The residents of Rio are notorious for their partying habits that get even wilder and more entertaining during the Rio Carnival. No words are enough to describe what is Carnival and the intensity of the celebrations that heralds in a time for joy, peace, camaraderie, and friendly competition as well. The Rio Carnival is known as the ‘Biggest party on the planet’ and not without good reason. The celebrations kick off on Feb 21st 2020 and continue until the end of Fat Tuesday on Feb 24th.
There are many events to look forward to during the Rio Carnival. You can book your tickets to the Rio Sambodromo Samba Parades, Carnival balls, and if you want to join the most frenzied celebrations then make sure you are at the Sambodromo on Carnival Sunday and Monday, if you can afford both days, for two nights of electrifying entertainment during the Champions Parade.
The parties continue on the streets where you don’t need a ticket or an excuse to join in some wild celebrations that only the cariocas know how to host. Don’t even try to understand it. You will love it when you live it. Ask anyone who’s been to Rio de Janeiro what is Carnival.
Before the construction of the Sambodromo the streets of Rio played host to competitions. However, the growing number of samba schools and a competitive spirit amongst neighborhoods, led to the development of the Sambodromo by the famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer. The stadium gets a facelift in time for the 2020 Rio Carnival and will now accommodate around 80,000 spectators and over 30,000 participants that make up the samba schools. Over the years, people from across the globe desire to witness the most spectacular display of talent by thousands of members that make up the samba schools. The Sambodromo consists of several independent sectors on both sides of Marques de Sapucai Avenue, which presents the main runway for the samba parades.
The thousands of spectators that throng the stadium experience the true meaning of what is Carnival, which can be best described as a complete show with dazzling carnival costumes, sensuous samba dancers, magnificently designed props and floats, and music that stirs the soul. Buy a ticket to the Sambodromo and you are guaranteed to be on your feet all night just like the cariocas, dancing and singing to the intoxicating rhythms brought to you by the best samba bands on the planet.
If you truly want to experience what is Carnival the best thing is to head to the Sambodromo on Carnival Sunday and Monday when the top 12 samba schools put their heart and soul into their performance, in a quest to earn the title of champions. The samba parades begin with the Acces Group Parade on Carnival Friday, followed by the second day of Access Group Parade on Saturday. The competition reaches its climax on Carnival Sunday and Monday when six of the top 12 samba schools parade on each day. Tickets on these days are the most expensive and sought after. The Children's parade on Carnival Tuesday.
The top samba school for the year is decided by a panel of 40 judges placed at strategic locations at the Sambodromo. The panel of judges award points for each school’s theme, samba song, creativity in the design of carnival costumes and floats, flag bearer, samba dancers, and more.
As a school continues its journey down the samba strip the crowds sing and dance in unison with the participants, which is itself an exhilarating experience. The entire stadium is transformed into a big party zone that continues unabated throughout the night. The judges announce their verdict on Ash Wednesday, the moment awaited with bated breath by every samba school member and their supporters.
The Carnival is the time to leave your inhibitions at home and be just what you want to be for a week before the beginning of Lent. Whether you desire to be an equivalent of King Momo, a sensuous samba dancer, or any spirited Carnival personality, there are plenty of dazzling carnival costumes that can often raise an eyebrow to choose from. Each carnival costume has a story to tell and is the best way to experience the intensity of the Carnival. Talented designers bring out the most creative carnival costumes year after year.
You can order one of these inspired or incredibly sexy carnival costumes with your Sambodromo tickets. If you wish to join in the revelry at street parties then make sure you have a carnival costume too. Although not mandatory, they are the best way to party with the cariocas and understand the true meaning of what is Carnival all about. There are many carnival costume balls and competitions held through the city during the Carnival.
The men, women, and children are the very soul of the samba schools that represent various communities around Rio. The main objective of these schools is to provide people from the favelas with an opportunity to earn a living through meaningful employment. Each school welcomes individuals and families irrespective of their social status to come together and design and construct carnival costumes, floats, samba music, the theme, and everything that is needed to bring out the most spectacular samba parade.
Each school has a large following and features some of Brazil’s renowned samba musicians, singers, and dancers. The colorful spectacle is designed by a team of choreographers who work along with carnival costume designers and artisans to create a unique performance by their samba school year after year. Although the level of competition is at its peak at the Sambodromo, the true carioca spirit of camaraderie and enthusiasm remains at an all time high throughout the Carnival.
Unfortunately, the Sambodromo has place only for 80,000 while there are millions who desire to make that all important trip to experience what is Carnival in its entire splendor. Tickets to the Sambodromo and other events such as the Magic Ball at the Copa and the series of high-profile and entertaining events at the Scala in downtown Rio sell out fast. Just make sure you book your tickets to the Sambodromo in advance. The price varies each night according to the samba schools parading and the seating arrangements. Grandstand seating which is available in most sectors are the most affordable on any day of the competition.
The open boxes or frisas are the more expensive options although the camarotes or closed boxes where many celebrities gather are among the highest priced tickets inclusive of buffet and drinks. Tickets to some of the Carnival balls hosted at other venues are often sold out before the event. Thus, it would be wise to book your tickets in advance for the Magic Ball at the Copa or any of the Scala balls especially the Gay Ball, one of the most popular bashes and last in the series of events hosted by the nightclub.
On the other hand, you don’t need to watch the samba parade at the Sambodromo from the sidelines. You can be an integral part of the parade and proudly wear the carnival costume of your favorite samba school. Samba schools invite a limited number of visitors to join their parade. You can purchase a ticket along with a carnival costume of the samba school that sponsors you.
The glitz and glamour of the Carnival is simply irresistible for the rich and famous who are known to walk the red carpet at the Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, which is the most extravagant and expensive balls held during the Carnival. While the celebrations continue for a week, the Magic Ball, and the Gay Carnival costume Ball at the Scala Rio Nightclub are among the most exciting events to look forward. However, you are welcome to attend a host of Carnival balls at other venues if you don’t manage to get tickets to these coveted events.
From Banda de Ipanema to Simpatia é quase amor, there are hundreds of street parties organized by ‘blocos’ or groups of people from a neighborhood, right through the Carnival. Almost every street corner plays host to a parade where merriment continues endlessly throughout the night. The street parades gather a frenzied crowd along their route and feature some of the best samba bands that follow the most vivacious samba dancers that beckon everyone to join in the party. While Banda de Ipanema attracts a large gay crowd and provides for some great adult entertainment, Simpatia é quase amor is an ideal event for the entire family. The foot stomping beats of these samba bands are sure to get you into the party mood much earlier than you ever expected.
You don’t have to wait for Carnival week to join street parties. They begin as early as January in many hotspots around town including Ipanema, Copacabana, and Leblon, the very heart of carioca culture. One of Rio’s popular neighborhoods, Flamengo, host one on the most glittering street parties, the ‘Estica do Flamengo’. The Barbas bloco is another great event where you can literally soak in the fun as water trucks continue to spray the crowds all through the night. If you want to sample some of Brazil’s finest cuisine as you continue to party all night long then head to Lapa, a place where young cariocas live up to their reputation for partying hard.
Rio isn’t known as the ‘marvelous city’ without good reason. The city has plenty to offer the discerning traveler. While the city is an excellent host of Carnival parties, there is much more than just the beach, beach bodies, and beer. A tour of the city will take you to the Christ of the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain to Sugar Loaf, the Tijuca Forest and the warm and inviting waters of its pristine beaches. Embark on a tour of the city if you really want to soak in the sights and sounds of its natural beauty and experience the best of carioca culture.
Ask any carioca what is Carnival all about and you will definitely get an honest answer. While some people are of the misconception that the Rio Carnival is all about sex, exposing flesh, and wild adult parties, the truth is that the true spirit of the Carnival lies in music and dance with activities to suit a diverse range of people including families, couples, group travelers, and members of alternative lifestyles. The children are the first to entertain the public at the Sambodromo with their own parade.
There are several street parties for the kids to enjoy some fun and excitement as well. For some wilder partying suitable for the adult crowd there are Carnival balls like the Gay Carnival costume Ball at the Scala and the Banda de Ipanema street party where the revelry continues on a higher scale. No matter what events you desire to attend during the Carnival, the sensuous samba dancers in vibrant costumes swaying to the intoxicating rhythms of the samba drummers is something that you will never forget for a lifetime.
Rio is known for the pristine and sun kissed beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Arpoador, and many more, from where you can enjoy magnificent views of the Carioca Mountain range and the tropical rainforests. Rio’s beaches are the place to relax and unwind, join a few cariocas in a game of soccer or volleyball, or simply soak in the sun while you sip on a few caipirinhas all day long. Many of the beaches turn into party zones at night so don’t be surprised if you get caught up at some of these events during the Carnival.
While you may search for the perfect ‘Girl from Ipanema’ immortalized by Carlos Jobim, there are plenty of opportunities for surfing at Arpoador Beach or sunbathing at Copacabana Beach, which is the epicenter of Rio’s beach culture. A short distance away is Angra-dois-reis, a seaside town that is home to many of nature’s wonders including gigantic waterfalls and lush, tropical forest.
While you may have a fair idea of what is Carnival, it would be prudent to book your samba parade tickets now. There are several hotels and resorts in and around Rio that offer a host of tailor-made packages during the Rio Carnival. Don’t hesitate to contact our customer service agents any time night or day for the best possible packages to suit your needs. Our agents are standing by to help make your trip to the Rio Carnival as memorable and exciting as ever.