We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

Level Contributor
16 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

Hi there,

My partner and I are going to Rio during carnival season ( I had no idea that our tour would join up with this).

We will visit the Sambadrome but would like to know how realistic it would be to visit sites like the Cristo Redentor and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

If you have any advice on how best to avoid queues, make the most of the city, in a short space of time, during carnival, I would really appreciate it!



Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
114 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

How nice! So how many days will you have here? The best way to do Christo any day is to get a driver. We just had friends here visiting 2 weeks ago and they had to wait 2 hours for the train. Plus the driver will take you to the lookout point next to it to get great photos, which you would miss on the train or in the vans. And thay are not that expensive. Sugarloaf is easy to take a taxi to, but when you leave be sure and do not get a taxi from the base or parking loot, they have set rates and will rip you off! Walk around the corner and get one from the street.

And you guys should consider joining the carnaval parade! It is an experience of a lifetime. I did it our first year and my husband last year, and it is so much fun. But you have to buy a ticket for a seat as your costume cost does not include that and you would have to leave the stadium afterwards if you don't buy a ticket.

If you want more info on anything, email me at missy@ozonetravel.com.

Greater Washington...
Level Contributor
234 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

I whole heartedly agree on getting a personal driver. You can get one of the driver at the base of the train entrance to take you up. Also, if its just you and another person, try to join with another couple to reduce your out of pocket cost. 2 of us arrived together and we linked up with 3 other people which reduced our cost significantly.

Another thing to note about Sugar Loaf: GET THERE EARLY! When I went there and tried to get on the cable car the lines were ridiculous and this was before 12 noon. I'm not sure if it makes a difference because it was a Friday but thats my best advice to you.

Ahhh how Brazil will capture your heart and flood your senses. I cannot wait to go back for 2014 World Cup!

Destination Expert
for Fukuoka, Kyushu-Okinawa
Level Contributor
2,963 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

We bought the Sambadome tickets from our hotel at premium prices upon arrival but they were worth every penny. Our seats were near the TV camera and every parade stopped there for the performance show off and judgment. It was fantastic. During the day, we joined the dancing locals & music snaking through the Ipanema beach town streets.

We took a helicopter ride up close to the Christo statue from the foot of the Sugar Loaf mountain near the cablecar station. It was a beautiful day and the aerial views of the Ipanema, Copacabana beach surroundings and the ocean were fantastic.


Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
114 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

Yes, I agree! Definitely do the "blocos" during the day, every day during carnaval season...you can go online to get the schedule. And I do also recommend the helicopter rides, they are R$150 per person and totally worth it!

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
8,202 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

Our DE poster "girlfromrio" will undoubtedly post her schedule of personal favorite street parties as the time gets nearer.

The forum has also posted a list of trustworthy ticket resellers for the Sambodromo. You can do a search.

As far as lines.....well, with millions of tourists coming into the city at the same time, all wanting to see the same two sights, it's difficult. Thetrain up Corcovado is fun, IMO, but I've never had to wait hours to do it. I believe official tour guides have some line cutting priviledges, and can get you to the official van lot on top (the other way up) as well (which a taxi can do too), that others don't, so it might be worthwhile hiring one, a good idea for anyone with just a short time in Rio. There are lots of suggestions/recommendations in prior threads.

There is a lot to do in Rio and I suggest reading the site www.ipanema.com to get some good introductory information.

Happy travels.

Level Contributor
233 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

We spent some time in Rio this year and were likewise lucky to be there during Carnival. We had a guide/driver for most of the time and found that to be a really efficient (and fun) way to see a lot in a short time. It never seemed hurried and we got to do exactly what we wanted to do. We also felt very safe. The only time we queued was when we went to Sugar Loaf, but it didn't take very long at all to get onto the cable car.

The blocos were fun and Sambodromo absolutely incredible. I would recommend buying the best seats you can afford. Try to get as close to the runway as you can. It's very safe inside Sambodromo, so there's no need to only buy the more expensive tickets in the "tourist" section. I bought tickets through a website recommended on TA.

7. Re: Rio De Janeiro Carnival and Siteseeing

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 08 February 2011, 05:20
Get answers to your questions about Rio de Janeiro