You Need to Know…
Getting There: Flights to Salvador International Airport range from $1000 to 3000 depending on time of year. US citizens need to shell out $140 for a visa. The good news is the fee usually gets you a multiple entry visa. Click here for a breakdown of everything you need to secure your visa, or contact your local embassy for specifics before you book your flight.
Getting Around: For trips within Bahia’s capital city Salvador, bus fare is around 2.30 Brazilian Reais, while taxis will run you anywhere from seven to 15 Reais depending on where you’re heading. Negotiate the price of the ride before you get in the cab. Renting a car costs 100 to 140 Reais a day, not including gas.
Spending Money: One US dollar gets you 2 Brazilian Reais (pronounced “hey-ai”). You can haggle wherever fixed prices are not displayed including the crafts markets.
Speaking the Language: Portuguese is the official language, though if you speak Spanish/Spanglish you can get by. Anglophiles should keep a dictionary handy. Also of note: in Brazilian Portuguese, most “r”s sound like “h”s, and some “d”s have a “j” sound, e.g. “Rio de Janeiro” sounds like “Hee-o gee Janeiro”.
The Weather: Even in their winter (our summer), temperatures range from mid-70s to high-80s and higher.
Avoiding Bugs: Rock a Citronella bracelet or liberally spray/slather your preferred insect repellent to protect yourself from the nightly attack of the mosquito militia.
Toilet Etiquette: This is important. Don’t flush toilet paper. Toilets will vomit toilet paper (and other stuff) if you dispose of your t-roll anywhere other than the garbage bin conveniently located right next to the toilet bowl.
Now, here’s where you need to go…