Frequently Asked Questions

Tickets

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1) Brazil And US Government Certified Travel Agency. Only agency licensed both in Brazil and USA.

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What are my payment options?

Payment can be done by deposit, transfer and all major credit cards are accepted. Also, payment can be via Paypal.

Deposits or wire transfers will be validated only after sending the receipt and when the value is credited to our Bank of America account. Please contact our Rio Carnival Help Desk and ask for our bank details.

What are the best tickets at the Sambodromo?

The Sambodromo was built to provide a great show for the viewers. Each type of ticket has benefits. Sectors close to the beginning keep the viewer entertained all the time, because when a school finishes, another is already warming up.

Sectors close to the middle provide a good view of the parade formed, but the waiting time between schools is higher. Near the middle is also where is the drummers? niche is located and the main presentations are perfomed to the judges. The middle sectors are usually the most expensive.

The sectors at the end have a view of the samba school fully formed on the avenue, but the waiting time between schools is even higher. For more information, consult one of our experts by phone or email.

Even side or odd side?

The Sambodromo own sectors even-numbered and odd-numbered. Each side has its advantages and disadvantages. The even side is closer to Praça Onze metro station, about 300 meters, but the access streets are narrower. It's a great side for those coming by taxi via Túnel Rebouças, coming mostly from Barra da Tijuca, Ipanema, Leblon, Gávea, Lagoa and Humaita. The odd side is close to Central metro station, about 1200 meters and the access streets to the Sambodromo are wider. A better choice for those coming to the Sambodromo by Túnel Santa Barbara and Central area, especially the neighborhoods of Copacabana, Leme, Laranjeiras, Botafogo, Catete, Flamengo, Centro, Lapa and Porto do Rio.

How do I get my tickets?

Tickets for Carnival will be available for pickup at our Hospitality Desk starting the last Thursday before the Access Group Parade date. For pickup is not necessary to schedule the time, it just speeds up the process for costumers. It's mandatory the presence of the card holder used to purchase, leading original identity document with photo and credit card used at purchase. There is also a delivery option during the same period and the requirements are the same. You can add the special delivery if you want. Just log in to your account on our website or contact our attendants. The cost of delivery is US$14 for one ticket or US$ 30 for more than one ticket.

In wich sector starts the Rio Carnival Parade?

The parade begins at sectors 2 and 3, and ends at sectors 12 and 13, where the Apoteose Square is.

Students, childrens and seniors pay half price?

Unfortunately, the company organizing the carnival doesn't provide half price tickets or gratuities for Special Sectors, only for Popular Stands that we don't sell.

How old children can watch the parade?

Children aged from 5 years can watch the parade. Be sure to bring a document in order to prove.

Can I choose my seat at the Sambodromo?

You can't choose your seat. Even though there are reserved places at front boxes, allocated chairs or at the grandstands in Sector 9, there is no way to guarantee a specific location, but we always leave couples or groups together.

What is the difference between the parades of the Special Group, Acess Group or the Champions Parade?

The Special Group is the elite of the samba schools. The two days of the event is the highest point of Carnival and normally these schools have the most exciting sambas and the most excited fans, but the ticket value is the highest.

The Access Group are the schools that compete to belong to the Special Group. The event has schools with a professional level, but it doesn't have the same technique, even though it has some traditional schools and a loyal public. Fun is guaranteed. The value of this ticket is usually lower.

The Champion's Parade is when the champion of carnival and the 5 best subsequent schools of the Special Group perform again. The event loses some of the glamour since there is no longer the pursuit of perfection, present on both days of competition of the Special Group. But still has the excitement of the public who sees the best schools and now know almost all of the samba lyrics. Normally the values of these tickets are intermediate and there are a lot of places, since the event is on Saturday following the carnival and many tourists have already left the city.

Can I include hotel, airline tickets, balls and tours at my carnival package?

Certainly! For this, you must contact our attenders by email [email protected]

Where is the Hospitality Desk during Carnival and what is the operating schedule?

The Hospitality Desk will be at the Hotel Atlantico Copacabana, located at Rua Siqueira Campos, 90, Copacabana, at the Imperial Hall. The Desk will work Tuesday, February 06 to Monday, February 12, 2018. For those who bought tickets to the Champions Parade, the exchange for tickets will be made on Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17. From 10am to 5pm local time.

Carnival Costumes

When the costumes are available for purchase?

There is no rule, because we depend on the samba schools and our suppliers, but around November we have all the costumes for sale.

The costumes have to be returned after the parade?

No! The costume is yours. A great souvenir to take home.

With the costume can I watch other parades?

No. The costume only allows you to stay in the warm-up area next to your school samba and to parade along Avenida Marques de Sapucai, the Sambodromo.

How do I give my measures?

After purchase you will have the option to send your measures.

Where should I go with my costume to find my samba school?

There are two options. Both are at Avenida Presidente Vargas, that give access to the Sambodromo. You will be instructed on the correct side for your school, it will be the odd or the even number side.

There is a locker to keep my clothes and belongings during the parade?

No, unfortunately there is no lockers for that.

There are professional photographers on the local?

Yes, some of them offer their services at the time of the warm-up. Values must be agreed at the time.

How do I get to the Sambodromo wearing my costume?

The metro is the best option, many people use the metro wearing their costumes. But you can also get a taxi or book the VIP costumes that include transportation.

Can I bring my camera to the parade?

No problem, you can take pictures during the warm-up and after the parade. During the parade, hide your camera in your costume. Do not take fotos as you are parading!

Sambodromo Tips

What time should I arrive?

The parade starts at 9pm and the gates of Sambodromo open at 5pm. The show is long and goes until morning, so if you prefer to save your energy to watch the last school, we recommend you arrive later, around 10 pm. Remember that most people arrive at 8pm and leave around 5am, so the flow of viewers increases a lot. If you want to avoid overcrowding, choose another time.

The Sambodromo open at 5pm, until the last school enters the avenue, so you have the flexibility to decide which schools you want to watch and schedule your time. Grandstand Tickets are not marked and people tend to arrive early to get seats in the front rows, but this is not necessary, from anywhere in the grandstands you can watch the parade without problem. You can leave as much as you want your grandstands, front box, allocated chair to go to the shopping area. But after you leave the Sambodromo, you can't return.

What clothes should I wear?

Use comfortable clothes. Because it's during the summer, the weather is very hot. The spotlighting and the large concentration of people make the place even hotter. There may be rain at night, so a raincoat is recommended because umbrellas disturb the view of those who are behind.

What can I take to the Sambodromo?

You can take food and drinks to the Sambodromo. Just keep the limit of two 500ml plastic bottles each and two food items (chips, cookies, fruit, sandwiches, ...) per person. Food and drinks will be sell locally.

Is it possible to buy food and drinks at the Sambodromo?

Yes, it's possible, but keep in mind that like any big event, the prices are higher. Credit and debit cards are accepted.

How to avoid lines and crowds?

Remember that most people arrive at 8pm and leave around 5am, so the flow of viewers increases a lot those times. It i salso crowded during the breaks between schools. So If you want to avoid overcrowding, choose other times. When that school you don't like so much is performing, it's time to go to the bathroom, buy food, drinks or go the shopping area.

Transfer to Sambodromo

How to get to and return from Sambodromo?

Regular Transfer or Private Transfer, Metro, taxi and also by bus. See more in: http://www.carnivalbookers.com/rio-de-janeiro/sambodromo/

How to go by bus to Sambodromo?

For the odd-numbered sectors there are some buses that leave you near the Apoteose Square. There are buses that pass through the tunnel Santa Barbara out of the South Zone, as the 435 and the 432, but check with the drivers because during the carnival, itinerary can be modified. For the even-numbered sectors, avoid taking buses leaving the South Zone, you'll have to get off the bus very far. As for the buses that pass at Avenida Presidente Vargas, avoid the most, because you will have to face a big traffic in downtown.

How do I catch a taxi to the Sambodromo?

There are two private taxi companies authorized to enter the Sambodromo area. To use them you must make a reservation by phone. For the odd side: Coopertramo, phones 21 2560-2022 or 2560-1474. For the right side: Coopatur, phone 21 3885-1000. The rate is fixed, per car, up to 4 people and costs around R$130 to go and R$130 to return. You should contact the company to find out about the exact prices.

Can I catch a taxi on the street?

Yes, but note some details. The region around the Sambodromo will be closed to vehicle traffic, except for taxis from the Coopertramo and Coopatur companies. And by using another taxi, you will have to walk to the areas where cars are not allowed. Some taxi drivers refuse to go to the Sambodromo in high-traffic period. And at the end of the parades, it is almost impossible to get a taxi near the Sambodromo to take you to your destination. There are also taxi drivers who charge fixed prices - prohibited act by law. The charge shall be by taximeter - find out before starting the ride to avoid problems and refuse abusive prices of drivers. A taxi from the South Zone to the Sambodromo costs around R$ 50 (taximeter), but this value varies according to the location where you take the taxi and the destination.

Can I go by car?

There are almost no places to park near the Sambodromo and they are very expensive and often illegal. Do not park in prohibited places, there are a lot of supervision and probably your vehicle will be fined or towed. If you are in Barra da Tijuca for example, a good option is to drive to a metro station that isn't near to the Sambodromo and park your car to go by Metro. For example, these are good stations to park your car: São Francisco Xavier in Tijuca and Botafogo, Largo do Machado, Gloria and Catete in the South Zone.

Can I use the metro to the Sambodromo?

Yes, it is the best option. The metro works 24 hours at the carnival period and you avoid traffic jams because of carnival parades and closed streets. Trains depart every 10 minutes and are always full of people going to the Sambodromo. You will certainly find many people using costumes for the parade and you can perhaps take some pictures. The stations are not exactly next to the Sambodromo: for the odd-numbered side the best station is the Central and is located approximately 1.2 km from the Sambodromo. Access will be by walking down the Avenida Presidente Vargas to the entrance of your sector. For the even-numbered side, the best station is Praça Onze and is approximately 300 meters from the Sambodromo, but the access streets are narrower and a little confused. Follow the signs, and always look for the entrance of your sector.

Is the metro safe?

Yes. The city is full of police and the metro has its own and numerous security guards. But you should avoid walking with cameras or money exposed and hide your belongings as well. Also, if you are walking near the metro and the place is very desert, surely you are out of the usual routes and must remain attentive. After all, Rio is a big city.

How much is the metro ?

The Rio metro tickets come in two forms: Prepaid and Unitary. The prepaid card is rechargeable with credit, with an minimum charge of R$10 and a minimum recharge of R$5. These cards are available in all stations. The Unitary Card costs R$3,20 and is for one way trip. These cards are valid for two days only.

How does the transfer service works?

The regular transfer has schedules and meeting places already predefined. These points are at the main hotels in the touristic neighborhoods Rio. The embarking and disembarking areas are signed and next to Sector 8 and 9 of the Sambodromo. It is convenient and secured, and there will be a staff willing to help and answer your questions. No need to schedule the time of return, at the end of each samba school, buses will leave the Sambodromo constantly directed to the various meeting point already determined.

Nightlife

What can I do at night in Rio de Janeiro?

During carnival there are several options of balls. The clubs are also crowed during this period and there are several points at Rio de Janeiro that you can attend: At Lapa there are samba houses, like Rio Scenarium and Lapa 40 and also show places, such as Fundação Progresso and Circo Voador. At Barra there is the trendy Botequim São Nunca and nightclubs as Nuth Barra, Zero21, Taj Lounge and Barra Music. At Copacabana, the hottest clubs are Mariuzinn, Nossa Sem Hora, Fosfobox Bar Club and Guimo's Pub. At Botafogo there are nightclubs that play rock as Casa da Matriz and Bukowski, which have alternative agenda during Carnival. Besides this places, you can find many bars, taverns and pubs that receive large numbers of visitors every night of the Carnival.

Where is the gay area during Carnaval?

Everywhere. Specially the carnival parades that pass by Rua Farme de Amoedo in Ipanema. Besides the Scala Gay Ball, there are nightclubs options for men, "Le Boy" and women, "Le Girl". Another gay club in Rio is "The Week".

Gastronomy

What to eat in Rio de Janeiro?

Feijoada is the main Rio?s dish, made with beans and meat, is usually served with rice, farofa, kale, a piece of orange and a cup of cacha?a, a brazilian rum. Other dishes are the steak Oswaldo Aranha, Picadinho (Beef Stew), Churrasco Misto (Mixed Barbecue) and others. Be sure to try the empadinhas and caldinho de feij?o (Bean Soup) as great entries. In many restaurants in Rio, there is the option of Pratos Executivos (Executives Dishes), or PF's that are usually cheaper than ? La Carte. Restaurants self-service are also quite popular and great options if you don?t want to spend too much.

What to snack in Rio?

Snack options are plenty: Juice bars, coffee shop and also snack bars offer a variety of delicious snacks and some are very common in Rio. At snack bars you will find things such as Joelho, Coxinha, Croquette, Kibe, Esfiha, P?o-de-queijo, Empada, Biscoito Globo and Pastel. To drink, soft drinks like Guarana Natural, Maracujá, Caju, Mate, Mate with lemon. There is also the a?ai, full of energy, almost a complete meal. Enjoy and try a local dessert. In Rio, brownie and petit gateau are on many menus, but if you want something more traditional opt for the banana with cinnamon and ice cream or try Romeu e Julieta, a slice of cheese with a slice of goiabada.

What to drink in Rio de Janeiro?

Rio is full of natural juices bars. There are many fruits, including some mixed between them. Other options are Mate, Mate with lemon and Guarana Natural. Note: the most famous soft drink brand you will find in Brazil is Guarana Antarctica, but you?ll also find Coke, Pepsi, Soda, etc.

What about alcoholic drinks in Rio?

The national drink is Caipirinha, a cocktail made of cacha?a (sugar-cane rum), sugar, lemon and ice. However, it?s common to find its variables, such as kiwi caipirinha, strawberry or pineapple. Even generic versions of our drink with vodka or saqu? known as Caipivodka and Caipisaqu? are delicious. The most popular beers in Rio are Antarctica and Brahma, but there are several options such as Skol, Itaipava, Devassa, Budweiser, Stella Artois, Heinikein, Original Antarctica and Brahma Extra, and also various imported ones.

Where to eat a Barbecue?

Some great Steak Houses in Rio are: Carretão, Porcão, Estrella do Sul, Fogo de Chão, Copacabana Palace Grill, Pampa Grill.

What kind of restaurants I?ll find in Rio?

There are all kinds of restaurant in Rio. Even bars and juice bars can serve meals, there are plenty of options. Steakhouses and family bars serve good food and are everywhere, with varied prices. Good suggestions for those who want to spend little are the ?per kilo restaurants (self-service) and executive dishes served in most restaurants. For those who like seafood and are not concerned with money, Rio has great options too.

How is the service in Rio?s restaurants?

The service can be good or sometimes very slow and it maybe different from what you are used to in your city. Knowing this, be patient and remember, you are on vacation, do not get stress. Usually the locals treat waiters very well, sometimes calling them by name, friend or boss. Whistling or call waiter might be rude. There are also several restaurants in self service style (per kilo), where the customer serves himself and usually, these restaurants you don?t pay tip.

Is it mandatory to tip the waiter?

Tipping is not mandatory. But commonly is paid and sometimes the bill comes with 10% of service included. You don?t need to pay anything beyond these 10% for the waiter to be grateful, but certainly any higher value will leave him much happier.

How much is usually a meal in Rio?

There are lots of restaurants and price variations are very high. In the South Zone you can go to a self-service restaurant and eat for R$ 15 or eat a executive dish for the same amount. There are also restaurants with higher prices, reaching R$100 per person and others who come to R$300.

The restaurants accept credit card?

Most restaurants accept credit card. Visa and Mastercard are the most accepted and a few accept American Express.

Rio de Janeiro Beaches

What does the beaches in Rio look like?

Rio's beaches aren?t just an environment to enjoy nature or cool off from the heat. It?s a social interaction environment, where you go to talk, play sports and eat. The most popular beaches are Copacabana and Ipanema. Leblon and Leme are also quite crowded by their proximity to these two beaches and their limits get to blend together. To watch the sunset, go to Arpoador. The Barra beach and Reserva beach which stay at the West Zone are good for surfing and are less frequented than the beaches of the South Zone, because of the distance. If you like nature make a visit to the most "wild" beaches like Prainha and Grumari, also in the West Zone.

What will I find in Rio?s beaches?

On the beach you can buy everything you need to be there. Beach towels, sun block, sun tan lotion, bikinis. For the kids they have buckets, pools and balls that can be purchased easily. Chairs and umbrellas can be rented. There are many vendors and stalls with food and drink. Just choose! The Biscoito Globo and the Mate are very popular with the locals.

Travel Tips

Where should I stay in Rio?

Opt for the neighborhoods of the South Zone of Rio, Centro, Santa Teresa or Barra da Tijuca. Barra is far from tourist areas of Rio and there is no metro, but the hotel has a good infrastructure and there are carnival parades in the streets. At Centro, you will be close to several carnival parades and close to the metro, also that location has usually lower prices. Neighborhoods in the South Zone have or are very close to the beach, the metro and prices vary a lot. Neighborhoods like Ipanema, Leblon, Copacabana and Leme are the most popular ones, other options are Botafogo, Catete, Flamengo and Largo do Machado. At Santa Teresa, near the central area of Rio, there are many hotels "boutiques" with elements of art, individuality and interactivity. But the neighborhood is uphill and with few public transportation options.

How to go to and come from the airport in Rio?

tThere are two airports in Rio, Tom Jobim International Airport ? known as Gale?o and Santos Dumont Airport. The International Airport is further away from the central region of Rio. Arriving at the International Airport, there are taxis with fixed rates (more expensive) and taximetered fare (around R$60 for the South Zone) There is also the option of special bus lines of a company called Real, with rate of R$7 to R$13, which passes through the Rodoviaria Novo Rio, Central area, Santos Dumont Airport, South Zone and Barra da Tijuca. Find out about the best choice for you and save a little money. On the way back, the same options apply. The traffic is complicated to the south zone direction in the morning and towards the airport in the late afternoon. The Santos Dumont airport is close to the South Zone and the central region of Rio. A taxi to the South Zone costs around R$20 with fare on the taximeter but there are also special taxis that cost more with a fixed rate. You can also use the special bus of the Real company, in addition to the common bus option that pass through the Pra?a XV. To get to the airport, the same options are available.

 

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