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Okay, Here you will find summarized information on the 2016 Rio Carnival celebration. Feel free to jump ahead on this page or click on the yellow menu on your left to get detailed information about any Rio Carnival aspects that interests you.
Rio Carnival 2016 Dates
It starts on Friday February 05th and ends on Ash Wednesday February 08th.
The’ Greatest Show on Earth’ continues, with the celebrations kicking off on February 05th 2016 through to the early hour of February 08th, Ash Wednesday. The Carnival season is a celebration of joy, peace, and camaraderie. To experience the intensity of Rio Carnival there is nothing like booking a ticket to the Sambadrome and other popular events. Be prepared to be part of the frenzied celebrations that reaches its crescendo during the Champions Parade at the Sambadrome.
Feel free to jump ahead:
Here you will also access a detailed schedule of carnival events, description of the venues, including the sambodromo, expert recommendations and useful tips on getting the right tickets to the samba parade, the rio scala series, the magic ball and other balls. You will also find information on how to get your own costume to participate in the samba parade, learn the samba songs and get the most from your 2016 Rio Carnaval.
The Samba Parade at the Sambodromo
It's no surprise that the sound of Carnival evokes the colorful parade, giant mechanized floats surrounded by thousands of exuberant swirling dancers and heart-pound drummers. All watched by swarming masses. In fact, the spectacular parade is what made Rio Carnival so famous and the focus of the entire festival in Rio de Janeiro.
***** Samba Schools in the Special Group
Two parades - Sunday, February 07nd and Monday, February 08th
Door opens at 5 PM. First samba school parades at 9 PM with entire show schedule to end at around 4 AM.
This is the most important parade and the one that get televised overseas. The twelve magnificent samba schools are divided in two consecutive nights of equal setting. If you can't afford both nights, nor have the energy for the samba marathon, select the one which best fits your schedule.
**** Samba Schools in the Access Group
Two parades - Friday, February 05th and Saturday, February 06th.
Door opens at 5 PM. First samba school parades at 9 PM with entire show schedule to end at around 5 AM.
Schools will parade to get a spot on the Special Group on the following year. It's a fierce competition and, although less sumptuous, worth seeing if you believe that prices for the Special Group tickets are too expensive. We specially recommend this night for those looking to get a costume and join the fun.
**** Winners' Parade
Saturday, February 13th
Door opens at 5 PM. First samba school enters the pathway at 9 PM. Show ends at around 6 AM.
The 6 best samba schools from the Special Group - yes, the one that parades on Sunday and Monday - will make the show, with same floats, same glory. Without the pressure of a perfect presentation and the judging points, the schools tend to offer its spectators with a more relaxed and enjoyable show. Ticket prices are less than half the price of those on Monday and Sunday, when the same schools are competing to be among the six best ones, and be part of the Winners' Parade.
Guarantee your Parade Tickets for 2016. Make it Happen!
Other less important group parade at the sambodromo:
Children' Samba School - with children from the various communities and with the same ruling as the adult schools. .
Carnival Balls play an important role in Rio's carnival calendar. With a wide range of themes, the Scala balls can be an excellent option for those looking for fun in an affordable way.
The Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace Hotel is the most sumptuous party of the entire calendar.
Rio Scala Balls
Nightly, from Thursday, February 04th to Tuesday February 08th
Thursday, February 04th - Salgueiro Carnival Ball
Friday, February 05th - Red and Black Ball
Saturday, February 06th - Mangueira Carnival Ball
Sunday, February 07th - City Ball
Monday, February 08th - Ball of the ´Beer´
Tuesday, February 09th - Gay Costume Ball
Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace 2016
Saturday, February 06, 2016 - 11 PM to 4 AM.
The most glamorous party in Rio.
The beach front hotel opens its magnificent salons to the rich and famous. All decorated in a special theme, signed by the artist Zeka Marquez.
For some people, the street parties are the best Carnival has to offer, with people freely drinking, partying and dancing away. In whatever neighborhood you are, there will be a bloco or a banda organized by the local residents.
These are formed by a samba school or a gather of people who doesn't enter the official competition. Copacabana is full of them. Ipanema hosts the most famous ones like Banda de Ipanema and Banda da Carmem Miranda. Most of them have a starting point and set routes.
Here's a list of bands and blocos you don't want to miss.
The best Carnival bands are:
- Cordao do Bola Preta - Downtown
- Banda de Ipanema - Ipanema.
- Suvaco do Cristo - Botanic Garden
- Carmelitas - Santa Teresa.
The most famous Carnival Street Bands are:
Simpatia é Quase Amor - Ipanema
Banda de Ipanema - Ipanema
Monobloco - Copacabana
Bip-Bip - Copacabana
For those who arrive at least a week before carnival, go and get a taste of the samba schools at their clubs, generally located within the local communities or close. They take place on weekends from August to the Sunday before Carnival - February 05 this year.
From January on, the schools are packed with tourists, rio residents and the communities. Most school are close to favelas but it's save to get a taxi there and back. Mangueira and Salgueiro offer the most famous rehearsals and easier access. The gay friendly Unidos da Tijuca is located close to Rodoviaria Novo Rio.
Technical rehearsals are conducted at the sambodromo itself. It's like the main parade - with the same great music, drummers, the flag bearer and her escort - but without the costume and the floats. Those technical rehearsals attract an enormous crowd - most cariocas - and are really fun to take part of.
The calendar is generally released by mid October with a couple of schools scheduled to "parade" every weekend. It's free. If you have the chance to go, we recommend you not to miss it. When the rehearse is over, people takes over the runway, dancing to samba and drinking, in a very informal street party.
Places to Stay in Rio during Carnival
There are plenty of places to stay in Rio de Janeiro, but comes Carnival time and it is hard to get a look in at any of these places. All hotels in Rio offer a package with a mandatory minimum number of nights. By winning both bids to the 2016 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Rio has become THE place to visit. The city attracts over 500,000 visitors during carnival and every nook and corner is packed with revelers. Therefore, visitors to Rio de Janeiro are advised to book their accommodation a way well in advance. The Brazilian local tourism industry, boosted by a healthy economy is at its peak during the season and so are the prices, making it all the more important to make reservations well in advance. You ought to make enquiries as early as August or September the preceding year.
If you want to watch the girls from Ipanema go buy, then this is one of the best places to stay during the Carnival. Along with Copacabana, Ipanema is one of the most happening places for weeks before and after the Carnival. The areas are located in South Rio, also known as the Zona Sul or South End. If you are lucky enough to stay in the area you will be able to witness the Carnival in all its splendor. But there are other cheaper areas…
You can book your hotel accommodations for carnival in Rio de Janeiro in the central area of town. Pick a hotel in Centro, Flamengo, Gloria or Lapa and you will be paying half of the price of a similar hotel in Copacabana or Ipanema. The subway makes its all much easier. The safer and cleaner mean of transport in Rio, working round the clock during carnival days, the Rio de Janeiro subway travels from the many central area stations to Ipanema or Copacabana in about 20 minutes. Plus many blocos and bandas are located in the downtown area. The Sambadromo itself is closer to the central area and accessible by the subway as well.
For those wanting to indulge in some luxury, the Copacabana Palace Hotel and the Fasano in Ipanema are the absolute best bet, with rooms costing a couple of thousand dollars a night! Other good options for those not on a budget include the Caesar Park Hotel, the Rio Sofitel Hotel and the JW Marriott, all beach front properties, offering all the amenities you can think of. Leblon is an ideal location for those looking for some luxury in a more quiet area. The Marina Palace, the Marina Suites Hotel and the Sheraton Rio de Janeiro are the places to be.