Carnival in Rio: Inside Scoop on One of the Largest Festivals – Travel Noire

Carnival is one of the most popular party seasons in Brazil. Annually, the country attracts millions of people from all over the world to enjoy the festivities. Tourists flock to Rio de Janeiro to enjoy the extravagant performances, parades and parties that the Brazilian people put on during Carnival in Rio. This year, Carnival begins on Feb. 17 and lasts until Feb. 25.

While it is more expensive to visit Brazil during Carnival season, the unique opportunity to take part in one of the world’s most significant celebrations makes it well worth the price. To ensure that you get the most out of your Carnival experience, make sure to plan your trip in advance and take advantage of the lower prices available in the months leading up to the event. By doing research on the Carnival events you’d like to take part in and their associated costs, it will help you make sure that your experience is as enjoyable and affordable as possible.

What To Do In Carnival

Afro And Latino in Carnival in Rio
Mario Tama

The street carnivals during the day are the main events of the Rio Carnival. For example, Rio de Janeiro has a list of its own block parties. The blocks may have you moving through the city or standing still in a park or square. While the organizers of the blocks provide musicians, decoration and animations, the city hall offers services, like cleaning, chemical restrooms and security. 

After a long day of partying, Rio de Janeiro samba schools parade at night. They begin on Friday and Saturday with the Série Ouro, the second division of the Carioca Carnival. Including the Série Ouro parade on the schedule benefits travelers because it offers more affordable pricing. The most well-known Rio de Janeiro schools participate in the special group parades on Sunday and Tuesday, (Brazilian Mardi Gras).

If this program is on your schedule, Travel Noire advises that you get ready with these tips. Get comfortable shoes (those old sneakers of  yours need to come on this trip) and light clothing, and pack small bags, such as moneybags and fanny packs, to safeguard against pickpockets. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen because you will be outside all day.  

Entry tickets can be purchased online. A VIP section admission option, an open bar and food are also available.

What is a Samba School?

A Samba School is an Afro-Brazilian cultural manifestation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Samba, a lively genre of Afro-Brazilian music and dance.

It is made up of dancers, drummers and singers, who come together to practice Samba routines and prepare for the yearly Carnival parades. Every school has its own unique style, focusing on particular aspects of the Samba tradition. During the parades, Samba schools compete against one another, dancing and performing in front of a live audience.

These performances are judged and awards are given for the most original, colorful, and energetic presentation.

Beyond Carnival in Rio

world's best beach to visit during Carnival in Rio
Photo Credit: Getty Images

In addition to Carnival, Rio de Janeiro experiences its summer season in February. During this time of year, the city erupts in an explosion of color and joy. Take the chance to unwind a little, while taking in the vibrant nature of the city’s sights. In fact, taking a day off to experience all the nature has to offer in Rio de Janeiro is an opportunity that should not to be missed.

The Tijuca Rainforest and the Sugar Loaf Cable Car Park are two tours that can be taken to get in touch with nature. You can also visit the beaches; Copacabana, Ipanema and Barra da Tijuca are the best options for a beach day. They are not only beautiful, but also offer a range of recreational activities, such as beach volleyball and the increasingly popular stand-up paddle board.

Due to the high traffic volume in the city, be mindful of the opening and closing times for all of the attractions that you plan to visit.