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Salvador Review: tour guide

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Basking Ridge, New...
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Salvador Review: tour guide

Firstly, thank you to all in here that gave me advice around Salvador. We absolutely loved it!!

We were there for three days, and stayed at the Convento do Carmo. We had spent the first day just walking around the Pelurinho district, and window shopping the art stores there. Contrary to popular advice, as long as you're careful and with some common sense, it's perfectly safe----we were told horror stories of how dangerous Salvador is with pickpockets and muggers. Anything but, as long as you're careful not to flash expensive watches and jewelry (afterall...I don't do that in NYC, so why do it elsewhere?).

On the second day, we hired a tour guide to take us around greater Salvador: Ivan Xantes,

ixanthes@gmail.com. He was great---we're a family of three, including a 2 1/2 year old toddler. There was no way we could have done all the sites he took us to on our own, especially with a toddler. His rates are really reasonable, well worth every Real. He took us by private car around various sites and marketplaces in Salvador, stopping for breaks when we (or our toddler) wanted to, and then took us to a really great local restaurant where we probably had one of our best meals in Brazil. I'd highly recommend him.

Our third day, we did more walking around Pelurinho, catching a capoeira practice at a school.

Oh---and the place we stayed---Convento do Carmo...AMAZING. Great service, and so much history behind it!

Houston-Lisbon-Rio...
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for Rio de Janeiro
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1. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

Greetings,

Thank you for the trip and guide report.

It helps the forum immensely to have reports like yours which in turn calm the worries of future travelers to Salvador de Bahia and help them plan their trips to Brasil with confidence.

Safe travels to you!

George B.

...
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2. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

Thanks for the report. Having traveled with a toddler, I know how much effort it takes to get around Salvador. Please give us more info on the "various sites and marketplaces in Salvador" that were on your tour itinerary, as an inspiration to future travelers. And yes, thanks for presenting a realistic picture of Salvador for those same.

Bruges, Belgium
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3. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

We traveled for 16 days through Brazil and Salvador was our second location.

Ivan Xantes was our guide for 2 days and .......due to him we have seen Salvador complete & perfect and just the way we like !!!

Some culture, some introduction of real life, some typical local cuisine, shortly ... the macroscopic acquaintance of a great city and adapted to a little girl from 3 y old!!!

I highly recommend this smart, nice and flexible guide!!!!

Thank you Ivan, next time we come for you to show us Chapada Diamantina :-)

Liedekerke, Belgium
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4. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

In the beginning of this year we went to Bahia again.

The first days we stayed at Ivan’s (Bahia Guide) modest Bed & Breakfast in the historic center of Salvador da Bahia (near the Pelourinho) where we were nicely received and served our wishes by means of several tips and a secure guiding through greater Salvador, in his car.

Then Ivan took us to the National Park of Chapada Diamantina for 5 days where we had a fantastic holyday.

Without Bahia Guide it would have been difficult to see so many beautiful things in such a short time.

After this we were taken to Valença’s harbor where we took a boat to the car-free island of Boipeba.

Anyway we also can only praise Ivan for his good and flexible services, he can be reached via his site http://bahia.basix.cc or via email at ixanthes@gmail.com.

He spoke Dutch (his native language) with us but underway we noticed he is very good in the local Portuguese as well as in French and English !

5. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

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6. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

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Antwerp, Belgium
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7. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

Hello everyone!

I went for the first time to Brasil this summer (in Belgium). We landed in Salvador and Ivan guided us. We also went to Chapada Diamantina, we saw things we never could've dreamed of!!

We want to thank Ivan and his lovely wife, it was like coming home when we were in Salvador. I miss them already!

It's definitely recommended staying with them in Salvador!

Greatings

Kevin & Melissa

Brussels, Région de...
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8. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

Me and my girlfriend were in Salvador in November 2011 and we had the chance to meet Ivan.

Ivan is friendly, flexible and fun. He took us in many different places with different atmosphere and was careful about our desires. We were really happy and i can assure you that a tour with Ivan totally worth it! It's a different way to discover Salvador and an opportunity to see something else than the Pelourinho and the beaches.

We truly recommend him, it was a pleasure.

san francisco
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9. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

Hi,

I will be in Salvador next week with my almost four year old daughter. I would love to hear any recommendations you might have?

Thank you.

Jennifer

Basking Ridge, New...
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10. Re: Salvador Review: tour guide

hi Jennifer

We just got back from Salvador with our toddler. It's very kid friendly---there's no worries there. You have two options to stay---one in Barra, the other in Pelurinho. We chose Pelurinho, and in retrospect it was a smart move. Barra is very beach-vibe. Pelo is more historic. I just felt that with our toddler, we were better off in Pelo---less distractions, less noisy, and just safer. We stayed at the Convento---simply AMAZING. But there's other options as well---stay in the historic district itself if you can, and opt for breakfast included----turns out be so useful not having to search for morning meals with a little toddler in tow. Also, strollers are a moot point there---unless you have one of those that has large wheels. The cobblestone streets make taking a stroller really hard. There are a few convenient stores that sell milk, fresh fruit, cereals, etc, that you may want to first map out from your hotel . Have your toddler drink water from a bottle only, despite what they say about safe drinking water. Just safer---and really not worth the risk considering bottled water is about US$1. It's hot as hell in the afternoon----carry a hat for the toddler, sunscreen, and bug repellent. Light clothing helps too. Avoid walking around late at night (we really didn't walk around past 9pm). And obviously, don't flash around jewelry, watches, and a high end camera at night.

If you want to take a tour (which we did----I'd highly recommend it, since with a toddler , it's nearly impossible to go around everywhere on your own), I'd recommend a private tour. We tried mass market ones before, and with our toddler, it's hard to keep up with strict schedules. Personally, I'd pay a bit more, and have the luxury of our own private tour and car, meeting the schedules and whim of the toddler (afterall...if they have a bad day, so will you). Ivan is amazing as a guide----I posted his contact above. His rates are very reasonable as well.