Salvador has a typical tropical climate throughout the year, temperatures range from low 20s to mid-30s with relatively high humidity.
Between the months of December and March, especially February during Carnaval, the city is filled with tourists who book flights to Salvador from all over the world to come and soak up the electric party atmosphere. Each year millions of visitors from all over the country travel to participate in Carnaval, the second largest in Brazil and some say it’s even better than Rio’s. Travellers planning a visit should consider a holiday to Salvador during this festive time to experience one of the most vibrant cities in Brazil. Keep in mind that accommodation rates and airfares tend to be higher around this period, and the streets do get overly crowded.
In winter, from April to July, is the best time to book cheap flights to Salvador, but bear in mind it’s also the rainy season which deters some tourists from visiting during these months.
Nowhere is the Afro-Brazilian culture more prominent than in Salvador. The preserved city with its Baroque houses and Renaissance buildings dotted along the narrow cobbled streets was Brazil’s first capital, earning its wealth through sugar cane. This led to an influx of slaves – around five million – brought in from Africa to work on the growing sugar plantations and settling there.
The African influence is in its food, its people, and its music. A hypnotic blend of reggae, rock and afoxé seeps through every crack in the wall, every day of the year, but especially during Carnaval.
If you wear comfortable shoes and are prepared to manage steep hills, walking will be the way to best see Salvador de Bahia. If the hills prove to be too much, you can take a bus or taxi to the beaches and tourist attractions. The bus routes run along the ocean and are connected by a main avenue that leads to the city centre. It’s easy to hop on and off the bus whenever you want. The buses running toward the beach are labeled “Praca De Se,” while the downtown buses are called “Comercio.” The main bus station is called Iquatemi, where you can also board the more expensive, more comfortable and air-conditioned Frescao bus. It costs the same as a taxi, which can be hailed on the street or picked up at a taxi stand.
Salvador-Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport (SSA) is located around 16 miles (26 km) from the city. After your flight to Salvador lands you can reach the city centre via bus, taxi or car rental, all of which are available at the airport.