Paulo

By Pedro Souza
May 22, 2017

Being the third largest city in the world, there is always something to do in São Paulo. Although the choices are endless, however, money isn’t. Fortunately, there is always something free to do if you know the right place to look. To help you with that, we have compiled some options.

Visit the Latin America Memorial: Idealized by Brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro and designed by legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Latin America Memorial was created with the objective of straightening ties between Brazil and other Latin-American countries. The space is divided into a hall, an auditorium, a library and a gallery that holds art exhibitions. There are new activities and exhibitions every day, so no two visits to the memorial are the same.

Appreciate art at the Lasar Segall museum: A Jewish painter, sculptor and illustrator that migrated to Brazil in the 20’s, Segall was one of the most important artists of the modernist movement. With more than 3,000 of his original works, the Lasar Segall museum is a true delight for those who appreciate the visual arts. The museum also has a large library specialized in performing arts and photography, and it holds cultural activities such as guided visits and courses.

Watch Free concerts at Ibirapuera Park: Known as the largest park in São Paulo city, Ibirapuera attracts people from all parts of São Paulo for a whole host of different reasons. Among these reasons are the free concerts that take place in the park every-once in a while. The park is famous for its jazz concerts, but it also holds concerts from musicians that play a wide range of styles. The schedule for the concerts can be found in the auditorium’s official website.

Take a walk through Paulista Avenue: One of the main streets of São Paulo, the Paulista Avenue epitomizes the spirit of the city. One can walk through it appreciating the contrast between modern buildings and the old houses of coffee barons from other times. During the weekends, an amazingly diverse crowd gathers where the avenue crosses with Augusta street to hang out and enjoy themselves. Street musicians, performers and artisans selling handicraft add a final touch to one of the most loved hang-out spots in the city.

Check out the graffiti at the Batman’s Alley: Next to the Clínicas subway station in the Bohemian neighborhood of Vila Madalena lies Batman’s Alley. What was an alley like any other began to change when someone made a graffiti portraying Batman in the alley’s walls. The mysterious drawing attracted visual arts students, who started to make drawings and graffiti with cubist and psychedelic influences. Nowadays, the alley has turned into a gallery, with the graffiti being renewed every once in a while. Whether or not you are a fan of graffiti, it is hard to not appreciate the uniqueness and charm of Batman’s Alley.

Enjoy the view at the top of the Martinelli Building: In the heart of São Paulo, lies one of the best views of the city. While not as famous as the Banespa and the Itália Building, the Martinelli Building doesn’t have kilometric lines and can be visited for free during any time of the week.

Brazilian Football Culture: Slangs and Expressions

By Pedro Souza
May 22, 2017

Football plays an important part in Brazilian culture and life. This can be observed in the kids playing a match in the streets, in the television in the bar displaying a game and when cities erupt in cheers and fireworks when a famous team scores a goal. Being as involved with football as Brazilians are, they have developed a rich vocabulary that deals with the sport. Below, we have made a compilation of football slangs and expressions for you.

Banheira (Bathtub): A player is in a “banheira” when he stays in the offensive and does not return to the defense when the opposing team has the ball.
Bicanca: A kick delivered with the tip of the foot.
Mala preta (black bag): A “mala preta” is a gratification that a soccer club might offer to a team’s players as an extra incentive. This is also known as a “suborn branco” (white bribe).
Cavar uma falta (to dig a penalty): A player is “digging a penalty” when he fakes a situation to make a player from the other team get penalized.
Arqueiro (archer): A slang for goalkeeper.
Torpedo/Missile: A really strong kick is often called a “torpedo” or a “míssel” (missile).
No pau! (In the stick): An expression often used by narrators when the ball hits the goal post.
Chapéu (hat): A “chapéu” is a maneuver where a player dribbles another player by making the ball go over his head.
Golaço: An impressive goal is often called a “golaço” in Brazil.
Molhar a camisa (to wet the shirt): When a player puts a lot of effort in a game, it can be said that he is “wetting his shirt”.
Pé torto (crooked food): A player that misses to many passes is often called a “pé torto”.
Gol do meio de rua (goal from the middle of the street): A goal that is scored from a considerable distance if often called a “gol do meio de rua”.
Bola envenenada (poisoned ball): When a player kicks towards the goal a ball that is tricky to catch, it is often called a “poisoned ball”.
Camisa 12 (Shirt number 12): An expression for the people cheering for a team.
Frango (chicken): A bad goalie is often called a “chicken”.
Firula: An unnecessary maneuver done to humiliate an opponent.
Figura (figure): An important player.
Chavecar: To “chavecar” is to underestimate or belittle an opponent.
Carrinho (little car): When a player throws himself on the ground while trying to hit the ball or the opponent’s shins with his foot.
Botar pra naná (To put to sleep): When a player makes the goalie jump towards one side of the goal and scores kicking by kicking the ball towards the other side during the penalties, he has put the golie “to sleep”.
Craque: A popular expression for a really good player.
Desarmar (to disarm): To take the ball from a player from another team.
Ladrão (thief): A player that catches an opponent unaware and suddenly takes the ball away from him.
Matador (killer): A player that often finishes his plays with a goal.
Perna de pau (wooden leg): A player that has bad control of the ball.
Pelada (naked): An informal and carefree match.

What You Should Know About Brazilian Labor Legislation

By Pedro Souza
April 23, 2017

Despite the economic crisis, there are plenty of work opportunities in Brazil for foreigners. If you are thinking of working here, however, there are a few things you should know about the Brazilian labor legislation. The first thing you should be aware of if that in theory, you need a work permit from the Brazilian Ministry of Labor before you can get a job. To get a permit, you need to be sponsored by an employer before you enter the country. This can be tricky in practice, as some employers are not willing to pay the government a fine of more than R$ 2000 and to hire and train a replacement for you, which are the requirements for the permit.

Another thing that is important to know, is that foreigners are eligible for labor rights. In order to get access to these benefits, one first needs to acquire a CTPS (Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social). The CTPS is a workbook that keeps track of a worker’s jobs and employers, as well as granting him access to benefits such as unemployment insurance and social security benefits among other things. If a foreigner has a temporary, working or permanent visa, he can apply for a CTPS at a regional office of labor and employment.

In Brazil, there are two types of workdays. One consists of a six hour shift, while the other is an 8 hour long workday with a lunchbreak of 1-2 hours. Six hour shifts are usually coordinated so they end around lunchtime or start after lunch, but this is not always the case. If you are on a six hour shift and work less than 6 hours, you will be paid in proportion to how much you work. If you work more than six hours, you will be paid 6 hours plus an overtime. While workers are expected to work up to 44 hours a week, most companies demand 40 hours of weekly work.

The minimum wage in Brazil is R$788,00 at the moment, and is applied both to 8 hour journeys and 6 hour shifts. Companies must pay wages to their workers by the 5th day of the month. Every year employees also get paid a 13th salary, which must be paid by the 15th of December. Employers cannot pay different wages based on gender, race or religion, but they can choose to offer productivity bonuses.

Workers have to deposit 8% of their earnings into a savings account known as FGTS (Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Serviço). The money deposited into the FGTS can be used to buy or build a house, or it can be redeemed to the employee if he gets laid off. If an employee gets fired without reason, his employer has to add 10% of what he has already accumulated to his savings.

There is also a public pension fund known as INSS (Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social). Everyone must contribute 20% of their wage to it, and it pays a retirement pension for anyone that has worked at least 35 years or has become incapacitated by work. The INSS also pays for sick leaves.

Women are allowed a maternal leave paid by the INSS starting the 7th month of pregnancy. After the leave, they must be accepted back at the same position with the right to the same wage as before. Men get a week of paternity leave when the child is born. This leave is paid by the employer and then reimbursed by the INSS. If a worker has a small salary, he also gets a bonus of R$37,18 when he has a child.

Brazilian Business Etiquette: Tips for Closing the Deal

By Pedro Souza
April 23, 2017

As one of the largest economies in the world, there are plenty opportunities for doing business in Brazil. As Brazilians are highly social people, they enjoy doing business personally, which means you might have to deal with face-to-face meetings. There are, however, some cultural differences you should be aware of when conducting business in Brazil. With this in mind, we have compiled some tips for you:

1. If you are introduced to a potential business partner through a mutual acquaintance, he will generally feel more comfortable and be more willing to negotiate. This is a good thing to keep in mind.

2. In Brazilian business culture, personal relationships and business often mix with each other. Sometimes it might take you befriending someone and earning that person’s trust before you conduct any actual business.

3. Another thing to be aware of is that there is a thin line between friendliness and professionalism that should be respected. This will take good social instincts and some common sense.

4. Learn some Portuguese phrases before you attend a meeting. Even if you fail at communicating properly in Portuguese, your effort will be appreciated and will earn you some points.

5. Avoid confrontation during business meetings. If you have to criticize someone, do it in a non-confrontational way.

6. Brazilians will usually engage in small talk and socialize for a few minutes before business meetings. This might be frustrating to people that want to get straight to the point, but it is a good opportunity to gauge your potential business partners.

7. Brazilians dress well and formally on business meeting, so you should do too. Women usually wear feminine suits and dresses, while men wear dark suits. Lighter colored suits are acceptable in summer. Three-piece suits are usually worn by executive workers, while office workers prefer two-piece suits.

8. Don’t be frustrated if you are kept waiting when going to a meeting. In Brazil, there is a certain tolerance for arriving late at meetings and other occasions. That being said, you should avoid being late.

9. Be prepared for dealing with physical contact. Brazilians are touchy-feely people, and might pat you on the back or place a hand in your elbow or shoulder. If you draw away from contact, it might be interpreted as nervousness.

10. Despite the formal dress code, Brazilians are quite informal. Conversations take a casual tone, with jokes being common as well.

11. When greeting, men shake hands firmly. Women greet each other with a kiss in the cheek and greet men with a handshake. Usually, a woman extends her hand first when greeting a man. Another thing to remember when people are introducing themselves is that Brazilians are usually introduced by their first name.

12. When engaging in small talk, it is recommended to avoid talking about politics. Politics in Brazil is highly polarized, and Brazilians are very sensitive when it comes to hearing criticism of Brazil from foreigners.

13. In Brazil, meetings should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. It is also considered good form to confirm the meeting one or two days before it takes place.

Tim Maia: The Voice of Brazilian Soul Music

By Pedro Souza
March 27, 2017

With a rich musical heritage, Brazil boasts a plethora of musical legends. In a country that produced musicians such as Villa Lobos, Raul Seixas, Baden Powell and Chico Buarque, few musicians are as loved and missed as Tim Maia. Maia, whose real name was Sebastião Rodrigues Maia, was born in 1942 in the neighborhood of Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro. During his teenage years, he started playing drums at a band called “Tijucanos do Ritmo” formed in a church near his house. Maia soon switched to playing the guitar however.

In 1957, he founded a vocal band known as “The Sputniks”, which featured musicians such as Roberto Carlos, Arlênio Silva, Edson Trindade and Wellington. The band acquired some degree of popularity playing in a rock program in the TV channel “Canal Tupi”. After “The Sputniks” disbanded, Maia left Brazil to live in the United States in 1959. It was there that he had contact with soul music, which he quickly fell in love with. He started singing there in a vocal group called “The Ideals”, where he was known as “Jim”. His stay in the United States was short however, ending when Maia was deported back to Brazil in 1963 after being condemned for theft and drug possession.

Coming back from the United States, Maia brought soul music with him. In 1968, he produced Eduardo Araújo’s album “O som é o boogaloo”, which played an important part in the history of soul music in Brazil. It was also this year that he launched his first solo album through CBS, a compact disk with the song “Meu País” and “Sentimento”. In 1969, his popularity increased with the release of his second compact disk, this one with the songs “These are Songs” and “What Do You Want to Bet”.

While Maia’s name was growing, fame would come in the following year with the release of his album “Tim Maia”, which contains some of his classic tracks such as “Primavera” and “Eu amo você”. This album was followed by a series of other successful albums in between 1971 and 1975 named “Tim Maia Volume II”, “Tim Maia Volume III” and Tim Maia Volume IV”. In 1975 however, his career went through a drastic change due to his contact with a spiritual doctrine known as “Cultura Racional” (Rational Culture). In between 1975 and 1976 he launched two albums named “Racional Volume I” and “Racional Volume II” in which he expounded the doctrine of the Cultura Racional. Despite the fact that few people know about Cultura Racional nowadays, the albums he wrote during this phase are considered by many to be among his best, with a musicality heavily influenced by funk and soul music. After disagreements with Manuel Jacinto Coelho, who was the leader of Cultura Racional, Maia turned his back on the doctrine and took the albums out of circulation, turning them into a collectors item.

Maia proceeded to cruise through the eighties in a whirlwind of concerts and drugs, releasing more successful albums such as “Tim Maia” (1986) and the LP “O Descobridor dos Sete Mares”. In 1985, he recorded a version of the song “Um Dia de Domingo” from Michael Sullivan and Paulo Massadas together with the legendary MPB singer Gal Costa. He also took part in a musical named “Cida, a Gata Roqueira” (Cida, the Rocker Cat) in 1986, inspired by the movie “The Blues Brothers”. Maia began the 90’s releasing an album in which he interpreted bossa nova songs, displaying once again his amazing versatility. He would go on to record more bossa nova, soul music, pop and funk songs through the nineties. Unfortunately, his heavy drug use was taking a heavy toll on Maia, who became known for his problems maintaining his schedule for concerts and recordings. In march 1988, Maia was attempting to record a TV show when he felt ill and left the recording room without any explanation. He was taken to the hospital that day, where he would die from a generalized infection on March 15 at the age of 55.

Thus died one of the biggest musical legends in the history of Brazil. The country mourned that day, and musicians from all over Brazil paid tribute to Maia. Although his life was cut short, the mark he left on the Brazilian music scene remains strong. Nowadays, the man is no longer with us, but his music lives on and reminds us of his greatness.

Slangs and Expressions From the State of Goiás

By Pedro Souza
March 27, 2017

In the center of Brazil lies the state of Goiás. In Goiás one finds Brasília, the capital of Brazil, but the state is also home to wonders such as the state park of Chapada Diamantina. Going there, one will also be greeted with a local culture and a local way of speaking Portuguese. To get you acquainted with the Goiano Portuguese, we have made a compilation of local slangs and expressions below.

Acho paia (I find it “paia”): And expressions used when someone thinks something to be of bad taste.
Véi: The Goiano equivalent of “dude” or “man”.
Trem (Train): While the word “trem” means “train”, it can also mean “thing” in Goiás.
Prego (Nail): A person that is annoying or bad at something.
Encabulado: In most of Brazil, it means “ashamed”. In Goiás to be “encabulado” is to be impressed.
Dedar (To finger): To “dedar” someone is to snitch on that person.
Dar trela (To give trela): To give “trela” is to have a laughing attack.
Madurar: When the sun rises, the day has “madurado”.
Fuça: This word can either mean an animal’s nose or a person’s face.
Posar (To pose): In Goiás, to pose means to sleep.
Esbaforido: Tired, exhausted.
Agoniado: When you are in agony, you are “agoniado”
Segue toda a vida (Go ahead your whole life): When giving directions, Goianos will say that when telling someone that they have to walk for a long time in a straight line.
Caçar (To hunt): Goianos don’t search for something, they hunt it.
Mala (Bag): In the rest of Brazil, a “mala” is an annoying person. In Goiás, a “mala” is a cunning person.
Custoso (Costly): This slang can either mean a stubborn person or something that takes a lot of effort to accomplish.
Ta cedo moço! (It is early man!): An expression used when saying goodbye, regardless of how early (or late) it actually is.
Veiáco: A veiáco is someone who is quick-witted.
Clarear um caso (To clear a case): To solve a problem.
Comer na gaveta (To eat inside the drawer): When a person is being stingy, that person is “eating inside the drawer”.
Dormir no macio (To sleep somewhere soft): In Goiás, a person that lives an easy life is “sleeping somewhere soft”.
Matando o bicho (Killing the animal): When someone in Goiás says he is “killing the animal”, it means he is drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Esticar a corda (To extend the rope): If a person is asking too much from someone, that person is “extending the rope”.
Montar no gavião (To ride the hawk): To be disappointed or ashamed.
Picar a mula (To sting the mule): To run away.
Leréia: When someone is trying to deceive you, that person is talking “leréia”.
Espandongar: To “espandongar” is to ruin something or to create chaos or disorder.
Trelente: Someone who talks too much or who has no discretion.
Dar rata (To give a rat): To do something stupid.
Lascou!: When things goe wrong, a Goiano might exclaim “lascou”!
Esturdia: These days.
Estar com a orelha em pé (To have the ear up): When someone “has the ear up”, that person is suspicious or alert.
Sair da brasa para a labareda (To go from the embers to the flame): To go from a bad situation to an ever worse one.

22 Safety Tips for Travelling Around Brazil

February 27, 2017
By Pedro Souza

With dazzling nature, warm and friendly people, wild parties and a rich culture, Brazil has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, it is also known for its high crime rate. That being said, this shouldn’t be a problem if you take the necessary precautions. With this in mind, we have compiled some safety tips so you can enjoy your stay and have some peace of mind.

1. Dress like the locals and blend in with them. You are much more likely to be targeted if you are clearly a tourist.

2. Don’t wear jewelry or clothing that is too expensive in public, as this might attract robbers.

3. Avoid walking alone at night on empty streets.

4. In urban areas, there are some parts of the city that are extremely dangerous and others that are safe. When going to a city, learn where you are safe and which areas you should avoid.

5. If you get lost and find yourself in a shady place, try to relax and act like you belong there. If you are visibly nervous, this will make you much more likely to be targeted.

6. Learn some basic Portuguese. It is always good to have an idea of what people around you are saying. A basic vocabulary will also be of great help in case you have to ask someone for directions, help or talk to the police.

7. If you are out partying by yourself avoid getting blackout drunk, as that will make you an easy target.

8. Pickpockets are common in certain areas, and they are known to prey on tourists. When taking public transportation or visiting a crowded tourist area, do not put valuable items in your back pockets or in parts of your backpack that are too exposed. Getting a money belt is also a good idea.

9. Do not carry a lot of cash with you, and distribute your money between different pockets if possible.

10. Do not leave valuable items unattended in public places.

11. Don’t hang your bag or backpack in your chair when eating.

12. When walking around the city, try to check your path before going rather than opening a map in the middle of the street and showing everyone around you that you are lost.

13. Consider couch surfing or try to find a contact in the place where you are going. Few things will make you safer than having a local to show you around.

14. Get adequate health insurance.

15. If you happen to be robbed, do not resist under any circumstance.

16. Be aware of your surroundings. Simple as this is, it makes a huge difference.

17. Do not enter a favela. They are generally unsafe, especially for tourists.

18. Have the contact details for the nearest embassy of your home country in case of emergency.

19. When walking around, don’t be afraid of staring at people. This will make you more aware of what people around you are doing, and it is not considered rude in Brazil.

20. Be careful when crossing the street, as drivers are often quite aggressive.

21. When using ATMs, give preference to the ones inside banks.

22. Be alert but don’t be paranoid. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

Come Lose Yourself in the City of Salvador

By Pedro Souza
February 27, 2017

Once the capital of Brazil, Salvador is now the capital of Bahia, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The third largest city of Brazil, Salvador is a peninsula that stands between the Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay) and the Atlantic Ocean. Salvador has a strong African influence, which is visible in the cultural manifestations and religions of the city, as well as in its ethnicity. The city is divided by a cliff into two parts: Cidade Alta (Higher City) and Cidade Baixa (Lower city), which is by the bay.

In the Cidade Alta you will find the Pelourinho, which is probably the most popular tourist spot in the city. Considered a historical site by UNESCO, the Pelourinho is a neighborhood teeming with very well preserved buildings from the colonial era. The area also has plenty of museums where one can appreciate the rich history of the city and find artisanal shops that sell beautiful handicraft for those that want to bring a gift back home. Restaurants and bars also abound in Pelourinho, inviting travelers to take a break to enjoy a hearty meal or a few beers. While visiting Pelourinho is a must in Salvador, one must be watchful for pickpockets that prey on distracted tourists. When going there, don’t wear jewelry and never put anything valuable in your back pockets or in the front pockets of your backpack.

The city also offers plenty of beaches, although most of them are quite crowded during the weekends. Among the most beautiful beaches are the ones located in the Costa Azul (Blue Coast), a stretch of beaches between Pituba and Piata. The beaches in this region are great for swimming and sightseeing, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars in case you get hungry or feel the need for a beer. For those who want to enjoy a good seafood meal or do some windsurfing, the Amaralina beach is the place to go. As for the ones who want to know how locals live, try visiting Boa Viagem on a Sunday. For a more eclectic atmosphere try the Itapuã beach, a beautiful white-sanded beach located in an artist village. One can also take the green line, a toll road, and explore the beaches to the north of the city. Passing through sand dunes and coconuts, hundreds of kilometers of white-sand beaches are just waiting to be explored.

Salvador is also known for its vibrant nightlife, offering a range of bars and nightclubs for the party-lovers. On Mondays, a good option is the Ribeira neighborhood in the lower city, where people gather to drink and party. On Tuesdays, the party is at Pelourinho, which fills up with concerts all over the area. As for the weekends, the whole city erupts in parties for all tastes. The Carnaval parties that takes place every February in Salvador are also remarkable, being amongst the best parties in the country.

The people of Salvador are also a reason in itself to visit the city. They have a reputation for being very friendly, warmed and relaxed, even for Brazilian standards. They also tend to be very welcoming towards tourists, making a traveler feel at home. If are willing to engage with the locals, you will definitely make friends quickly, and maybe even fall in love.

Whether you want to come to visit historical sites, enjoy the nightlife, explore the beaches, do all of these things or something else altogether, going to Salvador is an unforgettable experience. If you wish to have an authentic taste of Brazil and immerse yourself in the magic of Salvador, come and enjoy!