Brazil – Carnival in Rio, The Greatest Show on Earth


Its not that I have a bucket list, simply because the bucket would have to be bigger than anything in order to encompass “everything”.. but Carnival in Rio has long been on my mind as something I definitely wanted to see, and I was very recently able to incorporate it into an extended trip around South America.

While Rio de Janeiro wasn’t my only stop in Brazil, Rio was the main objective and it was pretty wild indeed.  In fact it was the only location that I took any photographs of.  Of course it was way over the top in terms of an experience! 

Rio at the tail end of Carnival, what could go wrong?  Ha Ha..  In actual fact, I didn’t get mugged, or robbed, although perhaps I deserved to have been so in at least one situation… I do have very good situational awareness, so at least I am not a lamb wandering into the slaughterhouse or even being led there.. and I had some local knowledge assisting me.

In any event, just “one” of the experiences was going to Sambadrome (a stadium purposely built for the parades, floats and dancers to show their moves, and possibly win) as it is a contest between the various Samba schools with winners chosen at the end.   During the better part of Carnival, the “Greatest Show on Earth” goes on every night, starting at roughly 9 pm and into the wee hours of the night.  I lasted until 3 am on my visit, and by a quirk of screwed up tickets,  I wound up with an expensive front row box seat, rather than being in the nosebleed section as I had expected.  Ticket prices are crazy expensive unless you take a chance and wait for unfilled seats at the last minute… then perhaps you may save some money, but maybe not get a great view unless you check into the details of where you will be seated. The asking price for where I wound up being located was about $600 to $1000 USD, per person, per night because it was front row on the edge of the parades.