What a pleasant surprise this city was after waddling through the north of Brazil. A tip in the forum told me that it was a hotbed of Brazilian poon, so I decided to stop by for a night to check it out. I left ten days later.
The good: the female to male ratio here is extremely high and it was rare to be in a club with more guys than girls. The girls are beautiful and you can spend all night hitting on pretty ones without having to lower your standards (it’s continued experiences like this which make it impossible for me to permanently live in an American city besides maybe New York or Miami). It reminded me more of Cordoba, Argentina than anywhere else. Since Vitória is not a tourist destination you’ll likely be the only gringo in the club.
The bad: the girls are hard and snobby at the well-to-do clubs where attractiveness is highest. Out of six nights out I only got grimey on one, which for Brazil is not very good. The girls of Cordoba got far more excited at my gringo status than the girls here, and I’m nearly certain that Cordoba was in fact easier. Many girls here didn’t give me a chance or indulge my bad Portuguese for more than a minute. It wasn’t common to meet a girl who speaks English like I always do in Rio.
Another problem is there are no cheap accommodations—no pousadas or hostels. If you’re stopping by for only a weekend than stay at the pricey Ibis Vitoria hotel (R$125-155 a night), which is within walking distance of clubs in the posh Triangulo district. After a couple weeks of lodging in cheap pousadas the Ibis felt like a luxury penthouse.
If that’s too expensive for you then you have to head to sketchy centro a couple miles away, within walking distance of favelas. There your best option is the Cannes Palace, a clean hotel with wireless internet, air conditioning, and mini-fridge. It’ll set you back R$69 a night. If that’s still too much, then try the run-down Hotel Avenida two blocks away from the Cannes (Av. Presidente Florentino Avidos 347, tel. 27 3223 4317). It’s R$55 a night for their best rooms but you don’t get air conditioning or a fridge.
The key to not breaking the bank here is to go to clubs before 11 for their “happy” specials. Let me explain how it works. If you get to the club late you pay something like a R$40 or more cover and then drinks on top of that, but if you get there early then you pay R$50 for consumação, or consumption. This means your entire R$50 contribution goes towards drinks, which equals about six caipirinhas or three Johnny Walker Blacks. It’s almost like paying cover but drinking for free.
The most popular club in Triangulo is Casa (“Home”), which gets packed starting on Thursday night. Next door is Escritorio (“Office”), a bar owned by the same guy (start drinking at the office then continue at home—get it?). Most girls here are absolutely brutal but I won’t say it’s impossible. There are a handful of clubs nearby and they all seem similar. On weekends the streets pack and form a little bloco, making for fun street game attempts.
My top club recommendation is São Firmino, half a mile away from the Triangulo. It’s packed with girls that are slightly nicer than the ones in Triangulo but just as beautiful. This is where I got a little lucky, partially thanks to there being more girls than guys early on.
An alternative to Vitória is Belo Horizonte, the state capital of neighboring Minas Gerais. I haven’t been there yet but from what I read it seems like a larger version of Vitória but with nicer girls and a hostel. I also hear good things coming out of Porto Alegre and Brasilia, where being a gringo carries higher status than in Vitória and definitely Rio, which I believe is going through gringo fatigue.
I can’t say Vitória is better than Cordoba or Rio because of the accommodation problem, but with clubs that consistently pack them in and an excess of beautiful (but difficult) women, it’s worth your time if you don’t mind spending a little bit of money, especially since it’s only eight hours from Rio by bus. If you’re conversational in Portuguese then this is a must-visit city, as you have a decent chance of pulling.
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