What is the Rio Carnival really like?

Is the Rio Carnival on your travel wish-list? This video is my impression of Brazil on the lead up to the 2015 Rio Carnival. It shows the wildlife in Panama with Pahrana fishing, a boat party in Parati and the Rio Carnival! It’s a fun and beautiful country with a real mixture of friendly people keen to enjoy life.

My tips for the Rio Carnival

There are street parties happening all the time

They have a loud sound system with blasting beats and loud singing, a crowd of dancing people and beers for sale. They happen at different times and locations – Google closer to the Carnival to find the best app that gives you the latest news for the block parties.

The Sambódromo goes all night

I had no idea what to expect for the main carnival show. We had pre-drinks, dressed up and entered our section. I was in the cheap seats right at the end of the carnival – this meant the dancers had run out of energy by the time they reached us. The plus was I saw them bowing, taking the costumes off and throwing them in the rubbish! The seating is in the open with basic toilets and you can buy cans of drink. In the early hours of the morning, we went down to play with the discarded costumes!

Find where the good musicians play

I’d seen a fantastic band in Buenos Aires that were planning to be in Rio for the Carnival. I have no idea where they ended up playing. My tip is to pre-plan nights out for good music – there must be venues where they play. The street parties are fun, but you want more than just that.

Baixo Gavea area is where the good night-life is

We went along one night and I loved the atmosphere. It’s close to a rougher area of the city – one person had their camera stolen and I stopped someone trying to get into my pocket. There were stalls selling food and drink, street dancing and funky bars.

The trendy beach is Ipanema

Copacabana is the famous beach, but it’s strangely not the popular beach – all the trendy people go to Ipanema. There are people selling food/drink, you can hire chairs/umbrellas and there are lots of locals playing football. The beach is divided into numbered sections. The two main sections are; 9 where all the beautiful people go and 8 where the rainbow flags fly – people watching is fantastic! Again, be careful of your belongings.

It’s a lively place during the carnival. The museums and gallery’s are closed – it’s all about happy crowds, costumes and having a dance. Is the Rio Carnival on your travel wish-list? Have you been before? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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