Rio Carnival

Fancy dancing samba in the street from dusk 'til dawn? There's no greater party on earth than Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, so put on your dancing shoes and join in with the spectacle of this iconic festival. Witness the festivities reach their dizzying climax, join the conga line, move and shake among the drum-fuelled street parties and get swept up in this magic celebration of life. With a mix of festival-specific activities and iconic Carnival experiences, you don’t want to miss the party of a lifetime.

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6 Days from $2,295 per person

Departure Date: 20 Feb 2020 | 11 Feb 2021


  • Experience the pulsating energy of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival, with insider knowledge from your local leader
  • Watch the Sambadrome parade, where the top samba schools perform atop their colourful floats
  • Dress up and attend a traditional bloco – a street party like you’ve never seen before
  • Practise your samba steps at a local samba club
  • Take a locally guided tour of all of Rio’s top sites, including Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf



Day 1: Rio de Janeiro

Bem-Vindos! Welcome to Brazil.

The locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. In this heaving metropolis, set against the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay and surrounded by the slopes of Sugarloaf and Corcovado, it’s hard not to be caught up in the passion of the city's residents (known as Cariocas).

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4pm, where you'll meet your local leader and the other members of your group. Please have your insurance and other details on hand to give to your leader. It's important you attend this meeting, so if you’re delayed for any reason please notify the hotel reception. After the welcome meeting, head out for an included dinner with the group to try out some of Carioca's specialties.

During Carnival, Rio pulsates to the rhythm of Samba. You won't need to be an expert Samba dancer to make the most of your time in Rio but knowing one or two Samba steps will help you blend in with the local Carioca crowds. So, tonight after dinner we’ll head to a local Samba Club for a fun initiation on this popular dance.

Included Activities:

  • Welcome dinner
  • Samba Club visit
  • A Carioca Tour Leader throughout this 6 day adventure
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Rio de Janeiro

Today your local leader will take you on a guided tour around two of the most emblematic landmarks of Rio de Janeiro. It wouldn’t be a trip to Rio without visiting Christ the Redeemer – one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Head to Corcovado Mountain to take in the sweeping views of Rio from the 710-metre-high peak and gaze up at the iconic statue from its base.

Next, you’ll had to Sugar Loaf, another mountain that juts out over Guanabara Bay. Its name comes from the mountain’s resemblance to a traditional sugar loaf – a tall cone of refined sugar that was popular in the Caribbean and Brazil until the late 19th century.

Enjoy an evening to yourself to explore the nightlife of Rio - your local leader will have plenty of recommendations if you want to try some classic Brazilian fare like feijoada or barbeque for dinner.

Included Activities:

  • Corcovado/Christ Redeemer
  • Pao de Azucar (Sugar Loaf mountain)

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day 3: Rio de Janeiro

This morning your leader will take you to a local bloco. Blocos are the true local expression of Carnival in Rio, simply put, they are street parties unlike any party you’ve been to before. Each bloco is themed, with DJs or bands playing all day and people of all ages and walks of life dressing up to join the party every day throughout the Carnival. Your local leader will be at hand throughout the visit to help you make the most of this experience.

Today's afternoon and evening is free for you to explore Rio at your own pace, or perhaps head to the beach for a swim.

Included Activities:

  • Leader led Bloco experience

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Rio de Janeiro

After a free morning, you’ll head to the main event of the week – the parade in the Sambadrome. Here, the top samba schools in Brazil parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll have a prime spot in Sector 11 where you’ll get a close-up view of the parade and will be able to snap great photos of the floats and costumes. 

You’ll take the metro from the hotel to the Sambadrome with your leader and the rest of the group but will have the option to either leave with the leader and group and head back to the hotel in the evening or stay later if you wish. 

Included Activities:

  • Sambodrome entrance (Sector 11 seating)

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day 5: Rio de Janeiro

This morning enjoy a free morning to recover from the craziness of the Sambadrone. You may want to go for a swim at the beach or just relax at the hotel.

In the afternoon, your local leader will take you to another one of Rio’s many themed blocos, for further insight into the local culture. After this, you’re welcome to head back to the hotel with the leader, who will be able to recommend places to go for a final cold caipirinha or group dinner. 

Today there is also the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the 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.

Each Samba School has around 25 ‘alas’ or wings and each wing is telling part of the overall story or theme of the school. All the paraders in a wing are dressed in exactly the same costume, giving the blocks of colour and movement that characterise the parade. A school will have approximately 4,000 paraders in total.

You will join one of these ‘alas’ and it will take between 65 and 80 minutes to complete the parade, including around 30-40 minutes within the Sambadrome itself. You don’t need to be able to actually samba; rather there is a kind of jumping, bouncing way that people parade, to create the whole feeling of strength and happiness. However, you will need to have stamina and will need to put your utmost energy into your performance; this is the most important event of the year for Cariocas (the people from Rio) and you will be playing a part on the biggest stage in the world!

Your costume will be delivered to your hotel ready for the parade, and is yours to keep! You will then be accompanied by a guide to the starting point where you need to meet your alas and school about 2 hours before the parade.

Some important notes:

  • You need to be physically fit to partake in the parade - it can be very hot and physically demanding.
  • A ticket to enter the Sambadrome as a spectator is not included.
  • You must give us your shoe and clothing size at the time of booking.
  • A place in the parade can only be guaranteed if booked before 1st December 2019

Included Activities:

  • Leader led Bloco experience

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Rio de Janeiro

Today is the final day of your Rio Carnival trip and there are no formal activities. The trip finishes after breakfast and you can check out of the hotel any time before midday.

Meals Included: Breakfast

*Terms and Conditions: Valid for new bookings only. Valid for travel on dates specified. Prices, offers and inclusions are strictly subject to availability and can change at any time, without notice. Booking, payment and cancellation conditions apply. Contact your travel agent for full details. SUPPLIER: Intrepid