Join the world's greatest party on the streets of Rio!
Fancy dancing samba in the street from dusk 'til dawn? There's no greater party on earth than this iconic festival of Rio de Janeiro, so focus on perfecting those saucy samba steps. Join the conga line, witness the festivities reach their dizzying climax, move and shake among the drum-fuelled street parties and get swept up in this magic celebration of life. This is the ideal extension to any South American trip or a great adventure in its own right. Sign up for the party of a lifetime and join the spectacle of Rio Carnaval.
• Witness the kaleidoscopic colours of the Sambadrome
• Experience the pulsating energy of Rio de Janeiro's Carnaval
• Soak up spectacular views from Corcovado Mountain
• Marvel at the legendary Christ the Redeemer statue
• Dance up a storm in Rio, the world's samba capital
• Ride the cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain
• 5 nights hotel accommodation
• Transport - Private bus, Metro
• Activities as per itinerary
DAY 1 RIO DE JANEIRO
Bem-Vindo to Rio! if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport. The first day of Rio Carnival is free time as everyone will be arriving at various times throughout the day to start the package. Our hotel check-in is from midday, and Dragoman staff will be on hand to give you assistance. There will be a joining meeting in the afternoon - please check the notice board in the lobby/reception area for the exact times for your meeting. After the meeting there will be a table booked in a nearby restaurant if you wish to join your group and local guide for a meal. In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel with a rooftop pool in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.
Optional activities: Join your group and your guide for a welcome meal in Rio de Janeiro. Approximate cost BRL 50.
Meals Included: None
DAY 2 RIO DE JANEIRO
This morning we will go on an orientation walk with our local guide to get to know the local area. Afterwards you may opt to join one of the local 'blocos' (street parades), these are great fun, often very crowded, hot and lively! The local 'cariocas' will be all dressed up, so make sure you bring your glitter!! Alternatively you may choose to explore the city or go to the beach. This evening you are invited to join us at Rio Scenarium. Rio Scenarium is a night club, a restaurant and an antiques warehouse all rolled into one and covers three amazing floors in a superb colonial mansion. During Carnival time there are usually live bands, Samba forro and gafiera music. It’s a great way to experience Carioca life! It’s a huge building crammed with works of art, antiques, mannequins and all sorts of interesting bits and pieces. But the real reason to visit is for a night of dancing, enjoying the music and having a few drinks with your fellow Carnival goers. The price includes your advance ticket booking with table seating, one way transport and the services of a Guide to accompany you there, please note you’ll be able to make your own way home when you decide to leave – we suggest sharing a taxi. Entrance ticket 65BRL, drinks, food and transport home are at your own expense. We suggest eating before you go, as during Carnival the restaurant service can be a little slow – though perfect for nibbles and a Caipirinha.
Included activity: Take an introductory walking tour to get to know the local area and then join a street parade with your guide to experience how the Cariocas (people of Rio) celebrate carnival.
Optional activity: Rio Scenarium. Approximate cost - 65BRL to be paid locally
Optional activity: Samba Class & Rio Scenarium. Approximate cost - USD90. What better way to kick off your Carnival week than with a night of Samba with a professional dance instructor? Learn a little more of this rhythm in a lively classroom that will teach you the basic steps of the Samba and prepare you for an unforgettable evening in a traditional samba club, in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Rio is the cultural capital of Brazil, and Samba it’s official rhythm.
Optional activity: Half day cooking class. Approximate cost - USD70. Learn a selection of Brazil´s favourite recipes in one fun cooking class. You will discover exotic ingredients, techniques and flavours you can use at home. We have a maximum of 14 places available for this class.
Meals Included: None
DAY 3 RIO DE JANEIRO
Early this morning we will head to Corcovado and its world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer for a half-day guided tour. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, and if the weather is clear there is also a fantastic view over the rest of the city including Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). We will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We normally charter a private tram to the top of Corcovado mountain which means that we are the first ones to arrive and have the statue to ourselves for a short time - a fantastic privilege at any time of year but particularly during the busy carnival time. We will aim for the same arrangements this year but please note that there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure a private tram. In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. The top samba schools parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll be situated in Sector 11 where you have a close up view of the parade and will be able to get great photos of the floats and costumes. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included), accompanied by English speaking guides who will also be with you inside the Sambadrome. As people wish to leave at different times, there will be pre-determined times when you will be able to go back to the hotel with a guide.
Included activity: Half day guided tour of Corcovado mountain and the world famous Christ the Redeemer.
Included activity: Experience the close up view of the fantastic Samba parade in sector 11 of the Sambadrome.
Meals Included: None
DAY 4 RIO DE JANEIRO
This morning is free for you to recover from last night in the Sambadrome! It's a great chance to hit the beach, explore the city or simply have a lie in. In the afternoon we have a guided visit to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. We will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We will take the cable car up to the top, from where there's a chance of seeing the wonderful vistas over the city and Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. If the weather is clear you will also be able to see Christ the Redeemer looking down at the city from the top of Corcovado mountain.
During Rio Carnival the top 12 Samba schools parade in the Sambadrome; 6 parade on the Sunday night and 6 on the Monday night. This is your chance to return on the Monday night, but this time to Sector 5. This is nearer the start of the Parade and close to the judges. You’ll be right in the middle of the action and ready to party the night away all over again. There are some unique benefits to sitting in sectors located toward the beginning of the parade route. You will experience less lag time between the conclusion of one samba school’s procession and the beginning of the next school’s performance, and more importantly, you will have the full excitement and exhilaration of watching the opening performance of a school’s parade. The crowd goes wild, and the locals normally find the beginning moments of the parade to be the most exciting as a whole year has passed since the school’s last performance.
There is also the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the Sambadrome runway - a once in a lifetime experience! You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide who will also accompany you during the parade.
Each Samba School has around 25 ‘alas’ or wings and each wing is telling part of the overall story or theme of the school. All the paraders in a wing are dressed in exactly the same costume, giving the blocks of colour and movement that characterise the parade. A school will have approximately 4,000 paraders in total.
You will join one of these ‘alas’ and it will take between 65 and 80 minutes to complete the parade, including around 30-40 minutes within the Sambadrome itself. You don’t need to be able to actually samba; rather there is a kind of jumping, bouncing way that people parade, to create the whole feeling of strength and happiness. However, you will need to have stamina and will need to put your utmost energy into your performance; this is the most important event of the year for Cariocas (the people from Rio) and you will
be playing a part on the biggest stage in the world! Your costume will be delivered to your hotel ready for the parade, and is yours to keep! You will then be accompanied by a guide to the starting point where you need to meet your alas and school about 2 hours before the parade.
Some important notes:
- You need to be physically fit to partake in the parade - it can be very hot and physically demanding.
- A ticket to enter the Sambadrome as a spectator is not included. If you wish to see the remainder of the parade you will need to buy an entry ticket separately in advance (see Return to the Sambadrome).
- You must give us your shoe and clothing size at the time of booking. Please refer to www.rio-carnival.net/costume-sizes.php for the appropriate costume sizing. It is advisable to order one shoe size larger than usual as the shoes are often very tight.
- A place in the parade can only be guaranteed if booked before 1st December 2019
Included activity: Half day guided tour of Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
Optional activity: Join in and be part of the Sambadrome Parade, an experience of a lifetime! Approximate cost - USD820
Optional activity: Sambadrome sector 5. Approximate cost - USD270. It includes metro tickets and a guide to accompany you to and from the Sambadrome.
These optional activities must be pre-booked by 1st December 2019.
Meals Included: None
DAY 5 RIO DE JANEIRO
Today is a free day to explore Rio de Janeiro further, and perhaps to find one of the blocos (street parades) that take place during the Carnival and continue the party.
Optional Activity: Jungle Tour. After a week of partying, escape the city and head into the Tijuca National Park, one of the biggest urban rainforests in the world, located in the heart of Rio. Approximate cost - USD105
Meals Included: None
DAY 6 RIO DE JANEIRO
Say goodbye to Rio and the Carnaval. Or perhaps stay on to see more of fabulous Brazil. If you are leaving in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport. The Carnival package finishes after breakfast today. Our hotel check-out is at 12 noon, and you can depart at any time or spend the day exploring further or relaxing.
Optional activity: Explore the magnificent Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro, with over 54 hectares and 6500 species of plants and flowers. Approximate cost - BRL 8
Optional activity: Relax and explore the world famous beaches of Rio de Janeiro, including Ipanema, Arpoador, and of course Copacabana. Cost: Free
Optional activity: Find out all about Brazil's fascinating history by visiting the National Historical Museum in the centre of Rio de Janeiro. Approximate cost - BRL 6
2020 DEPARTURE DATE
From $3,305* per person
*Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per person twin share, land only and subject to availability at time of booking. Valid for sale until sold out and for departure as specified. Seasonal surcharges and black-out dates may apply. Offer is only available for new bookings and prices are subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations, change in fees, taxes or surcharges. Prices correct at December 2018. Further conditions apply, call your Bucket List Buddy team.