I'm planning on going to South America in feb 2011, I had it all worked out starting at Rio for the carnival then making my way overland to Peru, and flying out of Lima in june... I have just realised though that I can't justify the costs of accomodation etc of Rio during carnival (even though I know it would be an amazing experience).
I now feel at a complete lost end, so was after any advice, either for alternatives to Rio carnaval - perhaps nearby towns, or i'm even open to completely changing my flight plan and perhaps starting at Argentina instead and from there making my way to Peru..
If anyone has any ideas/advice to share that would be great!
On the border of Argentina and Brazil is Iguassu Falls. The best thing i can advise you is to go there.
If you really like carnival and want a cheaper option, head to Bolivia. Bolivia is really home of all carnivals. The biggest one is in Oruro. The Oruro is the carnival of all, everyone go there.
In 2011, the Oruro festival is in Feb, it is around Feb 5th, you can check it out.
If you already bought your ticket to Rio, you can travel to Iquazo Fall, cross over to Argentina, travel north to the border which has train to Oruro.
Carnival in Salvador - Bahia - Brazil is the best one. Contagious with all the axe dance and the sound cars along the streets.......wont regret it
I agree that Carnaval in Salvador is one of the best. The Carnaval in Rio you can watch on local television for free and Salvador's Carnaval is way more ALIVE because it is a street party.
I also recommend you taking a trip to Lencois, in the Chapada Diamantina. About 5 hours with a comfortable bus from Salvador the Chapada Diamantina offers you one of the most beautiful scenarios of whole South America. It is located in the backlands of the state of Bahia but yet for its size (10.000 inhabitants) it can be called a really cosmopolitan city with people from all over the world living here (Germans, French, American, Mexicans, Argentinians, and so on). The region has a stunning nature and leaving Lencois by foot you will reach in about 30 minutes natural swimming-pools, natural spa's, natural waterslides and so much more.
I really recommend you getting some information about this region as it offers some of the most spectacular sights you will be able to see in Brazil and probably South America.
Check out the fotos of "Riberao do Meio" on XXXXXX I deleted the adress because I read that posting of websites wouldn't be allowed. As the website I was linking to is the blog of our guesthouse I rather deleted the link.
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Oct-2010, at 07:14 by nobosque ]
As I realized that advertising is forbidden I may pass you some locations you can find on sites like flickr.com or else
Riberao do Meio
Cachoeira do Fumaca (Smoke falls - Brazils second highest waterfall with an altitude of about 400m)
Cachoeira do Sossego
Poco do Diabo
and many more !