Rio is a gorgeous city filled with beautiful beaches, banging bodies and one epic Carnival celebration. Here’s my top tips insure you make the most out of this week long party!
- Don’t leave accommodation booking to the last minute- For many backpackers and travellers’ pre-booking anything is against the rules and something that I’m not particularly fond of either. My rule of thumb is book one night, drop off the gear then go explore the local area in search of a good deal and great atmosphere. THIS WILL NOT WORK DURING CARNIVAL! Hostels and hotels start booking up right after the previous year’s celebrations finish, and there is a big old price hike that goes along with it. Think $100 for a bed in a 30 bed dorm room, 3 story high bunk beds that will hurt big time if you fall out and a minimum stay of 5 nights for almost all places. Now don’t let the price tags and stuffy rooms detour you, it’s all part of the fun and well worth the money! Just try and pre-book as far in advance as Other great accomodation options are to couch surf or check out Air Bnb where you can score a good deal if you have a big group of people.
- Don’t pre-book Samba Drome tickets- The Samba Drome is where local Samba schools showcase their dancing skills, beautiful skimpy outfits and outrageously decorative floats. It’s an all night party in a jam packed stadium that will keep you on your feet until the sun comes up. Tickets can be pretty pricey so if you have the dosh to splash out then go ahead and book early and grab yourself some good seats, but if you’re on a budget and just want to go experience the atmosphere don’t bother booking ahead you can get tickets right at the door for half the price. Granted there not the best seats in the house but you’ll still get to be amongst the enthusiastic crowd and be able feel the drums and music going through you. A couple of us managed to snag some better seats by going for a wander and asking some people leaving if we could have their passes, instant upgrade!
- Don’t get stupidly destroyed on a night out- Rio is a huge city!! And although it has a bit of a reputation for being on the dangerous side, I felt perfectly safe everywhere I went. But as in all big cities you definitely don’t want to take any wrong turns or be so off your face that you don’t know what you’re doing or where you going. This recipe for disaster can be made even worse when you can’t speak the language. Street and beach parties mean you can bring your own drink which is awesome when you’re on a budget but also means you can over indulge a little, just use a bit of common sense and make sure you stick around at least one of your crew and you’ll have one epic week of partying. It’s also a good idea to keep a card or piece of paper with the name and address of your accommodation on it so it’s easier to find your way home.
- Don’t bring anything valuable out with you- Leave the jewellery, fancy phones, go pros and digital cameras even purses and handbags locked up at your accommodation because trust me you will not come home with them. We were lucky enough to be warned of this before we went out but one of the brave souls in our group brought out his Iphone took a sneaky snap of the unreal street party we were at and no joke within 30 seconds it was gone. This is beyond common at street parties, the pick pockets at these events are stealth. Just bring cash and your hotels address you’ll be in for a worry free night. I know in this day and age it’s hard to imagine going out without a phone and not being able to rub it all your facebook friends face that you’re at the biggest party in the world but it definitely beats the tears that will come when you’ve lost your entire library of precious If you want to take snaps buy a disposable camera, chances are no one is going to want it, you won’t cry if you lose it and best of all it’s so much fun getting the pics developed and finally seeing what you managed to capture.
- Don’t get aggressive over unwanted attention- This is more for the ladies out there, especially those blonde hair blue eyed type who the local men get hearts in their eyes for! The most amazing thing about partying at Carnival is dancing and mingling the night away with the locals, they can definitely show you some sweet samba moves. Brazilians are super friendly, love to chat and just want to get to know you but keep in mind personal boundaries can sometimes be different then back home and at times will be a bit full on. If you find someone being too forward or handsy with you just politely decline and walk away or if you have guy friends around get one to kindly intervene. The worst thing you can do is swear and yell because this usually only escalates the aggression, remember different cultures have different ways of expressing themselves so it’s always best to be as polite as possible.
This adventure seeker has traveled extensively throughout Australia, Southeast Asia and South America spending months on end going from one destination to the next conquering wonders of the world and her own fears as she sky dives in Australia, climbs to Machu Picchu in Peru and dives with turtles in the Gilis in Indonesia. Trisna is exploring the world from her home base of Melbourne, Australia.