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The world’s best-known festival is, without a doubt, Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Since the 18th century it has taken place 40 days before Lent. This great fiesta is more alive today than ever before, with more than 1 million people enjoying Rio’s street parties, known as blocos, each day. The Samba parade is Carnival’s main event and the most important time of year for the city’s Samba schools - this is their chance to show the world the true meaning of spectacular as they perform in the Sambadrome. You can simply watch or even join the parade! Elsewhere in town, everyone from kids to grandparents celebrate Carnival for 5 days and 4 nights -- it is an essential part of Rio life. Come and enjoy it at least once in a lifetime!

Itinerary
ARRIVE RIO DE JANEIRO

Today, upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel where you can drop off your luggage. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby then head out for dinner (included) and a trip briefing. Return to your hotel for the evening. (D)

(3 DAYS) RIO DE JANEIRO

Over the next three days you’ll participate in the four activities listed below. The exact schedule will be reconfirmed by your local guide. (B)
 

Neighborhood & Blocos Tour – 3 hours

Walking tour of the Copacabana and Ipanema neighborhoods before finishing at one of the hundreds of street parties, blocos,  that take place in Rio during Carnival.

 

Sugar Loaf – 3 hours

Today you’ll explore the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain. Beginning at Vermelha Beach you take an aerial tram (bondinho) first to Urca Hill, at 215 meters above sea level, then continuing on to Sugar Loaf at 395 meters above sea level. From here you can see the entire Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Corcovado and Rio-Niterói bridge, Copacabana beach, Santa Cruz fortress and the majestic mountains that border the city.

 

Christ the Redeemer – 3 hours

Located at Corcovado Peak (700m), the Christ the Redeemer statue is one of Rio’s most spectacular sites. At thirty meters tall, Christ the Redeemer was considered one of the 7 new wonders of the world. From this privileged vantage point you will have the best view of all that Rio de Janeiro has to offer.
 

Sambadrome Parade – Sector 11 – 12 hours

Tonight you will travel by metro to the Sambadrome with your guide to experience the most famous party in the world. The Sambadrome is a special structure built in downtown Rio specifically for parades and Samba shows. Designed by Brazil’s most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer,  the Sambadrome has been Carnival’s home since 1984. You will see performances by 6 of the top 12 Samba schools. Each school can have more than 3000 members and the school is judged on song choice, costumes, choreography and seven other categories. Your host will be with you all night. 

 
*Sambadrome sector 11 ticket is included

RIO DE JANEIRO - HOME OR NEXT DESTINATION
You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport for your connecting flight to more Brazil tours, other destinations in South America or back home. (B)

Weather

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Visitors may find one of several distinct climates in Brazil, depending on where they travel. Along Brazil’s northeastern coast, temperatures are mild year-round, rarely dipping below 75F. The summer rains, usually lasting three to four months, arrive as early as April here, consisting mostly of quick showers. Rio de Janeiro is pleasant year-round with slightly cooler winters than summers. Rio’s rainy season begins as late as October though rains can occur anytime of the year. Further down the coast, temperatures are more variable. Visitors will experience the most temperature variation between seasons in the south, with hot humid summers December to March and cooler temperatures in the evenings and during winter from June to August. In the country’s interior, the hottest, wettest weather occurs from December to March.

So vast is the Amazon Rainforest that its climate varies by sub-region. The north is rainy most of the time with a little less rain from June to December. In Amazon areas further south, especially around the largest population centers where there are fewer trees, temperatures are more variable with distinctly drier months between August and October.
 

RIO DE JANEIRO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN75-824.7
FEB75-824.7
MAR73-825.1
APR72-814.3
MAY68-773.1
JUN50-752.0
JUL63-751.6
AUG64-751.8
SEP64-772.6
OCT68-773.1
NOV68-793.9
DEC72-825.5

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**The summer high season in Rio is December to March. Off-season (May-October) is also a good option since Rio’s winter temperatures stay around the 70sº F/20sº C, dipping occasionally below 60ºF/15ºC. Rainy days are unpredictable andcan happen even in the high season.
 

MANAUS

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN75-889.8
FEB75-889.1
MAR73-8810
APR75-888.7
MAY75-886.7
JUN75-903.3
JUL75-902.4
AUG75-911.6
SEP75-911.8
OCT75-914.1
NOV75-915.6
DEC75-907.9

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**For the central Amazon region (Manaus) the average daytime temperature in the rainy season is in the mid-80º F (30º C), with a fall of 10 to 20º F (7 to 12º C) at night. In the dry season the average temperatures are 5º F (2-3º C) higher. Although recipitation varies significantly within the Amazon due to various factors (e.g. altitude) it is usual to consider two distinct periods: the rainy season, and the dry season. In the central zone (Manaus) the rainy season begins in December and lasts until mid-May.
 

PANTANAL

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN63-8812
FEB63-909.8
MAR63-9010
APR63-914.6
MAY63-910.4
JUN55-900.3
JUL55-900.0
AUG59-930.3
SEP63-932.4
OCT63-935.3
NOV63-909.4
DEC63-909.4

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**The rainy season lasts from December to March. The intermediary seasons are April-June and October-November. During the rainy season rain storms can be intense, the temperature is high and the Pantanal is subject to flooding. This isn’t the best period to visit Pantanal, particularly January and February. It’s much better to visit the Pantanal in the dry and intermediary seasons.
 

SALVADOR

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN77-862.2
FEB77-863.1
MAR75-866.3
APR75-848.7
MAY73-829.8
JUN73-8211
JUL72-829.8
AUG72-815.9
SEP73-822.6
OCT75-841.0
NOV75-841.0
DEC77-841.2

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**Salvador, Fortaleza, Recife and nearby resorts (Praia do Forte, Porto Galinhas, Natal, etc.) have agreeable temperatures all year round, rarely dipping below 25ºC (77ºF) and there are very few days hotter than 32 or 33ºC (90ºF). Winter temperatures are just 3-4ºC degrees below the summer averages. In Salvador and Recife the rainy season begins around the beginning of April and lasts three months. At Fortaleza the rain begins a little later. Rain showers usually don’t last enough to spoil your visit to these year-round beach resorts.
 

IGUAZU

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN68-883.5
FEB68-883.1
MAR64-843.9
APR59-794.1
MAY54-824.5
JUN48-665.1
JUL48-664.5
AUG50-705.1
SEP54-705.1
OCT57-733.4
NOV59-813.1
DEC64-843.5

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**March-November could be considered the best time to visit Iguazu Falls but there really isn’t a 'best time'. The high season is in January and February, when most Brazilians and Argentineans are on vacation. It’s a good period to visit Iguazu Falls. But there are downsides, the humidity and the heat are also at their peaks and this is also a crowded period which you might prefer to avoid. If you want to avoid busy periods then avoid Easter time also. May and July are rainy months, though the rain is rarely a problem and the volume of the falls is at its highest.

 

FLORIANOPOLIS

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN70-806.8
FEB69-817.4
MAR69-817.1
APR64-773.7
MAY58-723.7
JUN56-692.9
JUL56-673.5
AUG53-703.3
SEP55-694.9
OCT61-724.9
NOV64-765.1
DEC67-795.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**The coastal city of Florianópolis enjoys a semi-tropical climate, without extreme variations in climate so any time of year is a good time to visit. It just depends upon your preferences. Winters are mild and summers hot with an average of 80% humidity. Rains should be expected from September through March. Mid-winter (June to August) is drier than summer, but anticipate cooler temperatures then as well. That said, even the coldest temperatures brought in by southerly wind will rarely drop below 50 Fahrenheit. The windiest days are most likely during the spring months of September and October for those interested in trying their hand at kiteboarding. The busiest time on the Island is in the summer months from December through mid-March, so those looking for a more peaceful trip should travel during the winter months.

Brazilian Carnival

Pricing
2-3 Travelers
$4,275
4 or more
$3,345
Included in tour cost
  • Nightlife guide
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Visa fee

Brazilian Carnival

Trip Dates
Friday, February 9, 2018 to Tuesday, February 13, 2018
8 Spaces Left
  • World’s largest river island system, the Anavilhanas Archipelago
    Amazon River and Rio Negro
    Lago Janauari Ecological Park
    Pink and Grey River Dolphins and other Jungle Wildlife
  • Home of the samba, the jet-set capital of Brazil is a smorgasbord of experiences for first time visitors and veteran travelers alike. . . spend a few days here on your way to or from your South America tour
"I have already recommended Southern Explorations to my friends. The phone calls at the hotel from you guys were very much appreciated. Checking up on me and making sure everything was good was very comforting in a foreign place. I trust Southern Explorations and will use them again. Thank you for a trip of a lifetime. My only complaint was that it was not long enough but I'm thankful for experiencing a little bit of So. America." - Debra Giancola, USA (Rio de Janeiro & Iguazu)

Southern Explorations has arranged 3 very successful trips for us. We appreciate all the help with details and suggestions. We loved the Pantanal. The Cordilhiera Lodge was wonderful. Beautiful views. Guides and other personal at the lodge were very friendly and knowledgable. The activities during the day were great, saw many animals and birds. 
- Leslie Williams, USA (Custom Amazon & Pantanal Tour)

 

Brazil - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer both active and cultural tours that visit the incomparable Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon, massive waterfalls, the epicenter of Afro-Brazilian culture, and seemingly endless beaches. These itineraries vary in length and level of accommodation. Our Adventure Travel Coordinators would be happy to chat with you to help you find the itinerary that best meets your needs and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to put together a custom Brazil tour for you if our current itineraries are not quite what you are looking for. We can also add extensions onto any of our existing tours.
Q: When is the best time to go to Brazil?
A: Brazil is a year-round destination. High season runs from December through April, which is also generally the warmest time of year.
Q: What is the weather like?
A: You will find several distinct climates in Brazil, depending on where you travel. Along Brazil’s northeastern coast, temperatures are mild year-round, rarely dipping below 75F. The summer rains, usually lasting three to four months, arrive as early as April, consisting mostly of quick showers. Rio de Janeiro is pleasant year-round, with slightly cooler winters than summers. Rio’s rainy season begins as late as October, though rains can occur anytime of the year. You will experience the most temperature variation between seasons in the south, with hot humid summers from December to March and cooler temperatures during winter, which runs from June to August. In the country’s interior, such as the Pantanal and Bonito, the hottest, wettest weather occurs from December to March.
Q: What is a typical day like on a Brazil tour?
A: A typical day in Brazil will vary from tour to tour, but you can generally expect to start your excursions right after breakfast, with a full day of scheduled activities or sightseeing. A lunch break is included and you’ll retire to your accommodations in the late afternoon, with evenings free.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Brazil?
A: Our Brazil trips vary in level of activity, so the requirements differ based on itinerary. Please check our physical ratings for each itinerary to see what may be required of you when assessing your ability to enjoy a trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator. We have personal experience with these activities and can help you decide whether a trip is right for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Brazil?
A: Most of our Brazil trips are between one and two weeks, depending on how much of the country you would like to see.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: For the best guide availability and selection in hotels, we recommend booking three to six months in advance. December through April are especially popular times for Brazil travel, so more advance planning is ideal. For the Christmas holiday season, Carnival and the week prior to Easter, we recommend booking a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We only hire guides who are native to the destination and licensed or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: In major cities we offer a variety of hotels including boutique properties and larger business-style hotels. Throughout the rest of the country we work with a combination of pousadas, small traditional hotels, and remote lodges. The majority of the properties are family-run or locally owned. All of our accommodations are clean and comfortable, with private bathrooms and hot water. We offer basic or luxury options in many locations, depending on taste and budget.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Travelers are responsible for their own international airfare. Internal flights are quoted separately from our base trip costs. We will include any necessary internal flight pricing in your quote.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Eight travelers is the maximum for our Brazil trips, but the majority of our departures are private.
Q: Do I need a visa to enter Brazil?
A: Yes, Brazil requires tourist visas for travelers from most nations. Please contact your nearest Brazilian consulate for more information or a third-party visa specialist such as VisaHQ.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary. This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.