Rio de Janeiro is not only the home of one of the best Carnival celebrations in the world; it's blessed with stunning landscapes where mountains meet the sea and an abundance of culture - including terrific art museums. I love The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer because you feel like you're entering a space ship, and the views of Rio are amazing! Unwind in Rio, and you'll discover more of its architecture (historical to modern), delicious food (especially for carnivores) and of course - Brazil's national cocktail, the Caipirinha!
Traveling to Rio for Carnival was my most memorable winter vacation, and I actually spent more time soaking in the city and its culture (museums, street art, cathedrals, Old Town architecture, guided favela tour, open air markets) than at the beach. I explored Rio's neighborhoods on foot - and by air! I went hang-gliding for the first time from a mountaintop down to the beach. I prepared for my trip with samba lessons and blissfully danced a night away at Rio Scenarium. Plus of course - tickets to the Carnival parade which has to be seen to believed. What would YOU love to see and do in Rio? Decide quickly to allow at least 2 weeks for your Brazilian tourist visa. How else can you experience Rio?
Exerpt below originally appeared in Virtuoso Best of the Best: 2014 Guide to the World's Best Hotel Experiences.
Cavorting in the Carnival Parade
Why simply watch Rio de Janeiro’s famous Samba Parade when you can be a part of it? You’ll don an exotic costume and join one of the city’s famous samba schools at the Sambadrome, singing and dancing to the rhythms of the world’s biggest Carnival celebration.
Samba Drumming Workshop
Visit the Santa Marta favela, or community, for a hands-on workshop in samba drumming. You’ll make your way through narrow alleys to the “Michael Jackson rooftop,” where the pop singer filmed the video for his song, “They Don’t Care About Us.” There, local kids will demonstrate various percussion instruments—and you’ll get a chance to make your own rhythms—as you gaze upon the sprawling views of Rio.
Call or email Nine Muses Travel to get started on planning your trip to Brazil. Rio may just be YOUR future best ever getaway for winter - or any time of year!