Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro
I don’t know what to say about Rio-Carnival.Net. We purchased tickets with them and ordered to be delivered to the hotel. I got an envelope at the Hotel Ibiza after waiting for two hours at lobby to realize the tickets were misplaced. The tickets were supposed to be for Sunday and instead we got Monday tickets. We called and called and could never find anyone. A taxi driver helped us find the place but it was a home in the suburbs with nobody to talk to. We ended up missing the carnival parade because our flights back home were on Monday night. My wife was destroyed to have flown all the way down to Rio, coming back home without watching the parade.
Sambadromo and a few Street parties attended.
First thing about Rio
1) You need some Portuguese, not essential but people may ignore if you speak in English
2) They may have beautiful people but not many over 30
3) Brazilian women seem not to be able to smile (maybe due to Brazilian men?)
4) In Brazil (moreso Rio) buttock implants (for the girls) and steroids for the men are common
5) No one puts their hand over their mouths when they yawn maybe 2 in 100 do
6) It is a free society, I don't mind same sex kissing, but hands down shorts is lewd...sorry!
7) Many chew with their mouths open which is kinda gross but maybe a cultural thing??
8) Street parties of 1m+ attendance are strewn with cans and urine pools so watch your step!
9) Seems to be a class system with paler people on the floats and darker hues on the floor
10) @ Sambadromo they play the same music over and over and 10hrs can be hard to take :o(
11) A lot of transvestites around and had to warn a couple of groups of Americans that the 'girl' they were chatting up was no such thing...what amazes me is that they couldn't tell!!
It rained every day of my 10 days there so the tan's not much improved.
Ok the positives:
a) You have to do the Carnaval and street parties before you die
b) Buy your duty free flying in as the shop is far better than when flying out so do that
c) Dance club '40 degrees' in Lapa is amazing, Brazilians, real dancing and atmosphere :O)
d) Never felt threatened or unsafe on the streets...maybe the brown skin is an advantage!? lol
Exchange rate when there 1.60 Reals to the USD $ and 2.70 Reals to the GBP £. This will be a far better echange rate than you'll get in your own country, so if flying from England change up £50 at the airport and the rest at a Cambio. If you have access to a hotel or apartment safe then ask at the cambio how much to change up 100 (£ or $) then ask for 200, then 300 going up...you'll find that they can and will improve on the rate with potentially 5 reals more per pound/dollar if you are changing 500+
Unfortunately, we didn’t visit Rio during the carnival, but nevertheless we had a quick look at the Sambódromo. It is the official samba street in Rio, and it is here the many samba schools parade each year during the carnival competitions.
The Sambódromo was built in 1984, is 700 meters long and can accommodate 65000 spectators. Impressive, but outside the carnival season there was not much to see or do. According to guidebooks you could be lucky and meet a samba school practicing in the street. We didn’t, but danced our own version of a samba – with previously unknown dance steps… How often do you get the chance to dance samba down the Sambódromo in Rio?
Hi, It's me again!
I promissed to be back with new experiences so here I am! Well things here are very hectic! The city smells like carnival! people are happy walking around town... we can fell the energy in the air! I sware it's different from any time of year!! Now we are experiencing a heat stroke that is unbeliavable!! but people are glowing not of sweat, of expectation!
All through summer, there are carnival street bands rehearsal in the city and as time goes by and carnival gets closer we can see those bands getting larger and larger... it is an amazing thing to observe... all types of people from all kinds of background joined together in one place having pure and simple fun!
This last weekend I went to a Street band called "Me Esquece", the translation would be something like forget about me or leave me alone. The street bands have real fun and original names! like for instance Tiered Dog, or Friendlyness is almost love...
Well, in this street band that paraded in Leblon neighborhood, I saw all kind of people and they dress up in costumes and parade through the streets as if there was no real problems in the world... in that moment I could feel what is the magic in this place!! for those that has never been down here, is a trip I vouch for! I'm more in love with the city and it's people each day!
Just waiting for Carnaval to come, that's right, we re not in Carnaval week and things to do just doesn't end! Carnival week is just a couple of days and as they say arround here tambourins are playing!
As carnival is not here yet, I'll go on preparing for the ultimate fun together with locals! there is nothing better than Brazilian Carnival, specially in Rio!! Just falling in love with it as time goes by! Imagin being able to go to Samba School Parades!! Ohhhh one other detail that is real fun as I've been told: Samba Schools are having a thing called Feijoada... it is a typical Brazilian Dish that they prepare along with great music and dancing!!! All Samba Schools are having theirs by now!! The problem is that only invites can go in... This weekend I've heard that there will be Grande Rio Samba School Feijoada, one of the most known of all!! I'll try to get an invite through some friends I made arround here... It's a long shot but who knows?! If I manage to get in I'll come back and tell you all about It, maybe post a couple of pics too!!! See ya later!
Hi, As carnival is aproaching I decided to post a review about my experience in this great party! Brazilians love to party and this time of year is the best to do so! In Rio, the party starts at in January with the rehearsals, that in my opinion are the best part of carnival. I will point out here two of my favorites the first is Unidos da Tijuca samba school [http://unidosdatijuca.com.br/] that has more of the roots of real carnival with people of the samba school and the famous "mulatas". They are a show apart, the dance, the way they move, is amazing to watch, and fun to try and learn. I said try because, no one in the world can move like those girls!! There in Tijuca we can see the heart of a samba school people embrassing the flag its amazing to be a part, their rehearsal takes place every saturday.
Amother other great option is the Mangueira samba school [http://www.mangueira.com.br/site/conteudo/index.asp], one of the most well known school is brazilian carnival [http://www.brazilcarnival.com.br/]. This one has more outsiders people from all over the world and therefor loses, in my opinion, a little bit of the magic! Yes, it is a great rehearsal, and in the carnaval parade there is no other school with more people cheering, but in the reherasal it has a different feeling. They even have costumes to sell to tourists to parade. In Tijuca's [http://unidosdatijuca.com.br/] case, only people from the school can parade. There you see the diference, Mangueira [http://unidosdatijuca.com.br/] is more a school to see as show, tijuca is a school to live, you can feel in the athmosphere the love of the people there and this is part of the excitement of carnival.
During January and February, there is also the street bands parading all around town and people go to the street to enjoy theirselves togerther with all the excitement that is part of the people. People join in the streets to dance, sing, drink, make friends and meet old friends. Its a great way to feel the people, to live a little bit of their lives. Part of the great thing of traveling is in my opinion exactly that: living a bit of the life that locals live, I guess I feel like I've been a part of that place and knew the people. We make friends we can take with us for a lifetime.
Well, this is just a small part of the fun. I will be attending this year's Carnival in Rio, It is not the first and I can assure you it won't be the last! I've secured my ticket to the Sambadrome and got great tips of the carnival and all of it's fun in a great website about carnival in Rio [http://www.brazilcarnival.com.br/]. This year I'm better prepared and I'm sure I will be able to enjoy even more this great city[http://www.belavista-rio.com/]!!
Well, that's it for now. I have planned to go on to a couple of street bands and the Sambadromo [http://www.rio.rj.gov.br/]!! I'll be back to post more about my experience as time passes!
If you come during Carnaval season, try to book tickets to the Sambadromo. Most of the time you can book tickets with your hotel/hostel. That's what I did. I got Sector 13 which was okay, nothing special. It was near the spot where the dancers and the floats came to an end so we go to see the dancers exit and stuff. During Carnaval time you shouldn't worry about safety, even though it is surrounded by favelas. There's TONS of locals and international guests in the crowd and the exits are well guarded and full of people so you never feel isolated. I walked all the way back to the Metro by myself with no harm. But I'm sure during another time of year that's highly unlikely seeing as how it would seem almost deserted. So exercise caution if you pay a visit here after Carnaval is over. They allow cameras so don't worry about them taking yours away.
The Folklore show represents over 150 artists, some who perform during carnival. At this particular show it involved the rythms of the worlds greatest carnival. The dances were fantastic. Very energizing, artistic, dynamic and colorful. A must see when you visit Brazil.
Put Rio Carnaval on your list of destinations - things to do before I die.
I don't know where to start. Spent an amaizing 10 days in Rio over Carnaval. Although the Carnaval itself was fantastic, its the life around the Carnaval that turns Rio into a Party of all Parties. Rio not to be missed. If you want more info, email me !
The parade of dancers and other participants in colorful and detailed costumes is endless - thousands of participants parade passed, dancing, playing instruments or simply enjoying themselves. As a tourist you can purchase a ticket that allows you to walk the parade - another way to experience carnival!
In between the parade one can find a number of lead dancers - most of those lead dancers are sparsely dressed with beautiful bodies. A colleague commented that their dresses are smaller then dental floss - so you can imagine the sight :-)
The floats are as amazing - huge works of art, with lights and a number of platforms where samba dancers do their performances hight above the ground. Some give a political message others manifest the roots to Africa - others are simply colorful art displays.
The original and traditional carnival floats all have to be pushed by muscle power. Imagine the size of the floats, with generators, decoration and a few dozen people dancing on top and then a few people pushing it right across the entire parade.
Behind every sector and even upstairs one can find bars and fast food restaurants that sell beers, cool drinks and serve burgers and other snacks. Be aware though to have local Real currency since we battled to purchase anything in Dollars, since most of the exchanges were closed.
If you purchase a carnival ticket it will be divided by sectors. The sectors are quiet similar to a soccer or rugby stadium. The central sectors are probably the best ones to go to - since the groups stop there to dance and perform before moving on to the end of the parade. I was in sector 5 and can only recommend it - I had a BLAST!!!
In early days Carnival in Rio happened all over the streets - hence during the Carnival season there was no way to get around Rio since all the roads were clogged. In the 1960's the Sambadrome was opened - a large stadium that allows the parades of the Carnival to pass by. Even though the purpose of the Sambadrome was to ease the traffic - do not expect to get there in a rush, since traffic is still a big problem in Rio.