Rio Carnival Experience
Travel DatesDepartures year round
Sale EndsDec 31, 2024
Day 1: Rio de Janeiro
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Brazil. The locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio', and we tend to agree! In this vibrant city – set against the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay and surrounded by the slopes of Sugarloaf and Corcovado – it's hard not to be caught up in the passion of the city's residents (known as Cariocas), especially during Carnival. Your adventure kicks off at 4 pm with an important welcome meeting – afterward, head out for an included dinner with the group to try out some of Carioca's specialties before making your way to a local Samba club for a fun initiation on this popular dance. During Carnival, Rio pulsates to the rhythm of Samba. You won't need to be an expert Samba dancer to make the most of your time in Rio but knowing one or two Samba steps will help you blend in with the local Carioca crowds.
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro
Today your local leader will take you on a guided tour around two of the most emblematic landmarks of Rio de Janeiro. It wouldn’t be a trip to Rio without visiting Christ the Redeemer – one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Head to Corcovado Mountain to take in the sweeping views of Rio from the 710-metre-high peak and gaze up at the iconic statue from its base. Next, head to Sugarloaf, another mountain that juts out over Guanabara Bay. Its name comes from the mountain’s resemblance to a traditional sugarloaf – a tall cone of refined sugar that was popular in the Caribbean and Brazil until the late 19th century. This evening, enjoy time to yourself to explore the nightlife of Rio – your local leader will have plenty of recommendations if you want to try some classic Brazilian fare like feijoada or barbeque for dinner.
Day 3: Rio de Janeiro
This morning your leader will take you to a local bloco. Blocos are the true expression of Carnival in Rio, simply put, they are street parties, unlike any party you’ve been to before! Each bloco is themed, with DJs or bands playing all day and people of all ages and walks of life dressing up to join the party every day throughout the Carnival. Your local leader will be at hand throughout the visit to help you make the most of this experience. Today's afternoon and evening is free for you to explore Rio at your own pace, or perhaps head to the beach for a swim. If you’re looking for an active adventure that takes you off the beaten track, ask your leader about one of the incredible hiking trails – a climb up the nearby Morro Dois Irmaos provides arguably the best view over Rio.
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro
Enjoy a sleep in this morning, or perhaps grab a traditional acai bowl for a morning boost. Later, meet with your leader and head to the main event of the week – the parade in the Sambadrome. Here, more than 100 of the top samba schools in Brazil parade their fantastic floats and costumes in an annual competition for the title of Rio Carnival Samba Parade Champions. Witness an exhilarating display of dance and design as the dedicated performers samba down the runway, showing off their skills and you'll have a prime spot in Sector 11 where you’ll get a close-up view of the parade and the chance to snap great photos. The rhythm of Rio’s Sambadrome celebrations pulses into the early hours of the morning – feel free to party all night or return to the hotel with your leader – the night is yours!
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro
Make the most of a free morning to recover from the craziness of the Sambadrome – you may want to go for a refreshing dip at one of Rio’s many beautiful beaches or simply relax at the hotel. This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to don a costume and take part in the parade – dancing your way down the Sambadrome runway – a once in a lifetime experience! Each Samba School has around 4000 dancers, split into twenty-five ‘alas’ or wings, each wing telling part of the overall story or theme of the school. You’ll get to join one of these ‘alas’ and spend 30-40 minutes celebrating within the Sambadrome. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to samba, just use your utmost enthusiasm to jump, bounce and dance around. Soak up the energy and make the most of every moment as you play a part in the biggest stage in the world. Afterward, you’re welcome to head back to the hotel with the leader, who will be able to recommend places to go for a final cold caipirinha or group dinner.
Day 6: Rio de Janeiro
Today is the final day of your Rio Carnival trip and there are no activities included. The trip finishes after breakfast and you can check out of the hotel any time before midday.