The Rio Carnival is the greatest party on earth - an amazing spectacle of colour and costumes set to the sultry sounds of samba music. It's a once in a lifetime experience, joining thousands of Cariocas in a six-day frenzy of dancing and celebration! Our Standard Carnival Package package is designed for those who want to have a full Rio Carnival experience, party and all, from the comfort of a good quality 3-star hotel in the lively Flamengo district of Rio, based on twin/double share accommodation. You will be looked after by Brazilian staff who know Rio intimately and love the Carnival, and they will help bring the best of it to you! The Standard Pacakge includes your much sought-after tickets to the Sambadrome, home of the world-famous and mind-blowing parades, a guided half day trip up Corcovado and another to Sugar Loaf Mountain, as well as an introductory walking tour around the stunning city. We can also help with a large range of optional activities, such as going to the Gay Ball, visiting a favela community project and even joining the Samba parade itself! These optional activities must be requested before carnival starts, so please get in touch with the Dragoman Sales Team if you'd like to book these fantastic highlights!
Border information: 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.
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, one of the City's greatest nightspots - it's like an antiques warehouse, music venue, bar and restaurant all housed in a fantastic colonial mansion. They serve food and cocktails, though we'd recommend eating beforehand as the service can be slow.
It costs 65BRL for the entrance, which you will pay at the end, along with any food and drinks that you purchase. A guide will accompany you to the venue, we suggest you make your own way home by taxi when you're ready!
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.
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.
In the evening we have the chance to re-visit the Sambadrome to see the last 6 of the elite Samba schools parading. The seats tonight are in Sector 5, situated at the start of the runway which means you will have the full excitement and exhilaration of watching the opening performance of a school’s parade. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide.
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.
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.
In the afternoon there's the option to go for a guided visit to the Morrinho Project, a favela community project supported by Dragoman.
In the evening we have the chance to put on our most outrageous outfits and head to the Gay Ball!
The balls at Carnival are part of the whole experience and this has been the most popular ball from previous years. If you are going to visit just one ball then this is the one we recommend! Put aside any inhibitions you may have, get your costume sorted - plenty of glitter absolutely necessary - and get dancing with all the other partygoers. It is a fantastic experience and people are generally very friendly with loads of photo opportunities and some incredible sights! Music is a variety of samba and more modern music so there's something for everyone, and if dancing is really not your thing there is plenty of people watching to do. The venue itself is like a night club rather than a lavish ballroom as the name might suggest, so the glitter and glam is created by the ballgoers rather than by the locality. The ball can startle some people but it really is a memorable event and one which you will talk about long after carnival has been and gone. Make sure you save a bit of energy for this climax to carnival. The ball goes from midnight on Tuesday until the early hours of Wednesday morning and the ticket includes an open bar for water/soft drinks/beer/caipirinha.
Please note that transport is not included but it is easy to share a taxi there and back with fellow revellers. Please also note that you may be able to find cheaper tickets once you are in Rio. However, previous years tickets have been known to sell out and as a result have changed hands at more than double face value during the days leading up to the ball.
Border information: 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.
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Trip Name: Carnival Package - 2017
Duration: 6 Days
From Price: 3035
Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: RAC1/160046
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