Choose one of the four nights of Carnaval (Carnival) when Rio's famous samba schools compete in the Sambadromo (Sambadrome). This competition takes place in the middle of the open-air stadium, and the performers parade down a 3,000-foot (700-meter) aisle surrounded on both sides by grandstands filled with 90,000 spectators.
Upgrade your experience with round-trip transportation, or find your own way to the Sambadromo's entrance with your pre-booked ticket in hand. Make your way to your numbered seat in Sector 9 with the full knowledge that you won't be sitting in it for long—this is one of the world's biggest, most enthusiastic celebrations, best enjoyed on your feet.
Each samba school brings 4,000 dancers, along with drummers and elaborate parade floats, to compete for cash prizes, titles and the privilege of moving on to the next round. The competition starts at 9pm, and the dancing doesn't stop until dawn as six schools pass through the Sambadromo.
On the first Saturday of Carnaval, six samba schools from the Access Group compete for the following year's Special Group status. On Sunday or Monday, top schools in the Special Group perform. The five schools voted the best participate in the Champions Parade on the following Saturday.
At the end of this epic parade and a night of applauding and whistling, enjoy transportation back to your hotel, if selected.