The Barra neighborhood is home to Salvador’s carnaval and some great beaches . Barra is also one of the most traditional neighborhoods of Salvador. Barra's busy waterfront were once three colonial forts. The most impressive today is Bahia's oldest, the polygonal Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra, built in 1598. Known simply as "Farol da Barra" for its lighthouse, the fort houses a small nautical museum. Stay for sunset - Salvador's peninsula is the only place in Brazil where the sun sets over the ocean. Our apartments are just across the street from the Farol.
Barra is a residential area in the city center. It is a safe and very convenient location, where you have everything you may need in less than two blocks from the apartments: bars, restaurants, supermarkets, banks, malls, historical buildings, laundromats, etc. To go from Barra to the old town (Pelourinho) or to the beaches north of town, the bus stop is right at the Praiaville building entrance.
Capoeira and Language Schools
From our apartments you have three beaches to choose from: Farol da Barra (across the street and good for surfing), Porto da Barra (some 200m away and the center of beach life) and Oceanica (large and sandy just around the corner on Avenida Oceanica). You can also take the bus by the building entrance to go to the wilder, palm tree-lined beaches north of town (Itapoa, Piata, Jaguaribe, etc.).
Porto da Barra beach is a bit like Pelourinho: small, picturesque, usually crowded and loaded with vendors selling everything imaginable. The bay's waters are clear and calm, and the people-watching is fantastic. One of the Top 10 Beaches in the world according to The Guardian. The location is stunning, at the entrance of the magnificent Bahia de Todos os Santos, with a small, white colonial fort at one end and a whitewashed church sitting up on a hill at the other. There's always something going on here: small fishing boats unloading their catch, young lads diving into the sea off the old stone harbour walls, older boys eyeing up girls, beach volleyball, football and tennis.
To the left of the lighthouse, Praia do Farol da Barra has a beach break popular with surfers. Barra's waterfront is lined with bars and restaurants. In a country with over 7,000km of east-facing coastline, Barra beaches are the few facing west, so you can watch some fabulous sunsets.
Most of Salvador’s language and capoeira schools are located in Barra. There are regular Capoeira displays largely for the benefit of tourists at the Farol da Barra (the lighthouse) where contributions from onlookers are expected. You’ll find the best capoeira, however, in the academias de capoeira, organized schools with classes that anyone can watch, free of charge.
Some well-established language schools such a Dialogo or Idioma are less than 5 minutes away from our apartments. For a list of schools is best to contact the local Brazilian embassy or consulate.
Barra, the Heart of Salvador
Carnaval in Salvador remains a street event of mass participation, which turns into a seething mass of people that, once joined, is almost impossible to get out of. One of the main circuits is Porto da Barra that goes along the waterfront. Our apartments are located at the starting point of the circuit for the trios.
From December onwards Carnaval groups hold public rehearsals and dances all over the city. Information about the Carnaval is published in special supplements in the local papers on Thursday and Saturday. Bahia-online is great for information on and contacts for Carnaval. We can also help you get your blocos reservations, camarotes, etc.
There are many sources of information about the carnaval but most are linked to publicity. The best sources of independent information are Central do Carnaval, and Carnasite - Agenda of events. They post details about the forthcoming carnaval as early as a year in advance, so you can plan early... We usually start getting Carnaval bookings as early as June.