Carnival in Rio can be extremely upper-crust, with seats in the famous Samba Velodromo going for hundreds of dollars and even the cost of standing on the street increasing each year. Then you’ve got Salvador, where carnival is free to attend (unless you want to follow the parade, which will run you around $100US).
The party goes for 6 days and 6 nights — longer than Rio — most days from 6pm till 5 in the morning. This year things kick off February 11.
Even though its lower-key, Salvador may be getting a little too commercial for some folks. There was a lot of criticism in 2008 when Fatboy Slim and Bono showed up, and Brazilians are now starting to look elsewhere.