Rio Carnival - Your Questions Answered
If you've ever wanted to join the world's largest street party but you're not sure how, our South America destination experts have the firsthand knowledge on how best to experience this samba spectacle and even take part in the epic parade. Here are our tips to making the most of your Rio Carnival experience!
What's the best way to see the Rio Carnival?
Pre-arranging your tickets in the correct stand for the parade is a must, we usually recommend Grandstand Sector 9 for our guests as it has a great location in the middle of the Sambadrome at a reasonable price, or the Frisa which has allocated, ticketed seating. And as most travellers usually know tickets generally sell out in advance, and it’s first in, best dressed for seating at the Grandstand, so best to arrive as early as possible. The Winners’ Parade is the biggest after party of Carnival and takes place in the Sambadrome. It’s a must for all travellers.
Which are the best events to watch outside the main Sambadrome parades?
For a more intimate experience, I’d recommend watching the Winners’ Parade – which includes full performances by the three main schools who have been awarded the top prizes from the parade itself. The Winner’s Parade is usually cheaper, less crowded and travellers can see the best the Carnival has to offer.
Are Rio's neighbourhood parades better than seeing the main Sambadrome parade?
They aren’t! The official samba schools prepare throughout the year on all aspects from their costumes, dances and routines – to perform in the main Rio parade, it is the pinnacle of what they work towards each year. So the best way to get a taste of real local flavour is to visit one of the samba school rehearsals and for a more intimate and authentic experience of how the locals prepare for their performance in the Sambadrome.
Can I take part in Rio Carnival for myself?
Adventure World Travel can help pre-arrange a costume from one of the main Samba Schools before your trip. Guests send their measurements before they leave Australia and we organise a fitting at the Samba School once on the ground in Rio. On the day of the parade, you'll also participate in a costume rehearsal with the school, and spend time with the performers until they have to leave for the parade. Costumes can cost anywhere from $300 - $1000 USD depending on the intricacy of the decorations, and should be pre-arranged so that your outfit will be ready to dazzle come the parade.
Where's the best place to stay in Rio?
Copacabana is a great beachside area and home to Rio’s main hotel strip. Ipanema, is a beautiful residential area with lots of restaurants and fewer hotels meaning travellers have a more authentic stay. Leblon is a popular beach area located slightly further away from the main hotel strip, there are fewer hotels, but it is definitely a more reasonably priced area than Ipanema, with a boutique ambience.
How far in advance should I book my Rio Carnival tickets?
Due to the popularity of the event, accommodation and transfers will generally increase in price over Carnival season, so best to book early with a reputable company who has first-hand experience, can offer value for money and a high standard of service. Adventure World Travel can arrange a half day trip to visit a Samba School where guests can see the parade rehearsals, participate as part of the rehearsal and learn a few moves or steps, and have the opportunity try on one of the costumes.
Adventure World Travel offers a 5 day tour package to experience Rio Carnival starting from A$2,279/N$2,495* per person, twin share. You can also combine Rio Carnival with a side trip to Iguazu Falls.
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