The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese: Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro) is a festival held every year before Lent; it is considered the biggest carnival in the world, with two million people per day on the streets. This year's revelries take place a little later than usual from Wednesday 20th – Saturday 30th April.
Every year, the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí is home to emormous parades from local samba schools – collaborative groups of neighbours attending the carnival together. The typical Rio carnival parade is filled with revelers, floats, and adornments from numerous over 200 schools, divided into five leagues over the course of several days.
Street parades, blocos, and bandas usually take place throughout the city of Rio during Carnival and are highly populated by the locals. Less elegant and extravagant, street parties are all about music and dancing. There can be more than 300 bandas taking place at any given point in time, and more than 5 million people attended a bloco during Rio Carnival 2012.
A Carioca is a resident of Rio de Janeiro. Being a Carioca is a way of life; internationally known for their happiness and friendliness, they opt for a relaxed way of living life. We spoke to our friend Raul de Faria at the Magnifica distillery (where we create our very own Las Iguanas Cachaça) and asked him how best to spend a week in Rio during Carnival.
You'll find excellent restaurants, bars and clubs littered throughout the region. Raul's favourites include:
A few of Raul's favourite tourist hotspots, hidden gems and must-sees around Rio.
Go for a walk on pista Claudio Coutinho, just beside the Sugarloaf Hill. If you're feeling athletic, you can climb to the first station and celebrate with a Caipirinha when you reach the Embaixada Carioca.
Take a hiking tour of the Pedra da Gávea Mountain trail.
Jump on a tandem hang-gliding flight enjoying the beautiful views from Pedra Bonita.
See the Falls
Visit the incredible Cachoeira dos Primatas waterfall in the Tijuca National Park above Rio.
Book your table now and celebrate Rio Carnival with an explosion of Latin flavours and tropical cocktails.
This year we're celebrating Rio Carnival with everyone's favourite colourful limited edition cocktail. Try one before it's gone!
Las Iguanas Magnifica Cachaça, Absolut Raspberri, blue curaçao, mango.