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Rio Carnival
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil . 8 days, March 1-9, 2019

10 Fun things to do in Rio de Janeiro

With the seductive sounds of samba, Rio’s residents, known as Cariocas, have perfected the art of ‘living well.’ From Brazil’s world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the tops Corcovado and Pão de Açúcar to the dance halls, bars and open-air cafes that flourish the city, cariocas live for the moment without a care in the world. This idea of bliss has captivated visitors for centuries. You can surf great breaks off Prainha, sail across Guanabára, hike through Tijuca’s rainforests, dance the night away in Lapa or just people-watch on Ipanema Beach.

If you come to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro you will have the opportunity to explore the city and visit some of the top sites and attractions

1. Corcovado – Christ the Redeemer
Every year, over 300,000 people visit the statue of Christ using the centenary Corcovado Train, the oldest tourist ride in the country. Once at the top, the huge white statue of Christ the Redeemer pays homage to Rio’s religiosity, and has become a symbol of the City and of its people, receiving all visitors with its arms open.

2. Ipanema
In addition to the wonderful stretch of beach with great surf and umbrellas, gorgeous people to watch, you can wander through the fashionable streets to discover chic boutiques, trendy restaurants and hip cafes. On Sundays, there is a hippie market in Praça General Osório where handcrafts, clothes and souvenirs from Rio can be found.

3. Copacabana
One of the most famous beaches in the world, Copacabana has the mountains and city behind it and is definitely Rio. Sit at one of the many restaurants along the beachfront to enjoy a batida or caipirinha, or take a stroll on the famous and often imitated Burle Marx designed sidewalks. In summertime, go early as it may be hard to find a spot on the sand. Also, take note that the currents are deceptively strong. A perfect place to eat, drink, relax and people watch.

4. Carnaval
Carnaval is perhaps the largest event in Rio, with venues scattered around town. The highlight is the spectacular samba school parade, a rich and colourful exhibition of 14 groups each day along the street, and the Sambadromo, with seating for the 70,000.

5. Pão de Açúcar – Sugar Loaf Mountain
One of Rio’s most famous landmarks, it’s the best place to view the city, sea and mountain ranges. Take the funicular ride up for a glorious view of the Guanabara Bay, Botafogo beach to the North and Copacabana to the South, with the city spread in between. Be sure to check out the old open-air cable car on display that was used in the ’30s. There are vendors selling coconuts and juice, as well as a food and refreshments stand.

6.Pedra da Gávea
Located between São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca, Pedra da Gávea is a granite rock that rises 842 meters above sea level. Originally used as a lookout for ships in the Atlantic, it’s now popular with rock climbers and those who want to see the glyphs carved into the rock.

7. Santa Teresa
Walk up the Selaron Steps, walk the windy streets of Santa Teresa and gaze down on the city from Parque das Ruinas. Before you head to the top of Santa Teresa make sure to walk up the Selaron Steps and be in awe of the this artistic endeavor. Take a taxi up to the streets of Santa Teresa and visit the art shops, flavor the various cuisines offered in the variety of restaurants or bar hop and listen to the local music. Make sure to visit Parque das Ruinas before sundown to get a unique view of the city and visit a beautiful historic site.

8. Arcos da Lapa
An engineering and architectural construction work that symbolizes Rio de Janeiro’s colonial period. It was inaugurated, as reported, in 1750, under the government of Ayres de Saldanha and administered by the engineer José Fernandes Alpoim. It was built in order to end the problem of the constant lack of water in Rio de Janeiro towards the end of the XVIII century.

9. Parque Nacional and Floresta da Tijuca
The best place to visit to get an idea of what Rio once looked like, with over 46 square miles of tropical rain forest, walking trails, stunning views of the city, waterfalls, creeks and wonderfully varied greenery. This is the largest urban reserve in the world and it only takes about 20 minutes to immerse yourself in nature. Serious hikers can climb to the 3320 feet summit of Pico da Tijuca, while others can simply enjoy the 115 feet waterfall, Cascatinha de Taunay, at the Alto da Boa Vista.

10. Monumento Nacional aos Mortos da II Guerra Mundial
Located at Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, 75, Parque do Flamengo, this monument is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the WWII European theater of war, especially in Italy. The monument includes a small museum with military artifacts from those dark years, a mausoleum and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and is guarded by the three Armed Forces. Entry is free.

Rio Carnival FAQs

Our brand promise is “You’ll have a better time with us!” and in order to do this we want to make sure that you have all the answers your important questions. Our team has been in Rio de Janeiro for the past few years gathering vital information to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience while attending one of the most amazing annual events in the world.


1.  Do I need a travel visa?

2. Should I get Travel Insurance?

3. What should I budget for food each day?

4. Do cabs take credit/debit cards?

5. What should I carry with me each day?

6. Do most places accept my credit card? My AmEx?


Yes. We are working with a partner company CIBT who will be helping us all get our visas for Brazil and is providing our clients with a discount on processing fees, but if you would like to look into the process, it is easy to check requirements, download applications and get step-by-step instructions.

Simply go to CIBT’s Visas.  Please continue to use this link to receive Bucket List Events discounted rates. If you would like to call CIBT directly, dial  800-577-2428 . Make sure to reference our account code 47135 when calling.

* Important to note: One of the requirements is an original, signed passport valid for 6 months beyond stay in Brazil with at least one blank visa page available for a Brazilian visa stamp. Amendment pages in the back of the passport are not suitable for visa stamps.


We highly recommend that every traveler has travel insurance. We have been working closely with Travelex Insurance, which provides specific insurance in accordance to your travel plans. Get a quick free quote and see what they have to offer by going to the following link:

Make sure to use this link to receive your Bucket List Events discounted pricing.


This all depends on you and what you would like to experience. If you like to eat out at nice restaurants, you will spend between Brazilian real (R$)52-95 per person for a meal, which is around US$30-50 for a meal. However, you can eat out on the cheap, buying a traditional salgado or slice of pizza and fresh juice for R$8 (US$4). A typical Brazilian dish of chicken, rice and beans will cost you R$24 (US$11). So bottom line, you could budget around US$50 per day and get a basic taste of the local cuisine or budget more depending on how often you want to eat at nice restaurants. But most importantly, make sure to budget for cold cervejas (R$5) and caipirinhas (R$12) on the beach!


It is very rare to find a taxi that takes credit or debit cards. Make sure that you have cash when you hail a cab. Always watch the meter. Cabs have higher rates on Sundays and between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m and the meter will have a “2” showing if it was one of these days or times. If it’s a weekday or daytime and the cab meter is reading a “2”, ask the driver, “Porque dois?” If he does not change the meter, exit the cab.


The following tips are meant to prepare you so that you can stay safe and protect your stuff. Our motto is to travel smart and stay safe.


Most of the hotels have a safe in the room, so it is a good idea to leave all your valuables including your wedding ring, watch and jewelry locked up. You don’t want to be a target, so why risk it? It is better to dress simply and carry a bag that can go across your body or a backpack. Put some of your money in your bag and some in your pocket. If you decide to wear a money pouch, distribute your money there as well. You want to be able to pull out some change to pay a vendor without revealing how much money you have on you.

When you are going to the beach, you want as little on you as possible. If you are going to bring a beach bag make sure that you only bring your beach essentials. Again, distribute your money between the bag and your pocket(s).

Always keep your bag in sight. When you are at the beach, put it in front of you, between your legs. If you are traveling with another person, put your bag between the two of you. If a vendor comes up to you to sell something, make sure to have your hand on your bag and don’t lose sight as you are working out your purchase.


Most restaurants and stores take Visa and Mastercard, but it is rare to find a place that accepts AmEx. Most restaurants will bring the machine to swipe your card at the table, but just be conscious to stay with your card at all times. Before you come down to Brazil, check with your bank to see what the fees are for pulling money out and fees to use your card.

Make sure to notify your bank that you are going to South America and ask if you’ll be able to use your debit or credit card. Have your bank’s phone number on hand and don’t be surprised if you have to call them when you are here. Banco do Brazil and Central Bank have been the most reliable for us in terms of pulling money with our debit cards, and we will be able to direct you to these banks’ locations when you arrive.