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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Culinary & nightlife

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Culinary & Nightlife

Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

1. Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

Rio's Carnival is the most popular and the best Carnival in the world! No wonder it was named “Largest Carnival in the World” in 2004 by the Guinness Book of World Records. Carioca Carnival is a cultural event, where freedom of expression dominates in a creative and fun way, represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and a street carnival. The official Samba School parades take place in Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by the most renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer and inaugurated in 1983 with capacity for 80,000 spectators. Every year, the Samba Schools compete for the Carnival Champion Title, one school will be chosen as the best of the best. More than 30,000 people perform throughout Carnival. Each school has between 4,000 and 5,000 participants. There are 5 days of parades, divided into three categories: Access Group, Special Group, and Parade of Champions. Access Group In the Access Group, the best Samba Schools will be able to participate in the Special Group in the following year. You will see 12 schools parade with enthusiasm and beauty. This is perfect for those, who want to see the magic of carnival on a budget. Special Group  These are considered the main days of the Carnival Parade. The best 14 Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro show all their creativity and innovations. These are the true magical nights of the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade with major league schools. Champions Parade On that night, the top six Special Group schools, plus the Access Group Champion repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the Carnaval champions of the year.

Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

2. Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

Start your adventure with a pickup in the morning from hotels located in the South Zone and head towards your first stop at Christ the Redeemer.  Enjoy great jungle views in the minivan ride through the Tijuca Forest that surrounds the Corcovado Mountain. Reach the peak of the mountain and meet the statue of the Christ the Redeemer with its arms right open over the city. Admire the sweeping views and take breathtaking pictures. Head to a nice walk outside the Maracanã Stadium and find out more about the passion of the Brazilians for football. Learn about the samba tradition in Rio by visiting the Sambadrome, the place with the biggest Carnival parade on the planet. Marvel at the beautiful street art of the Selarón Steps, a gigantic mosaic work of the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. He started dedicating himself to decorate the stairs in the early 90s. The 250 steps have become a monument and an icon of Rio. Stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro to revel at the biblical passages on the stained-glass inside it, following a stop for lunch in an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. With the batteries recharged, there is still one place left.  Head to Urca neighborhood and marvel at the beauty of the Sugarloaf Mountain and be amazed by the cable ride to the top. From 220 meters above sea level take in the breathtaking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

From Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis Boat Trip with Lunch

3. From Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis Boat Trip with Lunch

Visit the islands of Angra do Reis on this boat trip from Rio de Janeiro. Sail through the archipelago of Ilha Grande. Disembark on the small islands to explore the beaches, browse the markets, and snorkel in the deep blue waters. Savor lunch on board and enjoy round-trip transfers from Rio hotels. Relax on the 3-hour drive to the city of Angra dos Reis. A quick pit-stop on the road will be made to use bathroom facilities and buy a snack. Upon arrival in the docks, enjoy a schooner ride through the hundreds of islands of Angra dos Reis.  Marvel at the beauty of the most famous island of it all: Ilha Grande. Revel at the crystal clear water and rent a snorkel on the spot to see the different species of fish. After, devour the buffet lunch in a fishermen’s village. Explore different stops during the day in places such as the Blue Lagoon, Cataguases beach, and Japariz or Araçá beaches. The captain will choose the best spots depending on crowds and weather conditions.

Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, & Selaron Day Tour

4. Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, & Selaron Day Tour

Discover the landmarks of Rio on a full-day guided tour, including pickup and drop off at hotels in Rio. Start with a visit to Corcovado Mountain. Ride by van to the top or board the train, both through the Tijuca Forest. Then, marvel at the main monument of Brazil, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, as you take in panoramic views of Rio. Next, head towards the mythical Maracanã football stadium and observe its imposing façade. Continue to the legendary Sambódromo where the annual Carnival parade takes place. Visit the modern Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, influenced by Mayan pyramids. Check out the brightly colored tiles of the world-famous Selarón Steps at Lapa, before enjoying a typical Brazilian steakhouse lunch. After lunch, visit Sugar Loaf. Take the cable car to the top in two stages and see one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Rio.

From Rio: Arraial do Cabo Day Trip with Boat Tour and Lunch

5. From Rio: Arraial do Cabo Day Trip with Boat Tour and Lunch

Begin your 12-hour tour through paradise with a drive from Rio de Janeiro to the region of the Costa do Sol (Sun Coast). When you arrive in Arraial do Cabo, hop aboard a majestic schooner to sail through the warm, clear waters of what’s often called the Brazilian Caribbean. Gliding through the sea, you’ll make a 40-minute stop to swim and snorkel near the Ilha do Farol, a peninsula famous for its lighthouse, and Prainhas do Pontal, a coastal zone flanked by towering cliffs and verdant mountains. Continuing on your boat tour, you’ll stop for photos at the Gruta Azul, a grotto known for its shockingly-azure waters, and the Fenda de Nossa Senhora, where a statue of a saint is placed between a massive rift in between 2 cliffs. To cap off your boat tour, you’ll enjoy another 20-minute stop at one of the region’s most famous beaches, the Praia do Forno. After working up an appetite swimming and relaxing on the boat, you’ll enjoy an authentic buffet-style lunch at a local restaurant, before hopping back aboard your transportation to Rio, arriving back in time for dinner.

Rio de Janeiro: Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar

6. Rio de Janeiro: Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar

Discover Rio’s nightlife in one of the top neighborhood bars. Soak up the unique atmosphere of the Rio Scenarium, a former antique store located in the heart of Lapa. Explore the three-level culture pavilion interconnected by stairs and an elevator from the belle époque. Admire its relics, colorful décor, and obsolete items which are commonly used in film productions while listening to incredible live music.  Watch the best artists bring to life Brazilian music genres such as Samba, Forró, and MPB (Brazilian pop music). Skip the line through a fast track entrance and live a genuine local nightlife experience while enjoying the 3-hour open bar (selected drinks) and 3-course dinner service.

Rio de Janeiro: Ilha Grande with Boat Tour and Lunch

7. Rio de Janeiro: Ilha Grande with Boat Tour and Lunch

Begin your full day tour with a 130 km ride from Rio de Janeiro to Conceição de Jacareí. Once there, onboard your schooner to Ilha Grande. Sit back and enjoy the views of this paradisiacal landscape. Make your first stop at Cataguases Islands. Its calm blue waters are a perfect invitation for a swim. Then, discover the Blue Lagoon and its colorful fish, corals and starfish. This natural pool is perfect for snorkeling and swimming. Visit the Freguesia de Santana, a small beach that houses the first church of Angra dos Reis, built in 1843. Then, enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant in Japariz Beach. Later, take a refreshing dip in the sea. After a day in paradise, begin your comfortable return to Rio de Janeiro.

Rio: Lapa Nightlife Walking Tour, Caipirinha Class & Drinks

8. Rio: Lapa Nightlife Walking Tour, Caipirinha Class & Drinks

Discover famous nightlife in the Lapa neighborhood in a safe way on a guided walking tour. Enjoy alcoholic games, cachaça roulette, a treasure hunt, a caipirinha class, and shots. Receive a R$15.00 voucher to start the night at Selina hostel bar and first visit the Arches of Lapa and Escadaria Selaron. Learn a bit about the history of the neighborhood and its curiosities. Enjoy a free caipirinha, then visit the famous Casa da Cachaça where you will learn how to make your own. Find out about the best parties and bars, with lots of music of all styles, DJs, and live Samba. End the night in a super fun club dancing to different styles and enjoying some free shots.

From Rio: Arraial do Cabo - The Brazilian Caribbean Daytrip

9. From Rio: Arraial do Cabo - The Brazilian Caribbean Daytrip

Located on the north coast of Rio de Janeiro state, Arraial do Cabo is a small town that is known for its beaches and crystal-clear waters. This 13-hour excursion to the area begins with a 3-hour drive to Arraial, stopping for breakfast en route. Board a boat at Praia dos Anjos Beach for a fun and unforgettable trip with stops to dive and swim. Stop near Praia do Farol Beach, where the number of visitors is limited. See the Gruta Azul, a cave that is a paradise for jellyfish. After the boat trip, enjoy lunch at an all-you-can-eat buffet. There will be some free time to explore the city as well.

Rio de Janeiro: Sunset Sailing Tour

10. Rio de Janeiro: Sunset Sailing Tour

Marvel at the scenery of Rio de Janeiro, the Marvellous City, on a sunset sailing tour in Guanabara Bay. Admire the beautiful sunset, and savor all-inclusive drinks and snacks aboard your boat. Enjoy a small group tour or opt to splash out on a private tour to make your experience extra special. Set sail from Marina da Glória and pass by 3 fortresses — São José, Lage, and Santa Cruz — on your way to Boa Viagem Island in Niterói. Cruise past Oscar Niemeyer's striking Niterói Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoy the views in Guanabara Bay. Then, sit back and appreciate the sunset over the city of Rio de Janeiro. Delight in scenic views of the city's most famous landmarks, such as Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer, as the sun sets on the horizon. Throughout the tour, relax with drinks on board, such as the famous Brazilian cocktail Caipirinha, beer, and sparkling white wine. The tour concludes back at the marina in Glória. Hotel pickup and drop-off options are available.

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We had a lovely day with our tour-guide Carla. The group consisted out of several tourist from different countries. Carla was very enthusiastic which was contagious. Rio is very nice city and we enjoyed al the beautiful views from different hights. As we are not a fan of all you can eat concepts we were not so pleased by the lunch. But others from really seemed to like it. Would recommended this tour because it a safe way for tourist to do a very quick experience of Rio. You will not visit Copacabana or Ipanema.

Amazing that we could do all these activities within one day without feeling rushed. Our guide Flavio was the best and learned us a lot about the history of Rio and Brazil.

Genuine experience. You get to know a lot about samba and carnival! Totally with the price, all the funds are distributed to an NGO.

Lots packed into one day but really worth it if you dint have a lot of time in the city. Christian was an excellent guide.

Excellent tour, Juan our guide very prepared and friendly, beautiful and recommended experience.