Candomblé religion is for sure one of the key element to understand the African culture of Bahia.
As an introduction, we first usually recommend a visit to the Afro-Brazilian Museum in the Medicine University next to the hotel.
Then we also recommend the Folkloric Ballet “Ballé Folclorico” (one hour show from 8 PM to 9 PM) in Miguel Santana Theater in Pelourinho (very close from the hotel). This theater is very simple and not expensive, but the performers (dancers, singers and musicians) are really excellent. In fact, the first part of the show is a good introduction to what a Candomblé ceremony is, with the representation of several Orixás, each one with its own costumes, colors and distinctive tools. Then several other parts introduce to capoeira, “makulelé” and “samba de roda” dance.
Finally, a “Mystic tour” has been set-up by the guide coordinating our individual tours offer. As she has a very deep knowledge of Candomblé, for being part of it, she made up a tour that is not a visit to a Candomblé ceremony as a form of respect. She preferred focusing on an explicative tour to understand the community (“terreiro”) of the people organizing and participating to such ceremonies.
Regarding the Candomblé ceremony tours, the hotel has made the choice of not selling it.
Among the reasons why we don’t is the fact that we try to recommend the tours from which we have always good feed-back and that we believe to be nice experience for our guests.
Regarding Candomblé ceremony tours, we had both good and bad comments. Bad comments basically because the transportation is touring several hotels on its way to the “terreiro” and also on its way back. We also had people complaining of “artificial” ceremonies with 90% tourists in the public and no more authenticity. Finally, we also had people complaining about the length of the ceremony (3 to 4 hours), but in fact this should be a good point as the length of the ceremony may be interpreted as a signal of being a real ceremony and not a show. Last point is that we personally believe much of these tours to be quite intrusive with large tourists groups which behavior is not often close to the respect for this religion. Anyway, would you have interest for a Candomblé ceremony tour when here in Salvador, you will be able to book it easily with the small travel agencies of Pelourinho we’ll indicate to you. Usually, there is no need for booking long in advance as it’s only possible to know when and where these ceremonies may take place a few days before.