This is the vibe in Rio on carnival. Clá and I went there last year and it could not be any different. We had the time of our lives for five days; with the help of a big friend who lives in Ipanema everything is easier.
Rio, during Carnival, is a lot more than the magnificent Samba Schools Parade at Sapucaí. I suggest you go and watch the Parade and spend New Year’s Eve in Copacabana. This Carnival we decided to mix it up: enjoy the Carnival but also escape from it. Rio is perfect for that; although the cab drivers talk about it and despite the fact that the city is crowded, there are options for everyone 24×7.
Back to the aim of the post, Carnival in Rio is the largest popular celebration in the world. The city receives visitors from all over the country, not to mention the five hundred thousand foreign tourists. The Wonderful City, mainly in the southern beach and downtown, has the streets and avenues full of Street Blocks, gathering thousands of enthusiasts. I can say that enjoying the Street Carnival in Santa Teresa is priceless.
This has become more and more often in Rio, and we did not miss it. We chose not very well-known blocks, but surprisingly fun and lively.
It is a free attraction, anyone can get in the mood. There are blocks all over town, a beautiful feast of colours and, believe me, lots of costumes. The party starts real early, 8 am there are people in costumes on the streets inviting everyone to join them. It is worth remembering that if you do not want to go to Rio during the carnival holiday, the Street Blocks start a month before the official week. The most famous and traditional blocks gather thousands of people, and even the smaller ones are a lot of fun. You can choose to either just watch it or get in the mood and follow the block down the streets.
“Cordão da Bola Preta”, which parades on the downtown streets , usually attracts a million people to dance samba on Saturday mornings. On Sunday there is “Baile do Boitatá” (a kind of ball) and “Boi-Tolo” parade – both at XV Square-, besides the “Simpatia é Quase Amor” parade in Ipanema. Another block that gathers a crowd is “Carmelitas”, which parades on Friday night and then opens the Carnival on Tuesday early in the morning, on the streets of Santa Teresa. The traditional “Banda de Ipanema” parades on Saturday and Tuesday, taking thousands of people to the streets of the southern area.
Carnaval no Rio não é só desfile das escolas de samba na Sapucaí. – Carnival in Rio is not only about the Samba Schools Parade in Sapucaí.
Tip to find your block.
Polis Sucos – Rua Maria Quitéria, 70, esquina Visconde de Pirajá. – To renew the energies, the best juice and hot sandwich in Ipanema.
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Translated by Lúcia Maciel