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Rainforest & Rio Carnival 2023

Experience the Amazon and equally wild 300th anniversary Carnival celebrations in Rio De Janeiro.

Overview

Experience two of the biggest shows on Earth this February on this once-in-a-lifetime Rio Carnival package, as you venture to see both Mother Nature’s finest spectacle in the depths of the Brazilian Amazon aboard a traditional Amazonian riverboat, and join the greatest party on Earth amid the filigree floats and samba schools parading through the “Marvelous City” of Rio De Janeiro.

Incredibly, 2023 marks the 300th anniversary of Carnival celebrations in Rio—from its humble and slightly less extravagant beginnings way back in 1723—so this year should prove to be one of the largest and most unique carnivals ever held!

A Tale of Two Wild Rios

This tantalizing trip is an epic tale of two Rios and experiencing Brazil’s wildest sides, from witnessing the remarkable wildlife of its rainforest realm along the banks of the Río Amazonas (the Amazon River) on the M/Y Tucano’s aptly named “Into The Wild” itinerary from Manaus, to participating in the pre-Lent revelry of Rio Carnival, the so-called “biggest show on Earth” attracting some two million people per day to party in its streets.

Head into the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, Manaus, and stay opposite its opulent and historical opera house, Teatro Amazonas, before embarking on a voyage of discovery aboard one of the region’s finest vessels, exploring the amazing Anavilhanas archipelago and witnessing the remarkable denizens of the Amazon Rainforest, a true natural wonder of the world.

Then let the rhythm of Rio take over you and experience the iconic annual pageant of passion that is Carnival. Synonymous with disinhibition and happiness, exhilaration and entertainment, spectacle and art, drum beats and dance, this is a show that has to be seen to be believed. Don your dancing shoes and samba your way through the non-stop action as you get swept up in the energy and euphoria of the biggest party on Earth, and witness first-hand the festivities of your wildest dreams.

Rio Carnival 2023 Dates

Officially, the annual Rio de Janeiro Carnival is held on the 5 days preceding Lent, alway the Friday through Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). In 2023 this Carnival takes place between Friday, February 17 and Tuesday, February 21. And you’ll be in Rio for all of it!

Any time of the year is a good time to visit Rio de Janeiro, but there are a few special dates during the year when the local “Cariocas” really celebrate, and excitement floods the city. One of these events is the Rio Carnival which is famous for the incredible celebration and spectacle of joy, color, and fun. Carnival in Rio is more than a party, it is a philosophy, a near timeless moment when the city loses itself in the pleasures of life, when every man and woman dance away their worries and become irresistible divinities.

Prime Locations

Staying in a choice of select beachfront-base hotels on arguably the world’s most famous beach, Copacabana, or its quieter neighboring extension, Leme beach, you’ll have incredible views from infinity pools over the spectacular Guanabara Bay, and are in a prime location to explore the paradisiacal pleasures of their sandy shores and the Carnival celebrations.

After a samba lesson, you’ll have a ticket for the Carnival Parade in the salubrious Sambadrome itself on Sunday 19th February (in Grandstand sectors 9, 7 or 11), but there is the option to attend for a second night on Monday 20th February and upgrade to a “Frisa” box seat.

So, are you ready to unleash your wild side? Embark upon a journey like no other on this spectacular Amazon Rainforest and Rio Carnival package exclusive to Rainforest Cruises. You don’t want to miss the party of a lifetime!

Itinerary & Prices

10 Day - Rainforest & Rio Carnival 2023
itinerary map

Manaus - Sunday 12, February 2023

PM: Upon arrival in Manaus you’ll be greeted at the airport and transferred by private transportation, accompanied with guide, to your chosen accommodation with privileged location opposite the famous Teatro Amazonas, the iconic Manaus Opera House.

Overnight in Manaus at selected hotel.

(-)

Location
Manaus
Day
1 / 10

Embark Tucano - Monday 13, February 2023

AM: After breakfast in your hotel, you’ll be picked up and transfered to your awaiting Amazonian riverboat, the Motor Yacht Tucano. We depart on the Rio Negro and as the vessel glides upstream we will have our first talk about Amazon environments. By late afternoon we enter one of the world’s largest river island systems, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. The boat will weave along a winding channel with rainforest on both sides in a riot of brilliant vegetation.

PM: Weather permitting, we will go for a launch excursion in the gnarled and dense flooded forest along the river’s edge. We may see some Squirrel Monkeys and we may hear the other-worldly growls of Howler Monkeys echoing through the primitive rainforest. The Amazon has one of the greatest collections of birds in the world and we are sure to see some of these brightly colored jewels perched in the treetops.

We return to the M/Y Tucano for hors d’oeuvres on the observation deck and a toast to the rainforest sunset. Following dinner, we will embark on our launches in search of nocturnal creatures such as the Caiman, the Amazon’s crocodilians. We may also see one of the large night birds such as a Great Potoo, with its bulging eyes and large mouth, adapted to swallow the huge Mariposa Moths.

(B, L, D)

Location
Amazon River
Day
2 / 10

Anavilhanas - Tuesday 14, February 2023

AM: Shortly after sunrise this morning we explore the Anavilhanas Archipelago, a reserve that includes the world’s largest system of river islands and also areas of tall dense rainforest. Here we will see the strange environment called the igapó, the black water flooded forest, where dense forests grow right out of the dark water of the Rio Negro. Mid-morning we return to the vessel for a hearty Brazilian breakfast. After some time to relax, weather permitting, we will disembark in mid-morning and dividing into very small groups we will go for a walk in the type of rainforest known as the terra firma. Here we have a good chance to see the markings, if not the animals themselves, of some of the Amazon’s great mammals like peccaries (wild pigs) or even a jaguar.

PM: Around mid-day, we return to the vessel for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon we will excursion in our launches along the edges of the dense forest and listen to the sunset chorus of birds, howler monkeys, and frogs. Weather permitting, tonight we will have an excursion to spot caiman (the Amazon’s crocodiles) and other nocturnal creatures. We very often see arboreal porcupines or sloths scrambling high in the limbs.

(B, L, D)

Location
Amazon River
Day
3 / 10

Rio Negro - Wednesday 15, February 2023

AM: Today we will voyage to the west side of the Rio Negro and continue to scout in our launches and walk in the forest. We will explore, according to the weather and water depth, areas rarely visited by anyone else.

PM: Tonight the M/Y Tucano goes downstream, and river depth permitting, will enter an east bank affluent of the Rio Negro and explore on deep into the rainforest on this small river. After our nocturnal exploration of the rainforest in our launches we return to the Tucano for “Caipirinha Night” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck, in anticipation of your trip to the Sambadrome later in your tour.

(B, L, D)

Location
Amazon River
Day
4 / 10

Rio Negro & Manaus - Thursday 16, February 2023

AM: We begin the day with a dawn excursion hunting for wakening wildlife followed by a full Brazilian breakfast. We will then go one last time into the forest.

PM: In the mid-afternoon, we will begin to journey downstream to arrive late in the day at the “Encontro das Aguas” – a stark several mile long lines where two of the world’s largest rivers, the Amazon and the Rio Negro, join in a turbulent maelstrom. Here the dark water of the Negro runs beside the opaque brown water of the Amazon.

At sunset, the M/Y Tucano will once again turn her bows upstream on the Rio Negro and journey to our overnight anchorage north of the City of Manaus. As we pass in front of Manaus, we will marvel at the scale of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant port cities over a thousand miles from the sea. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning.

(B, L, D)

Location
Amazon River
Day
5 / 10

Rio De Janeiro - Friday 17, February 2023

AM: Early this morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano and are transferred to the Tucano’s lounge in the city center. Guests can either spend some time relaxing there, or can leave their bags whilst they explore the surrounds, before later being transferred to Manaus airport for the onward flight to Rio in the early afternoon.

PM: Upon arrival in the late evening, you are met and transferred to the hotel via private service with English speaking guide.

Overnight in Rio de Janeiro at selected hotel.

(B)

Location
Rio
Day
6 / 10

Corcovado & Sugar Loaf - Saturday 18, February 2023

AM: After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll embark on a fabulous full day (~8 hours) private-guided visit to Corcovado and Sugar Loaf. Spend a morning taking advantage of some of the main tourist spots in Rio de Janeiro. Start with a train ride to see Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado hill, followed by a panoramic (external) visit to the Maracanã stadium and additional stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

PM: Lunch at Churrascaria – 300 years ago, the barbecue began in the south of the country. The barbecue at that time was made only by experts, who transmitted the knowledge to their children and grandchildren. Since then, almost nothing has changed. Enjoy all the ritual and ancestral knowledge of the BBQ as you enjoy this Brazilian specialty (drinks not included).

After lunch, visit the Sugarloaf Mountain, one of the icons of the wonderful city of Rio, located in the Urca neighborhood. Take the cable car up to the top of the mountain in 2 stages: first at Cerro de Urca (224 meters); and continuing to the top of the Sugar Loaf (396 meters). Finish with the most beautiful and panoramic view of the city.

Overnight in Rio de Janeiro at selected hotel.

(B, L)

Location
Rio
Day
7 / 10

Samba School Parade - Sunday 19, February 2023

AM: After breakfast at the hotel, much of the rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure. Why not take advantage of your hotel’s privileged seafront location and stroll the iconic beachfront promenades, play some beach soccer, or take a dip the warm waters of Copacabana and Ipanema?

PM: In the early afternoon you’ll have a guided visit to the Grande Rio, one of the main Samba Schools in the city of Rio de Janeiro (~1.5 hours). Learn a little about the history of samba and carnival parades in their exhibition room before getting in the mood for the evening’s event by trying on some glitzy costumes for yourself and enjoying a samba class with one of our passistas (dancers).

In the evening it’s time for the best show on Earth—Rio Carnival’s Samba School Parade at the Rio Sambadrome (samba stadium)!  The parade is divided into two days: Sunday 19 Feb and Monday 20 Feb, with the presentation of 6 samba schools each day. As such, there is the option to go to the parade for a second night tomorrow (supplement applies). Usually, the parade starts around 9pm and continues through the night. Each samba school has a minimum of 65 minutes and a maximum of 80 minutes for its parade. The parade, in addition to the show, is a competition between schools and various aspects are judged. You’ll be sat in the Grandstands (also known as “arquibancadas”)—large concrete steps, located at the highest part of the Sambadrome, with an incredible aerial view of the parade.

Please note Grandstand tickets are not numbered: we will confirm your tickets according to availability, it could be sector 9, 7 or 11. Round-trip, shared transportation to the Sambadrome is included with pick-up and drop-off time defined according to the location of your chosen hotel. There will be 2 or more return transfers from the Sambadrome to hotels at the end of each parade and at the end of the event.

For a supplement, you can upgrade to seats in a FRISA—6-seater fenced ‘boxes’ very close to the parade with the most privileged views—in rows C or D (there are four rows of boxes, from A to D with Row A closest to the runway and row D the farthest away). All Frisa tickets are sold per person, so you can buy a single ticket and then join five other people that you will meet in your box.

Overnight in Rio de Janeiro at selected hotel.

(B)

Location
Rio
Day
8 / 10

Selarón Steps, Santa Teresa & Feijoada - Monday 20, February 2023

AM: After breakfast at the hotel you go on a half-day (~4 hours) tour to see the Selarón Steps, Santa Teresa & enjoy a typical Feijoada lunch. You’ll visit the famous colorful Ecadaria Selaron – steps of “Selarón”, a set of world- famous steps in Rio de Janeiro. They are the work of Chile-born artist Jorge Selarón, who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”. From there we visit Santa Teresa, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Rio, where you can see the original architecture from the beginning of the 19th century. During the 60’s Santa Teresa became the hippie center and today it is home to many artists such as painters and sculptors, restaurants and bars.

Lunch will be taken at local restaurant to try Feijoada, one the most famous dishes of Brazilian cuisine, originated through the customs of the African slaves. Fresh black bean stew and cuts of pork served with rice, cabbage, farofa manioc, crackling, cured pork chop, spicy pepper sauce, and sliced oranges.

PM: Afternoon at leisure! Perhaps rest those weary dancing feet with some well-deserved relaxation in your hotels infinity pool, or if you’re still in the mood to samba and more glitz and glamor, there is the option to attend the Sambadrome for a second night (supplement applies).

Overnight in Rio de Janeiro at selected hotel.

(B)

Location
Rio
Day
9 / 10

Departure - Tuesday 21, February 2023

AM: Enjoy your final breakfast at the hotel before being transferred to the airport at the scheduled time, your suitcase and mind full of souvenirs and lifelong memories from your wild trip to Brazil’s two Rios—the Rio Amazonas and Rio De Janeiro—and the biggest party on the planet.

(B)

Location
Rio
Day
10 / 10
1 / 10

Accommodations

Cruises & Lodges

Tucano on the river

Tucano

A boutique boat pioneering sustainable exploration of the remote Central Amazon Conservation Complex.
16 Guests
8 Cabins
View

Hotel Options

5 Star

Juma Opera

Manaus
Pool At The Juma Opera Hotel In Manaus, Brazil
4 Star

Windsor Leme

Rio de Janeiro
View From Windsor Leme
5 Star

Miramar by Windsor

Rio de Janeiro