Rio Carnival 2016

Old Jul 11, 15, 10:20 pm
  #1  
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Rio Carnival 2016

Need some advice guys, thanks.

Land into Gru on 31 Jan 2016 and leave from GIG on 13th night. Plan is to do the amazon, rio carnival and iguazu falls. Think best to do the amazon first then rio and maybe iguazu and back to rio or finish with rio and then do iguazu. Any suggestion are welcome

Can someone suggest where is the best place to stay during the carnival and what are the must do things.

Any recommended website to buy the tickets for the Sambodromo and where is the best place to be seated at the Sambodromo.

Any tips on amazon or iguazu is more than welcome.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old Jul 12, 15, 7:09 am
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Carnaval 2016 runs Thursday February 4 through Tuesday February 9.
The big nights in the Sambodromo in Rio are Sunday (7) and Monday (8) when the top samba schools parade.
Your stay will probably be governed by the dates of the multi-night packages hotels sell. You should be booking now, before choices diminish. Plan the rest of the trip around these package dates.
Tourists usually stay in the beach neighborhoods of the Zona Sul (Copacabana, Arpoador, Ipanema, a Leblon), but neighborhoods like Gloria, Botafogo, Flamengo, Laranjeiras, etc are also OK. If you are near a metro stop, you can reach the Sambodromo by metro.
There will be blocos (block parties/parades, large and small) in the neighborhoods. The schedule comes out later.
For other sights to see, read the informational site www.ipanema.com and perhaps the online version of Rio for Partiers (despite the annoying name). Tourist sights will be very crowded.
These ticket agencies have been around for a long time:
Rio-Carnival.net
Carnival bookers
Carnivalservice
You will read online complaints about the delivery system, which gets overwhelmed occasionally and breaks down, but overall service is OK.
The sites have good info about how Carnaval functions, and Sambodromo locations.
Generally, you want to be in the middle sectors of the grandstand, with views of the parade in both directions. (Make sure you look at an updated map. The even side was rebuilt a couple of years ago.) Sector 9 grandstand is the only one with reserved seats, is mostly foreigners (not as spirited as other sections), and is the most expensive. Sector 11 is next to the "musicians' niche" where they march in and stay, playing, for most of their school's parade. There is also seating at ground level, a totally different perspective, at reserved tables/seats.
(If there are questions I, or the ticket sales sites, haven't answered, let me know.)

For the falls, you probably want three days, two nights, including travel in and out. The Brazilian side of the park takes about 3 hours to walk and take photos, and the wonderful Bird Park near the entrance, another 2-3. The Argentine side of the park has more trails, mainly the Upper and Lower. Make sure you have paid your Argentine reciprocity fee online and have the receipt. Do take a boat ride under the falls (from either side). You can get around by local public bus or by taxi. I would stay on the side you are flying out of, in Foz do Iguacu or one of the more resorty hotels along the road to the park entrance. Staying in the park is possible (at Belmond Cataratas), but expensive and IMO isolated (from food and nightlife options in town).

You may not really have enough time on either end to do the Amazon, which will take a full day of travel to Manaus, most of another to get far enough out of this huge city to make a less than superficial jungle experience, the tour days, and then out again.
The Pantanal is better for wildlife viewing, so you may want to do some research into that side trip.
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Old Jul 12, 15, 7:43 pm
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VidaNaPraia thanks for your response and time taken for a detailed explanation.

In regards to Iguazu if take night flights we can do it within 2 days. One day for the brazilian side and one day on the Argentinian side.

Would i be pushing it i landed on the 31st and straight headed to the amazon, left amazon to rio on the 5th night, stayed in rio from 6-10 and left rio 10th night to Iguazu? My flight out of rio is 13th night. Live in HKG and since it is such a travel we might as well push for the Amazon as not the easiest to keep coming round that side.

You mentioned that my stay will probably be governed by the dates of the multi-night packages hotels sell, could you please clarify what you mean.

Any suggestion of hotels in Copacabana or Ipanema in the $200 range??

At the Sambodromo does one really require to be seated or it is absolutely fine to be in any other stand other than Sector 9. Is it wise to go on Sunday and Monday or just one of the days ??
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Old Jul 13, 15, 4:52 am
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Originally Posted by rocket69 View Post
You mentioned that my stay will probably be governed by the dates of the multi-night packages hotels sell, could you please clarify what you mean.
Most hotels sell multi-night packages for Carnaval, usually 5 -6 nights. There is usually sufficient demand for rooms that they wouldn't consider requests for a shorter stay or change of those fixed dates. (Occasionally, at the very very last minute as Carnaval begins, some less desirable hotels might if they are not fully booked, but that is not to be relied on.)

Originally Posted by rocket69 View Post
Any suggestion of hotels in Copacabana or Ipanema in the $200 range??
That would be a good rate for a hotel at normal times in those beachside neighborhoods. For Carnaval, expect 3 or 4 times that per night in those neighborhoods. Again, demand is such that hotels need not compromise on rates.

Originally Posted by rocket69 View Post
At the Sambodromo does one really require to be seated or it is absolutely fine to be in any other stand other than Sector 9. Is it wise to go on Sunday and Monday or just one of the days ??
Most Brazilians in the grandstands will be on their feet during the time a samba school is on the runway, often cheering and singing for their favored school. I like the energy in those grandstands; some foreign tourists find it less intimidating to be among their own. You could try bringing a seat cushion to save yourself a space to sit in the intervals.
Brazilians go to see their favorite samba school compete, and to compare it to the others. It's a very long night if you stay for all the schools to parade. For a foreigner who goes to see the spectacle of floats and costumes, and isn't so clued in about competitive details, one night is plenty. Which one isn't so important.
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Old Jul 13, 15, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
That would be a good rate for a hotel at normal times in those beachside neighborhoods. For Carnaval, expect 3 or 4 times that per night in those neighborhoods. Again, demand is such that hotels need not compromise on rates.
What is a good rate for Ipanema/Copacabana during September?
I just looked at the Sofitel and it is $175/night for the most basic room. Is that a good rate, or should I wait until closer to departure to book?
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Old Jul 13, 15, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by Dieuwer View Post
What is a good rate for Ipanema/Copacabana during September?
I just looked at the Sofitel and it is $175/night for the most basic room. Is that a good rate, or should I wait until closer to departure to book?
Ipanema hotels are usually more than Copacabana (with the exception of a place like the Copacabana Palace). September is still kind of shoulder/low season (not crowded, although good for sightseeing), and the dollar is still rising against the real. I'm not really a Rio hotel maven (since I mostly stay with friends), but seems within reason for that month/season, although the real may fall further (but not sure how quickly that effects posted rates).
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Old Jul 13, 15, 12:00 pm
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@rocket69--
Looks like the schedule for the blocos is already out for Carnaval 2016:
https://www.dobrazilright.com/rio-de...ties-schedule/
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Old Jul 14, 15, 6:49 pm
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Thanks a lot. Do we need to buy tickets for this ??

Thanks for clarifying all the previous points.


Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
@rocket69--
Looks like the schedule for the blocos is already out for Carnaval 2016:
https://www.dobrazilright.com/rio-de...ties-schedule/
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Old Jul 15, 15, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by rocket69 View Post
Thanks a lot. Do we need to buy tickets .
The blocos, no. Just show up.
Tickets for the Sambodromo.

Tickets for going up to see the Christ statue and the view.
Tickets for going up Sugarloaf.
Both are best done early at this crowded time to beat the long lines, but also should be done on a clear day, not a guarantee in February in Rio, so hard to buy ahead.
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