Following pickup at your Rio hotel, board your comfortable vehicle for the ride to the neighborhood of Gamboa, where Rio's samba scene was born. This warehouse complex holds the elaborate props, costumes and floats for all of the city's top samba schools, which are broken out once a year for Carnival.
Walk through the Cidade do Samba with your local guide and learn about the history, culture and traditions of Carnival. Get an insider's perspective on the parade and samba competition in the Sambadromo while you walk through G.R.E.S. Acadêmicos do Grande Rio's backstage area to see their preparations in progress.
Check out the racks bursting with over-the-top costumes. Learn about the stories and legends underlying the pageantry as your guide explains Carnival’s pagan origins that began in ancient Greece, continued through the European Middles Ages in Europe and arrived in Brazil with Portuguese colonization.
Sip a caipirinha, Brazil's national drink, which might give you the courage and daring to try one one of the outrageous costumes before heading back to your hotel for drop-off.