Rio Carnival 2018
The Rio Carnival is perhaps the biggest draw for tourists to visit Brazil and for very good reasons! Forty days before Easter, the country comes to a halt as people take to the streets to don flamboyant costumes, drink and dance each night away for this week long hedonistic party.
Carnival in Rio is famous for the grand parades which occur in the city's Sambodromo, designed by Brazil's world-famous architect, the modernist Oscar Niemeyer. This ‘stadium of samba’ consists of a parade avenue lined with stadium style seating, along which participants perform in an effort to wow the crowds with their original songs, lyrics and costumes. Able to accommodate 70,000 spectators, it truly is an assault on the senses as the party begins and the Sambodromo fills with the roar of the crowd and the sound of the drummers.
Performers at the Rio Carnival parades come from the samba schools: groups set up, usually in Rio’s poorest neighbourhoods which practice all year in the lead up to the four days of Carnival, when they compete to be crowned as the number one samba school in Rio. They gain their inspiration from traditional samba rhythms and songs but modify them in a humorous way, usually to reflect the area of Rio which they come from. An example of this being "Suvaco do Cristo", which roughly translates as "the Christ statue's armpit", because this is what this samba school can see when they look up from their practice room!
We will have our usual fantastic packages available to let you get the most from the world's biggest party, so read on and find out how you could best enjoy the 2018 Rio Carnival!
Rio Carnival Packages
Everything we do is 100% tailor-made so we can arrange a trip to the Rio Carnival as part of any of our holidays to Brazil, but for the 2018 Rio Carnival we've also put together a special package based on 6 nights at the fantastic Royal Rio Palace hotel in Copacabana. The package includes all accommodation, tickets and transfers for the Sambadrome, airport transfers, tours of the Christ Statue and Mount Sugarloaf, all for the fantastic price of £1350pp:
- Thursday 8th February: Arrival in Rio
- Friday 9th February: Tour of Christ Statue
- Saturday 10th February: Tour to Mount Sugarloaf
- Sunday 11th February: Carnival Parade
- Monday 12th February: Free Day in Rio
- Tuesday 13th February: Free Day in Rio
- Wednesday 14th February: Fly back to the UK
So if you've always wanted to experience the unrivalled party that is the Rio Carnival, why not get in touch with us today to take advantage of this fantastic price?
Contact Us to Start Planning Today!
Carnival Winner's Parade
One aspect of every year's Carnival that many people aren't aware of is the Carnival Winners Parade, and the Rio Carnival 2018 will be continuing this tradition.
The parades in the Sambadrome may seem like just amazing spectacle, but they are actually a deadly serious competition, and the rivalry between the different samba schools is intense. The Winners Parade is a special event to which only the champion schools from this year's carnival are invited and where they get to strut their stuff one last time through the Sambadromo, with all the floats, music, dancers and atmosphere - just like the main carnival.
In fact, many Rio residents will tell you that they almost prefer the Winners Parade to the main Carnival because of the more relaxed atmosphere. And if you're not Brazilian and were just dropped into the middle of the Winners Parade you'd almost certainly have no idea that this wasn't the 'proper' carnival at all. The big advantage for visitors is that it's a great deal cheaper both for tickets and hotels, so it's well worth considering as an alternative to the 'main' Carnival.
Just as for the main Carnival, we have some great tailor-made packages available for the Winners Parade, so just get in touch to find out more!
Types of Sambadrome Tickets for the Rio Carnival 2018
There are various different areas and ticket types available in the Sambadrome for the 2018 Rio Carnival as follows:
- Grandstand tickets: these are the cheapest tickets available and most offer non-allocated seats on bare concrete steps in the uncovered grandstands. However, in Sector 9, which is the tourist sector, you do get an allocated seat, although it's still on the concrete.
- Back Stalls: towards the back of the uncovered grandstands, these offer plastic seats but are still uncovered. They also aren't available in the tourist sector.
- Frisas: these boxes are uncovered but are comfortable and give you a degree of privacy you don't get in the grandstands. They are also right up with the action and for that reason alone are possibly our favourites.
- Camarotes: these private covered boxes hold between 15 and 30 people and are the most expensive way to enjoy Carnival but also the most comfortable.
And don't forget that as well as the official parades taking place at the Sambadromo, there are parties all over the city during the 4 days of parades at Rio Carnival 2018, and also before and after it. These parties take place in many of the hotels around the city, as well as the nightclubs and all have their own feel, with DJs and live musicians providing the soundtrack. And if you really want to get a feel for the samba, then you can head to one of the samba schools who open up their dance halls at the weekend from November onwards. Once inside these schools, you can get acquainted with their songs and lyrics so that you can chant and sing along with the crowd.
Alternative Carnivals in Brazil
And of course, it's worth remembering that Rio's isn't the only carnival in Brazil. Up and down the country, cities hold their own carnival events, many of which pre-date the Rio celebrations themselves. In particular, the cities of Salvador and Olinda hold large and popular carnival events which many people feel better represent the true spirit of Brazilian Carnival.
So before you set your heart on Rio, it's worth taking a look to see what other carnival possibilities Brazil has to offer...