Experience the Rio Carnival in the Sambadrome & explore Rio in-depth

Rio de Janeiro: 6 Nights  -  Suggested extensions   -   Iguassu: 2 Nights  -  Buzios Beach: 3 Nights 

Tour Highlights

  • Experience the colour and excitement of the famous Rio Carnival
  • Watch the parade from the 90,000 seat 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
  • Use your time at leisure to explore Rio's natural side or relax on its famous beaches
  • Choose to extend your trip with the Iguassu Falls or Buzios beach

Route Map

Click on a marker to read about each location.

The Carioca Tour
Travel Itinerary

Rio de Janeiro
Day 1 - 3

Day 1 - Flight: London to Rio de Janeiro

Day 2 - Walking Introduction to the City 

Day 3 - In-depth special Rio de Janeiro tour

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 1 - Flight: London to Rio de Janeiro

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

Day 2 - Walking Introduction to Rio de Janeiro

Our guide will take you on a walk to introduce you to the area surroundings your hotel so that you can get your bearings upon arrival in a big city like Rio de Janeiro. 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.

Day 3 - 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 being 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.

Accommodation

Preferred Accommodatoin

Tourist Grade

The Mar Palace Hotel Tour - Holidays to Rio de Janeiro

Mar Palace 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 sm…

First Class

The Windsor Excelsior Hotel Tour - Holidays to Rio de Janeiro

Windsor Excelsior 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…

Deluxe Experience

The Sofitel Copacabana Hotel Tour - Holidays to Rio de Janeiro

Sofitel Copacabana Hotel

The Sofitel Rio de Janeiro is a De Luxe hotel located at the end of Copacabana Beach and just three blocks from the upmarket and stylish areas of Ipanema and Leblon. The hotel has two restaurants as well as two swimming pools: to catch both the morning and afternoon sun. There is also a fitness cent…

Rio Carnival at Sambodromo
Day 4

Day 4 - Rio Carnival Parade at the Sambodrome

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 4 - Rio Carnival Parade at the Sambodrome

Today is time for the main event. Following a 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 mind-boogling 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 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

Map by NicoDavila

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

Rio de Janeiro
Days 5 - 8

Day 5 - Rio at leisure or optional tours/hikes

Day 6 - Rio at leisure or optional tours/hikes

Day 7 - Rio at leisure or optional tours/hikes

Day 8 - Return Flight to the UK

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 5-7 - Rio at leisure or optional tours/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 & Art Galleries
  • Laura Alvim Theatre & Cultural Centre
  • Horse Racing at the Jockey Club
  • Petropolis : Summer Residence of the Emperor & Royal Family
  • Shopping for Paintings, Pottery, Woodwork, Interior Decorations
  • Craftsmanship of Brazilian Precious Stones & Jewellery
  • Music of Brazil: Bossa-Nova, Samba, Forro, Pagode and others
  • Classical Music, Gregorian Choir & Opera
  • Three Eco-systems: Atlantic Forest, Mangroves & the Botanic Gardens
  • National History, Fine Arts, Modern Art, Folklore & Republic Museums
  • Landscape Gardens & Niemeyer architecture

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

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

Day 8 - Return Flight to the UK

Enjoy your morning and afternoon in Rio, before taking a return flight home in the early evening and arriving the following day.

Buzios
3 night extension

Days 8-10 - Relax on Buzio's beaches

Day 11 - Transfer to airport

View Description

Itinerary Description

Days 8-10 - Relax on Buzio's beaches

Transfer to the trendy beach resort of Buzios two hours north of Rio de Janeiro and staying at for three nights at your chosen hotel

Day 11 - Transfer to airport

Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Iguassu Falls
Days 8 - 10

Day 8 - Fly to Iguassu

Day 9 - Tour the Iguassu Falls

Day 10 - Return flight to UK

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 8 - Fly to Iguassu

You could choose to extend your trip with a two night stay at the breathtaking Iguassu Falls.

Day 9 - Tour the Iguassu Falls

Today you will enjoy a guided excursion to explore the natural beauty and lush tropical surroundings. Walks down to the foot of the Devil's Throat waterfall offers spectacular panoramic views and the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife. Then cross over the border into Argentina to see the falls from another perspective, where you will have a closer view of the individual falls in their lush tropical setting, abundant in wildlife, especially butterflies. You can walk right out to the roaring Devil's Throat waterfall along walkways that afford breathtaking views. This side of the falls is definitely well worth the visit.

Day 10 - Return flight to UK


Price guidelines for travel dates and room arrangement

Travel Season Low Season High Season
Dates During carnival
Room Arrangement Tourist First Deluxe Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room - - - £2,217 £2,421 £2,869
Multiple Travellers - Own Room - - - - - -
Single Traveller - Own Room - - - - - -
Extention - Buzios - + £468 + £872 - + £468 + £872
Extention - Iguassu Falls + £675 - - + £675 - -

Price guidelines for travel dates and room arrangement

Travel Season Low Season High Season
Dates 1 Jan - 30 June, 17 Aug - 12 Dec 1 July - 16 Aug, 13 Dec - 24 Dec
Room Arrangement Tourist First Deluxe Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room - - - €1,760 €2,147 €2,729
Multiple Travellers - Own Room - - - - - -
Single Traveller - Own Room - - - - - -
Extention - Buzios - + €-337 + €146 - + €-337 + €146
Extention - Iguassu Falls + €-89 - - + €-89 - -

Price guidelines for travel dates and room arrangement

Travel Season Low Season High Season
Dates 1 Jan - 30 June, 17 Aug - 12 Dec 1 July - 16 Aug, 13 Dec - 24 Dec
Room Arrangement Tourist First Deluxe Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room - - - $1,882 $2,147 $2,869
Multiple Travellers - Own Room - - - - - -
Single Traveller - Own Room - - - - - -
Extention - Buzios - + $-290 + $234 - + $-290 + $234
Extention - Iguassu Falls + $-21 - - + $-21 - -

What's Included

  • 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Carnival Parade Ticket (Arquibancada seats, Sector 9)
  • International flights (2 overnight)
  • Internal flights
  • 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 expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person, based on two sharing
  • 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Carnival Parade Ticket (Arquibancada seats, Sector 9)
  • Internal flights
  • 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 expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person, based on two sharing
  • 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Carnival Parade Ticket (Arquibancada seats, Sector 9)
  • Internal flights
  • 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 expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person, based on two sharing

Customise your Trip

Tailor this itinerary to match your travel interests and budget.

Speak with our specialist advisers about planning your next holiday to Latin America.

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