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Brazil Holidays

Experience Rio de Janeiro exploring in depth & try the famous February Carnival

6 Night Itinerary from  £1,742

Carioca Tour & February Carnival Tour

Experience Rio de Janeiro, the stunning setting, Royal History, cosmopolitan lifestyle with bars, restaurants, nightlife, beaches, outdoor cafes and an in-depth tour of our guides. At Carnival we offer the all-night parade at the Sambadrome.

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Experience the colour and excitement of the famous Rio Carnival
  • Watch the Samba Schools parade at the Sambadrome
  • Marvel at the elaborate floats and costumes of the Samba Schools
  • Get in the party spirit, with thousands of people singing and dancing all night
  • See Christ the Redeemer up close and enjoy magnificent 360 degree views
  • Time at leisure to explore Rio's natural side or relax on its famous beaches
  • Enjoy the superb tropical cuisine
  • Choose to extend your trip with the Iguassu Falls or Buzios beach
  • Discover the fascination history of the Royal Family living in Rio for 13 years

This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.

Tour Itinerary

Ipanema Beach Shade

Rio de Janeiro - 2 Nights

Day 1 - Fly to Rio de Janeiro

Day 2 - Introductory walking tour 

Day 3 - Special in-depth Rio de Janeiro tour

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Monday, 20 May 2024

Fly to Rio de Janeiro

Take an overnight flight from the UK to Rio de Janeiro, arriving the following morning.

Optional Excursions

  • Sugar Loaf Hiking
  • Botanical Gardens & Sugar Loaf Mountain
  • Art and Culture of Rio de Janeiro
  • Burle Marx & Folk Art Museum

Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Introductory walking tour

Our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your chosen hotel for a 6 night stay. Your guide will take you on a walk to introduce you to the area surroundings your hotel so that you can get your bearings. You will walk along the promenade of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in order to gain a feeling of Rio de Janeiro's city life - the people, the beach culture, the apartments of the city's affluent, all that makes up the typical "Carioca" life. This short introduction to Rio (up to one hour) will help with your orientation.

Wednesday, 22 May 2024

In-depth special Rio de Janeiro tour

We start this full day tour by visiting the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer at Corcovado Mountain from where you can admire the magnificent 360 degree view of Rio de Janeiro - the beautiful bay, the lagoon, the famous Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon beaches and the massive granite peaks that dwarf the tall buildings. We will drive through the Tijuca Forest and past the Maracana Stadium (a stop there is optional) to the Sambodromo, the site of the famous carnival parades, to visit the museum.

Continue to the Bohemian Santa Teresa district once home to the rich and famous but where now the majestic views draw writers, musicians, artists with galleries. Its hillside location affords stunning views of Rio, and its cobbled streets add to its charming atmosphere. We stop for a lunch break (lunch is not included so that you can choose your own preference). In the old days, when Copacabana was but a swamp, the higher ground of Santa Teresa was the preferred area to live due to the cooler, fresh air so magnificent mansions were built, later to be out of favour, but many are now renovated. 

We continue to the historic city centre of Rio de Janeiro, where the Royal Family lived, and walk (2 to 3 hours) through the bustling streets and stop at the Confeitaria Colombo, one of the oldest coffee shops in Rio. Visit the cathedral, the Imperial Palace, the Church of Sao Jose and cultural centre on Praca XV admiring the unique colonial architecture. Later in the afternoon we drive back to your hotel.

Mar Palace Hotel

Rio de Janeiro - Tourist Hotel

The Hotel Mar Palace Copacabana is a modern beach hotel located 2 blocks from Copacabana beach and close to the commercial area.

The 88 comfortable rooms are equipped with sound proof windows, cable tv, air-conditioning, minibar, WiFi internet access, telephone and hairdryer. The hotel also has a small rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and bar.

1772 Mar Palace Hotel

Windsor Excelsior Hotel

Rio de Janeiro - First Hotel

A modern hotel overlooking Copacabana Beach with 233 rooms and suites, all with air conditioning, internet, mini bar, safe and en-suite bathroom with hair-dryer as well as 24-hour room service. All rooms have twin beds that can be pushed together and made up as doubles. The top floor has a wonderful view of the beach and the statue of Christ the Redeemer, a rooftop swimming pool, fitness lounge, sauna and bar for cool drinks. The hotel has a bar, a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner with buffet and a-la-carte menus, and also offers a complementary beach service with towels, umbrellas for shade and sunbathing chairs.

1770 Windsor Excelsior Hotel

Grand Hyatt Barra da Tijuca

Rio de Janeiro - First Hotel

Spectacularly located between the Marapendi Lagoon and beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and close to the Tijuca Forest, the Grand Hyatt is a great choice for those preferring a relaxing retreat outside of central Rio. Stunning views abound from private balconies. Guests can enjoy the use of the outdoor pool or partake in lagoon or beach activities.

There are 436 welcoming and spacious guest rooms, including 43 suites, all with separate bath tubs and rain showers and equipped with modern facilities. Three renowned restaurants provide an excellent choice of dining, plus guests can relax in the stylish bars or spend time unwinding in the spa and sauna.

The nearest metro station is a 15 minute car ride away, from where you can reach Copacabana and central Rio. 

Spacious swimming pools
Rio Carnival At Sambodromo

FEBRUARY - Rio Carnival Samba Schools Parade at Sambodromo - 1 Night

Day 4 - Rio Carnival Samba Schools All-Night Parade at the Sambodrome

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Thursday, 23 May 2024

Rio Carnival Parade at the Sambodrome

Today is time for the main event. After spending the day at leisure you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the Rio de Janeiro 'Sambodrome' to enjoy the magnificent Carnival Parade. Here you will take your seat alongside around 90,000 other spectators, in anticipation of seeing what Rio's best Samba schools have put together during months of meticulous (and not to mention expensive) preparation. The concrete arena was designed by the great Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer and features a central runway down which the schools parade, each taking between an hour and 80 minutes to complete their show. Over that time, thousands of performers will pass-by in colourful and intricate costumes, dancing and drumming in unison in the wake of immense and imaginative floats, to a constant soundtrack of live samba.

The parade starts after dinner and continues through the night and well into the following day. You may choose to stick out the whole night with the other hardy Cariocas, or head back to your hotel, with transport available every hour from 23.00 onwards.

You would typically be seated in Sector 9, meaning your seats are allocated numbers and you get a great view of the heart of the action - the drummers pause here to show off their skills and impress the judges. However, you may prefer a different sector which, although seats are unallocated, could give you the chance to sit with locals for an even greater atmosphere.

To get even closer to the action, for a truly unforgettable experience, you may wish to consider a frisa - an open-air box located along the runway. These boxes each have six seats, though you can purchase individual seats within them. They provide a close-up view of the action and immerse you in the sights and sounds of the carnival. 

Wherever you choose to sit, just don't forget your camera!

Sambadrome map, Rio de Janeiro

Find out everything you need to know about the festivities and plan your visit with our Rio Carnival guide.

Hotel Arpoador

Rio de Janeiro - Tourist Hotel

Arpoador is a modern hotel with a relaxed, informal style symbolised by the casual designer uniforms worn by the staff. Ideally located between Ipanema and Copacabana, one side faces a busy street with large trees and the other side faces a charming pedestrian waterfront promenade along Ipanema beach and the sea. The hotel's restaurant room has a very pleasant veranda outside, with 10 tables, where you can sit, enjoy the food, the fresh air, sea breeze and ocean view; and literally step straight onto the promenade and onto the beach. Beware that the sea here is the open ocean with strong waves and currents. The restaurant serves breakfast and an excellent simple and creative menu of modern vegetarian dishes.

The rooms are modern, comfortable, functional and decorated in the contemporary minimalist style, with the standard rooms only 18 square meters; but with so much to do in Rio de Janeiro and nearby, you are unlikely to spend much time in the room.

Right at the top of the building, there is a small pool, bar, sitting area and magnificent view of the whole of Ipanema and Leblon with the city and the tall granite peak of Morro dos Dois Irmaos in the background. Within walking distance you have numerous bars, restaurants, cafes, shops and the famous beachfront walks along Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon beaches. This area is the perfect location for all the best attractions that Rio de Janeiro has to offer.

Accommodation includes room and breakfast.




Mercure Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro - Tourist Hotel

The Mercure Rio de Janeiro Hotel is located on Atlantica Avenue, in front of Copacabana Beach.

The hotel has a very nice restaurant area facing the beach and facilities for executives such as meeting rooms and a business centre. The Mercure offers a cozy atmosphere with a welcome drink, early check in and late check out, according to availability, fitness centre, WiFi and newspaper inside your room.

1773 Mercure Rio De Janeiro

Copacabana Palace

Rio de Janeiro - Deluxe Hotel

This grand, European-style hotel is a listed building with 226 rooms, a large swimming pool, fitness centre and sauna, rooftop tennis court, shops, business centre, piano bar and three of Rio's finest elegant restaurants.

All the rooms are large and spacious, decorated in a classic elegant style, fully air-conditioned with cable TV, electronic safe deposit box, voice mail, 24-hour room service, mini bar and complimentary WiFi. The separate Tower Annexe building is set back from the street and overlooking the pool, where all the rooms are suites with balconies.

1764 Copacabana Palace

Rio de Janeiro at leisure - 3 Nights

Days 5-7 - Rio at leisure or optional tours and hikes

Day 8 - Return Flight to the UK

Day 9 - Arrive in the UK

  • Full Description

Friday, 24 May 2024

Rio at leisure or optional tours and hikes

You will now have three days at leisure to relax, enjoy the city and pursue your own interests, though of course, you'll probably want to relax on the beach or take things easy on day 5, following your late night carnival experience. For the rest of your time, we have a number of optional tours and excursions that could enhance your trip and give you an even more in-depth perspective on different aspects of Rio de Janeiro. 

  • Historic Tour of Rio's Royal Palaces, Churches, Monastery, heritage botanical gardens, lagoon & Sugar Loaf Mountain
  • Walking in the forest up Gavea, Urca or Sugar Loaf Mountains
  • Football at the Maracana Stadium
  • Private museums and art galleries
  • Laura Alvim Theatre and cultural centre
  • Horse racing at the Jockey Club
  • Petropolis: summer residence of the Emperor and Royal Family
  • Shopping for paintings, pottery, woodwork, interior decorations
  • Craftsmanship of Brazilian precious stones and jewellery
  • Music of Brazil: Bossa-Nova, Samba, Forro, Pagode and others
  • Classical music, Gregorian choir and opera
  • Three Eco-systems: atlantic forest, mangroves and the botanic gardens
  • National History, fine arts, modern art, folklore and republic Museums
  • Landscape Gardens & Niemeyer architecture

We also have the following options for hiking in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Trek to the top of Sugar Loaf (5 Hours)
  • Trek to the top of Pedra da Gavea (8 hours)
  • Adventure Park "da Catacumba"

Saturday, 25 May 2024

At leisure

Sunday, 26 May 2024

At leisure

Monday, 27 May 2024

Return flight to the UK

Enjoy your morning and afternoon in Rio, before taking a overnight return flight home.

Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Arrive in the UK

Arrive in the UK in the morning.

Price Guidelines

Season Low Season High Season
Travel Dates All year except Holidays & Carnival February Carnival
Room Arrangement First Deluxe Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £1,742 £2,010 £2,918 £3,238 £4,289

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.

What's Included

  • 6 Nights
  • Flights to/from Rio de Janeiro
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • Breakfast everyday and meals as described on the itinerary
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with our expert, local guides
  • Exclusive list of restaurant suggestions
  • Carnival All-Night Parade Ticket at Sambadrome (Arquibancada seats, Sector 9)
  • Prices do not include the optional excursions & extension

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