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Carnival: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Rio De Janerio
  • Dancers in amazing costumes

Below is a sample itinerary of a past Goway Group. It is provided to give you an idea of what we have already done & what you might also consider doing.

However, because of timing, your own group's special interests and budget, we expect to custom make a program just for you. Contact your favorite travel agent click on "Inquire about this Trip" to fill out request for a group quotation.

Although Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese) is celebrated in towns throughout Brazil and other Catholic countries, Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World. The Rio Carnaval is not only the biggest Carnival, it as also a benchmark against which every other carnival is compared and one of the most interesting artistic events on the Globe. Foreign visitors to it alone number around 500,000 every year.

The main event of Carnival in Rio is the parade of the top samba schools (escolas de samba) that takes place the Sunday and Monday nights of Carnival. The parade is really a competition among the schools. The event is held at the Sambódromo, an open air, linear stadium-like concrete construction on the street Marquis de Sapacuaí, just outside of downtown. To watch the parade, one has to buy a ticket in advance. Each night requires a separate ticket. Seats in certain sections of the grandstands (bleachers), chairs at floor level and boxes are reserved seats.

Each of the 2 nights of the top schools' competition has 7 or 8 schools parading, and each has 90 minutes only to complete its transit from one end of the Sambódromo to the other. Each school has 3000 to 5000 members, all volunteers, in costumes representing the story told by the samba that all sing and that rings throughout the sambódromo as the crowd also sings along. There are 7 to 14 floats also telling the story. And, most special of all, each school has a bateria, or band made up only of percussion instruments; it's about 400 people keeping the beat. It's a wonderful experience – a moving show full of feathers, glitter, color, melody and strong beat. There is nothing like it in the world!

Day 1

Arrive Rio

Upon your arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you will be met and transferred to you hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure.

Day 2

Full day City Tour with BBQ lunch

Today, after breakfast, you will explore Rio, Corcovado and Sugar Loaf; just a few of Rio's many world famous sites.

You begin with a drive through downtown Rio, passing by the Sambodrome, the Metropolitan Cathedral, visit the traditional Cinelandia Square with its many historical buildings, the Municipal Theatre, the National Library and the National Museum of Fine Arts.

It is then onto the neighbourhood of Urca where one of the world's most recognizable landmarks sit: Sugar Loaf. The journey to the top is by cable car and is made in two steps. The first cable car takes passengers to Urca Hill which is 215 meters high and from where one can have a beautiful view of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge and Corcovado Hill. It is then onto the Sugar Loaf itself where panoramic views of downtown Rio, the city airport, Christ the Redeemer in the distance and Copacabana Beach are all on offer.

From one stunning view to another it is now onto Corcovado to stand at the feet of the immense statue of Christ towering above the city of Rio with open arms.

After taking a cog railway to the summit, it is a short walk through the many stalls selling all incarnations of the statue of Christ where you come face to feet with one of the country's and world's most recognizable sites - the Statue of Christ the Redemeer.

From one hand to the other, the statue measures almost 30mts / 98ft. Since it was placed atop the 700mts / 2300ft peak of Corcovado Mountain in 1931, this figure has been one of the most famous symbols of Rio. It weighs 700 tons and is visible night and day from most of the city's neighbourhoods. With stunning views all over Rio it is a photo opportunity not to be missed and never forgotten. The spectacle is truly incredible.

Day 3

Parade at the Sambadrome

As the Sambadrome and parade do not kick off until late in the evening today is free to relax, enjoy and explore at your own pace. It is worth looking at an afternoon nap as you will be up and partying with the locals until the wee hours of tomorrow!

This is the big one; 90,000 spectators, tens of thousands of dancers, and a spectacle that will make your jaw drop while your hips sway to the music. The energy and love devoted to this parade has to be seen to be believed. The 363 days of preparation are followed by five days of madness and it's all over. A specially built stadium provides the backdrop to an orgy of color and samba.

Day 4

Day to recover!

The previous night you soaked up the Carnival atmosphere. Today you can relax on a beach, do some shopping, enjoy the hotel pool or simply explore at your leisure.

Day 5

Favela Tour

The favelas have become a mainstay in the large urban centers of Brazil. The first favela appeared in the early 20th century in Morro da Providencia, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, built for the surviving soldiers of the War of the Straws, as a kind of gratitude for services rendered to Brazil.

In 1948, the first official census of the slums revealed the presence of 105 slums, housing 138,837 residents, accounting for 7% of the population of Rio de Janeiro.

The jeep tour aims to show you the joy, solidarity and openness in the favelas of Rio. Watch the daily routine of the community, enjoy postcard worthy panoramic views and works of art made by local artisans.

Day 6


You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

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