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“Salvador, Brazil City Bus Tour”

Half-Day Tour of Salvador
Reviewed July 8, 2012

A dirty sewer hole City with a lot of history but full of broken sidewalks, packs of stray dogs wandering the streets, homeless sleeping in carboard boxes in front of buildings. Found only one passable restaurant. Horrible traffic, crazy taxi drivers who sped through intersections and didn't stop a stop signs. Nice enclosed shopping center. World Cup or Olympic stadium is under construction but sidewalks need a lot repair because they are all broken and full of holes. One can break a foot walking by neglecting to look downward while walking. City Tour Bus was ok but don't go on a week day because of traffic and you'll die from the heat if you sit on the second level. Not much to see either in the city. Avoid this city.

4  Thank TonyPalmSprings_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 - 6 of 19 reviews

Reviewed June 30, 2012

The city lends itself very well to a half day self tour, without the need for a guide or tour group, where you will be shunted in and out of overpriced handcraft stores.
The main attractions of Salvador are all in the Pelourinho area, easily reached from the port if you are arriving by cruise ship.
Just take the elevator to the top of the hill, or, if you are so inclined you can take a taxi for a few real. From here you can wander around and easily spend a few hours in the small gift shops, galleries and museums, and take in the flavour of this dynamic historical centre.
Check out the Igreja Sao Francisco with its gold plated ceilings and fabulous ceramic tiled biblical depictions. Go back down the hill and spend half an hour at the Mercado Modello to buy your souvenirs before returning to your boat (or hotel).

9  Thank Kanan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

Two couples planned a 2+ week trip to Brazil. We selected hotels based on location as well as trip advisor reviews. We made arrangements ahead of time for transfers from airport to hotels & we booked a 5-night cruise on the Amazon Premium Clipper.
I emailed the Manaus hotel re transfer arrangements & received the recommendation of manauscar.com. I emailed Al Cruz (al@manauscar.com) & got an immediate response. He has a 15-passenger van. We would have needed 2 taxis to get us anywhere w/ all our luggage & the small size of taxis. Al couldn't meet us at the airport, but one of his employees did & we talked to Al by phone - he wanted to assure us that everything was in order. He'd stopped by the hotel ahead of time to double check our reservations; he stopped by the hotel later that day to meet us. We used his service to take us to the Tropical Hotel where we started the cruise & 6 days later, to take us to the airport. Each time the driver was prompt & helpful, altho his English was limited. Al even came to the Tropical to see us at the end of the cruise. Meanwhile, another couple who'd been on the cruise was 'stood up' by their transfer company (2nd time it had happened to them in Brazil - no show) & were able to go w/ us to the airport. There is a set rate in Manaus for transfers: 58 reals from airport to hotel/city center; 58 reals from city center to Tropical Hotel; 58 reals from Tropical to airport. We paid 100 reals for each trip for the 4 of us. Al also does tours, but we had already decided what we wanted to see & could do that on foot on our own. His English is very good.

5  Thank travelmercies68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

I discovered that I needed to return to some of the places I saw during a half-day tour. My advice: do a private tour. It's more expensive, yet much more expansive. Do a little research before you go, to decide what's really important to you to see and explore. This is fine if all you want to do is snap some pictures to say you were there. I scheduled a private half-day tour with places of interest to me. It was much better than a big-tour-bus tour and I got to see exactly what I wanted, stopped where I wanted, in a private car with a driver and guide, without a bunch of other tourists.

6  Thank PJB333312741
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

It was raining when I was in Salvador for the first time so it looked like a museum day, but then I would not be able to see the city. So I got the advice of my taxi-driver. This is what he said: I will drop you off at the Mercato modelo (covered market). You look around there for an hour then cross the square and take the elevator up to the old city centre. The church of San Francisco is not far and I will pick you up there. If it does not rain you can see a little bit of the old city centre before visiting this beautiful church. And so it happened. I spent an hour in the mercato modelo and bought a sundress, two pairs of leather sandals and a leather backpack on the second floor. The price I paid was well below the price on the ticket and I learnt quickly that you can bargain. I also looked at the many cottons, linnens, music instruments, art and food to consider presents to bring home, which was a nice passtime during the rainy time, and I would have stayed longer to have coffee in the neat bar included in the mercado, while the raindrops entered here and there through the roof. However I wanted to move to the old city centre as promised. So I crossed the square and took the elevator to the old town. (15 cents, a youth in need of money talked me out of keeping the rest of the real). Sadly the (1970s?) elevator has no windows but on the top floor there is a covered outlook with large windows from where you can see the port and the ships in the bahia de todos os santos, a photo-op even when it rains. On the other side of the elvator is the exit where there is a tourist information centre where you can get a map and free advice as to where to go next. Guides are hanging out there who are offering their services and, they say, can guarantee your security..... I skipped the service because I had so little time, and decided to see for myself what the san Fransisco church had to offer, my new leather backpack on my belly on the advice of a female passer-by who implored me to watch after my belongings. Once I found it (the map of the torust information centre was colourful but not very precise), the San Franccisco did not disappoint. In particular, the monastery has a collection of european blue-and-white tiles from the 17th century in its cloister and in its interior that is absolutely impressive even if you are not ,into' these things, and the heavily decorated church, covered every inch in goldleaf, is among the most beautiful you can imagine. Guides are available in several languages and there is an artist who sells nice drawings for not much money. I walked around on my own until I had just another half hour left to speedily rush through the historical centre, taking some pics here and there before my cabbie picked me up. The heritage of the old centre of Salvador is being saved and has a lot of potential but it will take time to restore everything to its former glory. Lost of little restaurants and shops selling their different wares and vying for the attention of the tourists make it a colourful place - still under construction.

15  Thank Amsterdam007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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