It’s not just the temperatures exceeding 40°C that leave Rio de Janeiro boiling in February, it’s the electric pre-carnival atmosphere that’s getting both locals and tourists into the groove.

The first weekend of February saw two street Samba dancing groups, but in the next few days, 174 street Samba dancing groups will dust themselves off and bring joy to the Cariocas.

Carnival de Rio

Photo: Julio Cesar Guimarães, Riotu

The party happens in all areas of the city with the peak of the pre-carnival period from February 22 to 24.

The desire to dance is strong and the irreverent, very colourful costumes are out in force; think Indian headdresses, clown’s hats and noses, pirate eye patches and lots of glitter.

Rio Carnival

Photo: Fernando Maia, Riotur

As February unfolds people will crowd the streets of the Saara, a popular trade section in Downtown Rio, as well as the corridors of Mercadão de Madureira, to the North side of town.


Carnival de Rio

Photo: Alexandre Macieira, Riotur

The 2019 Rio Carnival officially begins on Friday, March 1 and ends on Tuesday of Carnival on March 5 where up to two million people will be partying on the streets.

Is the Rio Carnival on your bucket list?