10 Tips to Help You Plan a Trip to Rio de Janeiro During Carnival
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10 Tips to Help You Plan a Trip to Rio de Janeiro During Carnival

7 min read

May 5, 2016


By Jayna Funakoshi

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Last updated on March 24th, 2021 at 11:04 am

How to Plan a Trip to Rio during Carnival:

Now the question is, how to plane a trip to Rio for Carnival? In your living room with some friends, at work, or better yet in Rio de Janeiro! If you are lucky enough to attend the Olympics, you’ll want to keep reading our 10 insider travel tips on how to best prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

1. Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time – Carnival.

Getting in and out of the city is easy as long as you don’t leave the day after the closing ceremony. We recommend visiting some other nearby cities before or after the games. Do your research ahead of time and plan a city tour to see Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. If you don’t have time to plan your trip, no problem! Our Travel Consultants can arrange your tours, transfers, guides, hotels, and any other details you need to make your trip run smoothly. But hurry, hotels are filling up, contact us soon to get started! rio-olympics Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city with many sights to see. Here are some recommended destinations in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival:

  • Botanical Gardens: In the middle of the city, there is a marvelous garden with incredible botany, art, and aesthetics, sure to make your visit worthwhile.
  • Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil: Enjoy strolling through local and international exhibitions and watch live performances at the cultural center.
  • Copacabana Beach?: Yes, a trip to rio during Carnival must include it! But only the end parts of it, Leme or Posto Seis. The middle part will be very croweded.
  • Ipanema Beach?: But can also get very crowded: Sip on fresh coconut water at the beach. If you’re looking for souvenirs, you can shop along the promenade.
  • Maracana Stadium: This football stadium is home to Rio’s four Soccer teams.
  • Pedra Bonita: As Rio’s most beautiful spots, this hidden gem has an incredible view of the city.
  • Sugarloaf Mountain: Take a cable car to the peak of the mountain to get a 360-degree view of the city.
  • Tijuca Atlantic Rainforest: As the largest urban rainforest in the world, Tijuca is a great place to hike, bike, and hang glide.
  • Museum of Tomorrow: The building alone is a sight to see, but spend a few hours inside and admire the forward thinking museum exemplifying a new sustainable world.

2. Language 

In Brazil, the national language is Portuguese, NOT Spanish. There are some English speakers, but it’s important to learn some of the basic words and phrases before heading there.

  • Hello: Olá
  • Excuse me: Com licença
  • Yes: Sim
  • No: Não
  • Please: Por Favor
  • Thank you: Obrigado
  • Can you help me?: Você pode me ajudar?
  • Do you speak English?:Você fala inglês?
  • How much?: Quanto?

3. Weather 

Warm and humid with a constant cool breeze from the Atlantic.

4. Visa for Carnival?

No need to mention anymore: Visas mostly are not required anymore.

5. Safety

During the last years, Brazil has made safety a priority for its visitors. Due to the Olympics, there are now a substantial increase in the number of police officers, but it is still important to take safety precautions to ensure a safe and fun trip. Use your common sense, be aware, and travel with a friend. Brazilians are friendly, kind, generous, and fun-loving people. Here are some safety tips to take into consideration before going to any foreign country:

  • Travel in a group: Whether you are heading to a local bar or that cafe down the street, bring a friend to feel comfortable and to share memorable moments together.
  • Dress like a local: Want to wear that new Rolex watch or Kate Spade purse? Think again. It is better to blend in with the crowd than stand out. So leave all of your flashy and expensive items at home, it’s better just to dress casual and comfortable.
  • Never leave your belongings unattended and stay alert!
  • Know who to contact in case of an emergency. Here are some important phone numbers to keep on hand:
    • 55: Calling Code
    • 21: City Code
    • 193: Fire Department
    • 192: Ambulance
    • 190: Police

6. Stay hydrated during Carnival

You will move and sweat a lot,  should you get into dancing: Expect crowds during big events and always have a bottle of water with you. It is better to buy bottled water, travel with a SteriPen or a UV water purifier, than to drink Brazil’s water from its tap.

7. Money 

For Americans, the US Dollar is stronger than the Brazil Real. Two years ago, it was 1 USD to 3.5 BRL, and today it is upwards of 1 USD to 5 BRL. That’s a lot of  savings with those traveling with the US Dollar! Keep a small amount of cash with you as most places accept cards. If you need to go to an ATM, visit a shopping center or gas station, but avoid ATMs at night. Keep the rest of your cash in the safe back at your hotel.

8. Transportation

Rio Metro The metro system is the most convenient way to get around. It is clean, fast, and safe. Purchase a cartão pré-pago, prepaid card (minimum R$5), from a kiosk at any metro station and add money to it at any kiosk. There are also free subway maps available at the ticket booths. The Metro is the best way to get to the parade during Carnival.

Bus Buses are cheap, starting at R$3.20, but they tend to be very crowded. The new BRS (Bus Rapid System) goes to Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, and Barra. There are also express buses, called “Onibus Expreso”, that have limited stops but cover a larger distance in less time, depending on traffic. These prices start at R$4.35. Rio also offers Executive Busses called Frescão. This is a more upscale bus only available during the week. It is a little more expensive, starting at R$3.50, but it is easy and safe to use.

Taxi The taxi system in Rio is a fast and safe way to get around town. No one tips taxi drivers, but it is normal that they round up the fare. Download apps like 99Taxis or Easy Taxi to get a Cab. You can also ask your hotel reception to call you a cab. At night, we advise that you to take a taxi than public transportation. The flat rate is around R$5.20 plus R$2.50 per kilometer.

Bicycle There is also a public bike-sharing program with over 60 rental stations throughout the city called SAMBA. It is a fast and easy way to get around town and exercise.

Boat Take a ferry to visit the different islands in the bay. The ferry departs every 20 minutes and ticket prices start at R$5. This is an easy way to get out of the city. And during a trip to rio during Carnival it makes for beautiful views of Guanabara Bay.

Uber Yes, Uber is in Rio de Janeiro but wait times could be long during the Rio Olympics. The base fare is R$2.00 with R$0.15 per minute and R$1.40 per KM. Also, keep an eye out for those hidden peak fares.

  • Avoid improper sanitation and waste deposits, like slums since they hang around standing water.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents with DEET, lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or para-menthane-diol.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants with light-colored clothing since they are attracted to darker colors.
  • Stay in hotels with air conditioning and keep the windows closed.
  • Avoid using scented skin care products.

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Last updated on March 24th, 2021 at 11:04 am

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