The most impressive Carnival celebrations in Brazil; where should you go?
Brazilians are well known for its magnificent parties that make other festivals look like nerd conventions. They are especially famous for organizing some of the best Carnival parties in the world, and once again, that time of the year when parties can be enjoyed across the country is just around the corner. When the winter is in full swing in the northern hemisphere and the people who stay at home are freezing their butts off, Brazil is heating up for everyone to enjoy. Carnival in Brazil coincides with the best weather of the year, making it an an excellent time for a vacation.
It takes a year of preparations to pull off a grand celebration like Carnival and the results offer something for everyone. What do you love the most about the Brazilian Carnival festival? The huge parades? Carnival floats? The food and drinks? Or maybe the costumes? Well, for me, it must be the Bateria, which are the famous Brazilian drums, as they are awesome and make the parades truly come alive. For the people who want to experience the Brazilian Carnivals themselves; here is a list of the best Brazilian Carnival destinations you should definitely check out.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro holds a special place in our heart as it is here that you will find the biggest Carnival celebration on the planet. People from across the world come to witness the well known samba parades in Rio. On the streets you will find all walks of life partying in neighborhood block parties and local celebrations. The main highlight of the city must be the Carnival extravaganza at the Sambadrome though, where the best samba schools of Rio de Janeiro, each with their own specialities, march through this grand Samba Stadium four nights in a row. Showing off their amazing costumes, pimped up rides while dancing to energetic Brazilian music to the cheerful crowds.
Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais
in Ouro Preto is a world heritage site with beautiful colonial Baroque architecture. This town gained unimaginable wealth due to its gold mining activities, which allowed the town to prosper. As a tourist it’s well worth checking out the splendor of this and the surrounding towns as you visit during Carnival. Ouro Preto is home to the oldest block party in Brazil that is still being celebrated. The Carnival parades in Ouro Preto are mostly organized by the student houses and we all know that they are expert partygoers. A lot of people even decide to stay in all inclusive student accommodations during Carnival to enjoy the samba parades from their balconies above. A perfect destination that combines culture with a youthful Carnivals culture.
Another great place to enjoy Carnival parades is SãoPaulo, where the emphasis lies on its fantastic street parades. As hundreds of street parties get organized throughout the city street bands called blocos mobilize the people to come out and join the party. For the people who prefer sit back and relax there is of course also a Sambadrome where the samba schools show off their performances. But the recommended course of action in São Paulo is to join the crowd, grab some sweet local beverages and go wild. And if you want to escape the crowd you can always visit the largest museum in latin-American, the São Paulo Museum of Art, where Van Gogh and Picasso hang out together.
Another big shot when the comes to Carnival is Salvador. Known as the musical capital of Brazil it’s no surprise it draws half a million tourists to the festivities each year. A visit to Salvador is a guarantee for many fun and sleepless nights. The Carnival in Salvador has it’s own vibe as bands play regional music on top of trucks with countless of speakers amplifying the music towards ecstatic crowds. Once you are done partying you can relax at the beach of Salvador, which offers one of the longest coastlines of Brazil. And try out the local seafood specialities with coconut juice and African spices.
Recife and Olinda, Pernambuco
Recife and Olinda stand out for their own unique Carnival culture. You can’t say Recife without saying Frevo music, as you will find people dancing with colorful umbrellas to local Frevo music, which originally uses capoeira-like dance moves. The color scheme of the Frevo umbrellas is often a recurring theme which you will often spot in outfits. The largest Carnival parade in the world can be found in Recife, opened by the iconic giant rooster known as Galo da Madrugada (the Rooster of Dawn). While in Rio you will find that Carnival can be a true competition between Samba schools, in Recife the opposite is true, as it’s truly a celebration for everyone. And if you want to look beyond Recife, you can always check out its neighboring city Olinda, where Carnival parades are held with gigantic and hilarious paper-maché dolls.
Across Brazil you will find carnival celebrations, each with its own local culture and musical styles fused into it. With these stunning cities you can’t go wrong though, as they are perfect destinations for combining a great sun vacation, architectural highlights and fantastic Carnival celebrations that allow you to party throughout the night. Offering an experience of a lifetime.