Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.
The first day of Rio Carnival is free time as everyone will be arriving at various times throughout the day to start the package. Our hotel check-in is from midday, and Dragoman staff will be on hand to give you assistance.
There will be a joining meeting in the afternoon - please check the notice board in the lobby/reception area for the exact times for your meeting.
After the meeting there will be a table booked in a nearby restaurant if you wish to join your group and local guide for a meal.
In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel with a rooftop pool in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.
Join your group for a welcome meal
- Cost: BRL 50
This morning we will go on an orientation walk with our local guide to get to know the local area. Afterwards you may opt to join one of the local 'blocos' (street parades), these are great fun, often very crowded, hot and lively! The local 'cariocas' will be all dressed up, so make sure you bring your glitter!! Alternatively you may choose to explore the city or go to the beach.
This evening you are invited to join us at Rio Scenarium, one of the City's greatest nightspots - it's like an antiques warehouse, music venue, bar and restaurant all housed in a fantastic colonial mansion. They serve food and cocktails, though we'd recommend eating beforehand as the service can be slow.
It costs 65BRL for the entrance, which you will pay at the end, along with any food and drinks that you purchase. A guide will accompany you to the venue, we suggest you make your own way home by taxi when you're ready!
Carnival Orientation walk
Early this morning we will head to Corcovado and its world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer for a half-day guided tour. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, and if the weather is clear there is also a fantastic view over the rest of the city including Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). We will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We normally charter a private tram to the top of Corcovado mountain which means that we are the first ones to arrive and have the statue to ourselves for a short time - a fantastic privilege at any time of year but particularly during the busy carnival time. We will aim for the same arrangements this year but please note that there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure a private tram.
In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. The top samba schools parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll be situated in Sector 11 where you have a close up view of the parade and will be able to get great photos of the floats and costumes. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included), accompanied by English speaking guides who will also be with you inside the Sambadrome. As people wish to leave at different times, there will be pre-determined times when you will be able to go back to the hotel with a guide.
Experience the close up view of the fantastic Samba parade from Sector 11 of the Sambadrome
Visit the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue on an early morning semi-private tour
This morning is free for you to recover from last night in the Sambadrome! It's a great chance to hit the beach, explore the city or simply have a lie in.
In the afternoon we have a guided visit to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. We will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We will take the cable car up to the top, from where there's a chance of seeing the wonderful vistas over the city and Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. If the weather is clear you will also be able to see Christ the Redeemer looking down at the city from the top of Corcovado mountain.
In the evening we have the chance to re-visit the Sambadrome to see the last 6 of the elite Samba schools parading. The seats tonight are in Sector 5, situated at the start of the runway which means you will have the full excitement and exhilaration of watching the opening performance of a school’s parade. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide.
There is also the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the Sambadrome 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.
Half day guided tour of Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
Join the Parade, an experience of a lifetime!
- Cost: USD 820
Second visit to the Sambadrome in the amazing Sector 5
- Cost: USD 225
Today is a free day to explore Rio de Janeiro further, and perhaps to find one of the blocos (street parades) that take place during the Carnival and continue the party.
Border information: if you are leaving in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.
The Carnival package finishes after breakfast today. Our hotel check-out is at 12 noon, and you can depart at any time or spend the day exploring further or relaxing.
Explore the magnificent Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro, with over 54 hectares and 6500 species of plants and flowers
- Cost: BRL 8
Relax and explore the world famous beaches of Rio de Janeiro, including Ipanema, Arpoador, and of course Copacabana
- Cost: BRL
Find out all about Brazil's fascinating history by visiting the National Historical Museum in the centre of Rio de Janeiro
- Cost: BRL 6