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The Rio Carnival is the greatest party on earth - an amazing spectacle of colour and costumes set to the sultry sounds of samba music. It's a once in a lifetime experience, joining thousands of Cariocas in a six-day frenzy of dancing and celebration! Our Independent Carnival Package allows for you to experience Rio Carnival with the greatest level of independence - you pick and choose which activities you want to do in Rio de Janeiro from our 3-star hotel in the lively Flamengo district. The Independent Carnival Package includes much sought-after tickets to the Sambadrome, home of the world-famous and mind-blowing parades, and we can also help with a large range of optional activities such as going to the Gay Ball, visiting a favela community project, taking a half-day guided tour of Corcovado and another to Sugar Loaf Mountain, and even joining the Sambadrome parade itself! These optional activities must be requested before carnival starts, so please get in touch with the Dragoman Sales Team if you'd like to book these fantastic highlights!
No meals included
0% Camping - 100% Hotels
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.
In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.
Join your group and your guide for a welcome meal in Rio de Janeiro
This morning we will go on an introductory walking tour with our local guide to get to know the local area and orientate ourselves. We will then head to one of the local 'blocos' (street parades) with the guide, who will show us the ropes!
In the afternoon there's the option to go for a guided visit to the Morrinho Project, a favela community project supported by Dragoman. If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel to and from the project by air conditioned minibus.
Take an introductory walking tour to get to know the local area and then join a street parade with your guide to experience how the Cariocas (people of Rio) celebrate carnival
Visit one of Rio de Janeiro's famous favelas and the Project Morrinho, a Dragoman-supported community project and art installation run by the youth of the area
Early this morning we have the option to 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). If you have opted for this tour you 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 13, the most lively of the sectors where local Cariocas are supporting their favourite Samba schools by singing and dancing. The sector is at the very end of the runway and you have the chance of collecting parts of the costumes as some dancers will throw them up in to the stand. 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.
Please note that sector 13 is set back a bit from the actual runway so does not offer the best close up views of the parade - if you should wish, there is the option to upgrade to sector 11 for a much closer view of the parade, which is highly recommended if you're interested in photography and would like the best pictures of the costumes and floats. The same guide and travel arrangements as for sector 13 will apply.
Take a half-day tour the amazing statue of Christ the Redeemer on the top of the Corcovado mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a world-famous icon of Brazil - taking in the breathaking views of Rio de Janeiro and the bay below
Party all night to the fantastic and eclectic sounds and sights of the Samba parade at Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome
Get closer to the incredible action in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome with a ticket to Sector 11 - recommended to get some fantastic close up photos of the Samba parade!
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 the chance to go on an optional guided visit to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. If you have opted for this tour you 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 and offering close up views of the 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.
Take a second visit to the Sambadrome, and get a close view of the action in Sector 5
Join in and be part of the Sambadrome Parade, an absolutely unforgettable experience of a lifetime!
Get some of the most phenomenal views of Rio de Janeiro on a half-day guided tour up to the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
Today is another 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.
In the evening we have the chance to put on our most outrageous outfits and head to the Gay Ball! The ticket to the Gay Ball includes the entrance, open bar and assorted finger food.
Get dressed up in your most extravagant outfit and head out to the Gay Ball, the most colourful and exhuberant ball at the Carnival!
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.
Visit the iconic Escadaria Selaron, a colourful tiled staircase lovingly created by local resident Jorge Selaron
Explore the stunning natural Atlanic rainforest of Tijuca, the largest urban forest in the world
Explore the magnificent Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro, with over 54 hectares and 6500 species of plants and flowers
Relax and explore the world famous beaches of Rio de Janeiro, including Ipanema, Arpoador, and of course Copacabana
Visit the Museu da República, and learn all about the turbulent recent history of Brazil and the story of the creation of the republic in 1889
Visit Rio de Janeiro's Modern Art Museum, showcasing some incredible local and international art exhibitions, and an incredible building in its own right
Find out all about Brazil's fascinating history by visiting the National Historical Museum in the centre of Rio de Janeiro