How to Rock Carnival in Rio

How to Rock Carnival in Rio

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There is nothing like Carnival in Rio.  Nothing comes close.  These may seem like overstatements…until you’ve done Carnival in Rio…then you’ll understand it really is the biggest party in the world. Here are the five things you need to know to rock Carnival…

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1.  Book your hotel early…as in NOW. OK, it now may a little too early, but try to book 6-9 months out, even before you have airline tickets…a lot offer free cancellation.  The closer to Carnival the prices spiral upwards to the point that hostel dorm beds in prime locations go for up to $125 each!  Imagine paying $125 each for a bed in a 16-24 bed dorm…it happens.  If you book hotels early though you can stay somewhere nice for the same as hostels.  Look for hotels with free cancellation if you’re uncertain, but book way ahead!

2.  Buy your tickets into and out of Rio as soon as you can. If you are arriving from another city in Brazil make sure you purchase your air/bus tickets at least a week before.  Coming from nearby Paraty tickets were sold out about four days prior to Carnival.  If flying you can get some great inter-Brazil discount flights 2-4 months prior to departure.

3.  Buy your Sambadrome tickets for Sunday or Monday. These days feature the “Special Group” which have the best shows.  These days contain the Champions of the year and many former champs, so you won’t be disappointed.  I highly recommend buying through Green Toad as they offer the cheapest tickets we found online for prime sections.  For more Sambadrome tips, check out our preparation page: here.

4.  Plan your costume…or not… We didn’t do costumes, but many people do.  In the end you won’t be judged no matter how you show up…even if you decide to paint yourself silver and only wear underwear…

5.  When you arrive in Rio get the schedule of Blocos. The official Rio tourism board materials are the best, pick up one of their Carnival magazines at a tourist information center or check it out online here.

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It’s that easy to rock Carnival.  Months ahead book your hotel and Sambadrome tickets.  Weeks to months before have your transport arranged.  Days before get your rest.  This will make you primed to rock it all night long…

Have you been to Carnival?  Tell us in the comments what you recommend to Carnival first-timers.

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thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.
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