Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival takes place during four nights each year when the local escolas de samba (samba schools) compete by parading through the open-air Sambodrome, a 3,000-foot (700-meter) avenue with grandstand seats rising from each side.
When you arrive at the entrance with your pre-booked ticket, take your allocated seat in Sector 9 and get ready to partake in one of the biggest celebrations on Earth. Watch fireworks light up the sky and enjoy the excellent view of the parading dancers, percussionists and elaborate floats, along with 90,000 other spectators!
Around 4,000 participants from each samba school prepare themed songs, dances, costumes and floats all year to compete for Carnival titles and cash prizes. From 9pm until early morning, you’ll see six schools pass through – each taking about an hour – as they convince the crowd that their performance is the best.
If you choose a ticket for the first Saturday, you’ll watch six samba schools from the Access Group compete for a chance to gain Special Group status the following year. If you choose Sunday or Monday night, you’ll see top schools in the Special Group parade down the avenue. The following Saturday, the five schools voted the best participate in the Champions Parade.
At the end of the parade, your night ends either at the Sambadrome or with hotel drop-off, if selected.