Rio de Janeiro spends a whole year preparing the Carnival, the most important event of its kind in the world, the most broadcast one on TVs, the most daring, colourful and popular. Are you ready to not stop dancing for a whole week? Are you ready to drink all the caipirinha that you can get your hands on? Are you ready? Well, you´ve been warned. Everyone knows how this begins but never how it ends. The Rio Carnival is the most popular carnivalesque event in the world, broadcast across the globe. The cariocas see with pride how their city turns into the world capital of samba and good vibes. It´s a unique event in the world and this year it will take place from the 9th to the 12th of February.
Samba at all times and the schools of the Great Parade
Whether you´re travelling to Rio during the Carnival or at any other time of year, don´t miss out the rehearsals of the dancers and musicians of the Samba Salgueiro School, one of the most important and popular ones. It won in 2009 at the biggest Sambodrome on the planet. They are capable of dancing samba as long as need be, without limits. Carnival takes place once a year and everything goes. However, you do have to be physically prepared to keep up with the Brazilians´ rhythm. This is highly advised but if you manage to keep up with it, it might even be bad for your health. The 13 samba schools of the city rehearse the parades in large spaces all year long. The Samba Parade in Rio is a competition between the different samba schools and one that the half a million visitors that it gets every year can enjoy.
The King and Queen of the Carnival, a difficult decision
If you travel to Rio on these dates, it´s curious to see the choosing of the Carnival´s King and Queen. Also, there will be the choosing of the Princesses who will get third and fourth place.
However, what else can you do in Rio during the famous Carnival? I recommend that you don´t stop doing all the tourist activities.
The Escaderia Steps by Selarón
In the Santa Teresa district in Rio we can find the Escaderia Steps by Selarón. There are more than 2000 tiles in its 125 metres of length and 215 steps, an attraction that you mustn´t miss. It´s a creation by the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón, who turned these never-ending stairs into a giant mosaic with pieces from all over the world, north to south and east to west.
Great atmosphere in the Rio favelas during Carnival
Another alternative plan to the typical Corcovado Christ and the Sugarloaf Mountain, which are the most touristy things to do, is to go up to the Rocinha favela. It´s a lawless city and it´s dangerous to walk alone there, so I recommend that you do one of the tours that visits the place in a safe way. On ´Favela Tour´ they take you around Rocinha and Villa Canoas for 30€. It´s an exciting trip and advisable especially during Carnival, since they live it with plenty of intensity and energy. It´s partying around the clock, 24h a day.
During Carnival week, the weeks previous to it and the ones after it, the city is fully booked. However, that´s what it´s all about. The streets and beaches, especially Copacabana and Ipanema, are filled with extravagant costumes and long legs dancing to the rhythm of samba.
You can find apartment accommodation in Rio de Janeiro and attend the CARNIVAL in capital letters, the most famous one in the world. Oh and the sooner you do it, the better!