Thank you for your interest in We have assembled a press kit packed with statistics, company information, event details, descriptions of our products and services to provide you with a guideline for covering the “Magnificent City” of Rio de Janeiro at one of the most exciting times in its history!

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About is a premier source for travelers and Carnival enthusiasts to learn about, plan and book vacations to Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. With major high-profile international events bringing an unprecedented influx of tourists to Rio de Janeiro from around the world, there has never been a better time to experience Rio Carnival. The city of Rio de Janeiro has been preparing the city’s infrastructure to meet the growing demand, and private-sector companies are making similar adjustments. launched to provide consumers a one-stop-shop focused specifically on the information and services needed to plan and book Rio Carnival vacations.

On, visitors can book:

Our information-rich site provides detailed information about all the events surrounding the world-renowned festival, including:

  • the history of Rio Carnival events (parades, balls, samba schools and the Sambadrome)
  • samba school profile pages
  • high resolution image galleries
  • interactive city and venue maps
  • detailed transportation guides
  • profiles of events, including the Sambadrome Parades, Street Parades and Carnival Balls
  • hotels sorted by neighborhood
  • a step-by-step guide for purchasing parade tickets also provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to travel in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival.

This information will be useful both prior to departure and once travelers have touched down in Rio for Carnival. FAQ topics cover:

  • Foreign currency exchange in Brazil
  • Travel visa applications and Brazilian embassies
  • Safety protocols and emergency contact numbers
  • Nightlife and restaurant recommendations
  • Transportation tips
  • Communication advice
  • Rio de Janeiro beach guides
  • Carnival ticket pricing structure
  • Rio de Janeiro travel etiquette

Carnival Prices

Throughout the year leading up to Rio Carnival, will offer exclusive deals to subscribers of our mailing list. These offers will include discounts on Sambadrome Parade tickets, Rio de Janeiro hotel deals, Carnival Balls and other promotions related to Carnival events. Ticket prices generally increase as the festival approaches, but customers will be able to purchase last-minute tickets in real time both online and from their mobile devices.

Samba Schools

Though there are many similarities between the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and other pre-Lent celebrations like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Rio Carnival is very unique. At the heart of the festival is a fierce competition amongst organizations called Samba Schools. There are over 100 Samba Schools scattered throughout Rio de Janeiro, and their main purpose is to prepare for and compete in Samba Parades. Samba Schools are ranked hierarchically and placed into tiers of groups, much like sports leagues. Schools of the top two groups, the “Special Group” and the “Access Group”, compete in highly publicized televised parades through the Sambadrome. The processions are judged according to a strict rubric. Specific details are available on the Sambadrome Parade page of Each year the winning school of lower-level groups is bumped up to a more prestigious group, and the loser of higher-level groups is demoted to a less prestigious group.

Samba Schools members come from all walks of life, from uber-wealthy to the poorest of the poor. Many samba schools are based in the favelas, or slums of Rio de Janeiro. Samba Schools are responsible for providing much-needed jobs to the people of their communities. Aside from raising funds through ticket sales and music albums, Samba Schools host samba nights at their headquarters, accept government grants and partner with multi-national corporations on various service projects. Many schools focus on the youth of their communities, building schools and sponsoring art, sports and cultural projects. Furthermore, samba schools build health clinics that provide free medical and dental services through volunteer doctors for the members of their communities. Other samba schools are vocal social critics, advocating for various causes through their performances and songs. For more information on the specific service projects of Rio de Janeiro Samba Schools, visit the profile pages in the Samba Schools section of

Marching in a Samba Parade

While the Sambadrome Parades are competitions between highly organized groups (samba schools) that invest significant time and resources into preparations and rehearsals, tourists are allowed and welcome to march through the Sambadrome with samba schools. All that’s required is a costume! Costumes are available through the parent site, Our direct relationships with the costume departments of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious samba schools gives our customers the unique and exciting opportunity to join the greatest show on the planet!

The Sambadrome

Up until the mid-eighties, Samba Parades took place along Ave. Presidente Vargas, upon which bleachers were built annually and taken down after the Carnival festivities had come to an end. The streets flooded with people, and for this reason, Governor Leonel Brizola decided that the main events for Carnival in Rio needed a more structured venue. In 1983 the government commissioned world-renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer to designed the plans for Rio Carnival’s new home, the Sambadrome.

With an initial capacity of 70,000 spectators, when Rio won the bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games it was agreed that the venue needed to raise its capacity. The long Sector 2 was replaced by Sectors 2, 4, 6, and 8, and are located directly across the parade runway from Sectors 3, 5, 7, and 9. To a huge success, a grand re-opening ceremony took place on February 7, 2012, with architect Oscar Niemeyer, then 104 years old, and Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes in attendance.

Research conducted by the School of Advertising and Marketing (ESPM), in partnership with the official city tourism board, revealed that 86% of respondents said the Sambadrome greatly improved after the renovations. Not only were 12,500 new seats added to the stadium but acoustics improved dramatically, visibility for certain sectors was enhanced, the venue was made more aesthetically pleasing as a whole, and balconies were added to the boxes located on the even side of the Sambadrome.

Online Travel

According to Google think insights, travelers rely on the online space to plan travel

  • 85% of leisure travelers consider the internet their main source for planning travel
  • Travel takes place in five stages
    • dreaming: travelers love to dream about their next vacation. 50% of travelers brainstormed or started thinking about a trip in 2011
    • planning: travelers rely on the online space to plan travel. 85% of leisure travelers consider the internet their main source for planning travel
    • booking: travelers are increasingly booking via the internet, with greater transparency and options. 53% of travelers plan to increase comparison shopping in 2012
    • experiencing: travelers expect a more informed and collaborative travel experience, driven especially by the growing functionality of mobile devices. over 50% of travelers use mobile phone or devices for travel-related information
    • sharing: travelers are sharing more about their own trips, leading to more online content that will inspire others to dream. 32% of business travelers posted reviews online of the places they have been.


Rio Tourism Trends

The Program for the Development of Tourism in the North East has invested more than $736 million in several hundred infrastructure projects to improve airports, roads and drainage, and programs of heritage restoration and environmental protection. Tourism has become a major contributor to the development of the Brazilian economy, employing an estimated 1 out of every 11 workers, adding millions of jobs nationwide.

Revenues generated by tourism in Rio de Janeiro alone totaled almost $2 billion in 2010 — and this figure is on the rise. The number of tourists that visit Rio de Janeiro each year is steadily increasing, a result of increased media coverage and high-profile international events. 2010 saw an 8% increase over 2009 with respect to the number of international tourists traveling to Rio, with 1.61 million foreign visitors vacationing in Rio de Janeiro, compared with 1.49 million in 2009.

There are two major time frames that constitute the bulk of travel to Rio: Carnival and New Years. The New Years celebration in Rio de Janeiro is one of the most watched spectacles in the world and has become a hotspot for New Years vacation travel. While there are Carnival celebrations in cities around the planet, Rio Carnival is widely recognized as the mother of all Carnival festivals.

On average, well over 500,000 tourists travel to Rio de Janeiro during Carnival alone, and projections are hard to estimate. According to the Rio de Janeiro Tourism office, Rio received 131% more international tourists than anticipated for the 2011 Carnival. According to Rio de Janeiro Tourism Secretary Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, ““We expect a further 300,000 tourists for the Rock in Rio festival alone. We’re hosting a growing number of large-scale events which are attracting even more tourists. And Rio’s profile abroad is constantly growing.”

In 2012, Rio Carnival generated an estimated US$850 million in revenues for the city of Rio de Janeiro, a 14.8% increase over 2011. Estimates by the Municipal Secretaries for Tourism and Conservation found that Rio welcomed approximately 1.1 million tourists, 29% more than expected. 86,000 revelers came by cruise ship on 37 different vessels.

The average hotel occupancy rate during Rio Carnival 2012 was 95%, according to statistics from the Brazilian Association for the Hospitality Industry. Of hotels in the South Zone (Zona Sul), the most popular area for travelers, hotels in Ipanema and Leblon reported occupancy rates of 93.81% and hotels in Copacabana and Leme reported rates of 94.45 %. Hotels in the downtown Centro district experienced an astonishing occupancy rate of 99.16%, and hotels in the Flamengo neighborhood were 98.66% filled to capacity.

In 2012 there were 425 Rio Carnival street parties (called blocos) in which an estimated 5.3 million people took part. This was 9.7% more than Rio Carnival 2011. The famous bloco Cordão de Bola Preta attracted 2.2 million people, and Monobloco brought an estimated 400,000 revelers to the streets. After winning bids for both the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the 2014 Soccer World Cup, demand for flights, hotel accommodations, restaurants, parties and parade tickets are expected to increase to unpredictable new heights. Exciting things lie on the horizon for Rio de Janeiro

Also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)