An Alternate Guide to Rio’s Carnival
02.10.2013 - 03.14.2013 90 °F
The alternative tourist is always on the hunt for an unorthodox yet effective way to experience a culture or event. While in the Sambadrome the parade and atmosphere was lively at times, the activities just before the entrance and right outside the exit were just as exciting! We were able to get up close to some of the floats before and after they went into competition. Below we outline an alternative itinerary for travelers who want to get up close and personal with samba dancers, their outfits and into the heart of the action without having to spend the big bucks on Sambadrome tickets.
<pic on float with masks>
The Traditional Carnival in Rio Itinerary:
1. Go to the Copacabana block party and sing top billboard hits with the Australian and UK tourists. (3x350ml beer cans for R$12)
2. Buy Sambadrome tickets for section 9 ($300) or the nosebleed section 12/13 ($50)
3. Watch the dancers with binoculars if you have them
The Unorthodox Yet Effective Tourist’s Alternative Carnival in Rio Itinerary:
1. Go to the Madureira block party and hang out with the locals and listen to live local music (3x473ml beer cans for R$10)
2. Go to the Central Train/Metro Station and watch the dancers prepare the costumes and watch the floats being tested out. It’s free front row seats, baby!
3. Walk behind section 11 and you’ll see a street I’ll call “tight wad hill” that has a view of the parade and can hear the music clearly ($0)
4. Walk down to end of parade and see all the dancers and floats exiting. Everyone is in a good mood so they will take a pic with you and let you stand on the floats! ($0)
5. Sit down at one of the stands and order a cheap beer, some food and chat with the family and friends of the Samba schools. Note: Some people even set up TVs so you can watch the dancers before they arrive!