Held every year during the week leading up to Lent, Rio Carnival is one of the world’s greatest celebrations. It is an exuberant explosion of colour, music and of course, dance.
Carnival is a celebration of what Brazil is all about; a bold, hardworking and passionate nation of diverse people. It unifies this multicultural melting pot of European, African and Amerindian descendants. And it is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
The main parades are held on the Sunday and Monday of the five-day festival and last all night long. Each Samba school has 90 minutes to present the performance they have worked all year on. Grab a seat in the bleachers or ask us about a parade-side seat in one of the exclusive Frisa Boxes. Or, if you’re really looking for an exclusive experience then maybe you’d prefer tickets to the VIP section. Here you can rub shoulders with Brazilian A-listers, sports stars and celebrities as you watch the parade.
But if you ask us, the best way to experience all the energy, passion and adrenaline of this incredible event is by participating. Don’t worry – anyone can join the parade, you just need a costume and a sense of adventure.
We strongly recommend a minimum of five nights in Rio over this period. So, you have time to check out the main sights, indulge in a street party or two and of course, spend a night in the Sambadrome! And so you have a day to recover – the parade finishes at 6am!
2021 Carnival dates are from Friday 12th February to Tuesday 16th February.
2022 Carnival dates are from Friday 25 February to Tuesday 1 March.
Arrive at airport in Rio de Janeiro where a representative will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel a few steps from famous Copacabana beach.
Today you will visit one of the most iconic places on earth. Sugar Loaf is a highlight and one of the symbols of Rio. The visit will take you on a beautiful ride up to the summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain on two cable cars: the first going to Urca Hill and the second up to the top of Sugar Loaf at 396 m. Already the ride uphill unfolds amazing scenery with breathtaking views. Its name was given in the 16th century by the Portuguese during the hey days of sugar cane trade in Brazil. According to historians, blocks of sugar were made in conical moulds of clay to be transported on ships. The shape given by these moulds was similar to the peak, hence the name.
Free morning to relax and enjoy. The importance of the beaches to Rio de Janeiro should never be underestimated. The city’s 90 km of beaches are an integral part of Rio’s lifestyle, some of which – such as Copacabana and Ipanema – are world famous. Rio de Janeiro is unique in having beaches which run through its very heart. Wherever you are in the city, you are never too far from the beach. Let’s blend in, relax and observe the locals.
The world-famous Samba School Parade in the Sambadrome! This is the night when carnival expresses probably its biggest explosion of joy. This parade mixes emotions, creativity, plasticity, colours, sounds and many costumes. Unique records of the melting pot that is Brazilian culture. The moment comes when all participants are the protagonists of their own play, costume, plot, and samba. It starts at 20:00 and finishes 06:00. Each Samba school has 90 min to present all their splendour and rhythm. An irresistible excitement surrounded by a dazzling array of costumes and floats, quick-footed samba stars dance to the driving percussion beat of deafening drums as the public cheers. This is truly the festival.
Have the morning free to enjoy the beach.
In the afternoon, you will visit one of the most famous icons of Rio de Janeiro, the breathtaking “Christ the Redeemer” statue soars 700m high above the city, creating an unforgettable backdrop to Rio de Janeiro’s spectacular mountainous landscape. Being one of the seven wonders of the world, the Christ the Redeemer Statue is a must-see landmark for anyone visiting Rio the city, offering an incredible view over the city. Located in the Tijuca National Park and standing 30 m tall, this is one of the world’s largest statues of Christ. Unveiled for the first time in 1931, it was completely restored in 2010. You will take a train ride through the forest in this Swiss built train is already a wonderful experience itself and you get rewarded with beautiful views of the lagoon.
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport.