Going to Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, for the First Time

I knew of Carnival’s party scene reputation, but I saw the real side of Rio at street parties put on by locals outside of the stadium, with pop-up bars, DJs, and more.

Side by side of a woman wearing a pink top at DJ booth (L) and an outdoor night party in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Rio’s block parties during Carnival went late into the night and early morning.

Malik Peay

Outside of the main stadium, my friends and I also went to block parties, or blocos, thrown by local DJs, brands, and vendors.

There were ticketed blocos, but my friends and I mostly went to the free parties set up by locals, and I thought they were a lot of fun. 

At these street parties, I saw DJs playing music from makeshift tents, food booths selling snacks, and mini bars serving drinks. Many of the parties lasted long into the night, ending as late as 5 a.m. I saw people of all ages dancing for hours into the morning, including little kids cheering

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Rio de Janeiro Itinerary: A Week of Things to Do

I took a Delta flight, operated by LATAM, from JFK, so I had a layover in São Paulo for a couple of hours before landing in Rio; it was a 16-hour travel day. Most of my friends had multiple layovers, so they arrived after me. From the airport, I scheduled a car service because I had a ton of bags, and I wanted that VIP moment with my name on the sign to kick off my birthday week. Otherwise, Uber is the way to go. As my friends arrived at the Airbnb (Av. Vieira Souto, 136), I gave them the grand tour of our clubhouse. I found the rental months in advance. As soon as I saw it I knew it was the one; it was well designed, minimally decorated, and elegant, which is how I want my 30s to be. It was a penthouse apartment in a 12-floor

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Rio de Janeiro Needs More Than a Party to Bounce Back From Covid

Driving in downtown Rio de Janeiro the other day, I had to slam on the brakes as a sequined carnival reveler wearing a Speedo and fishnet stockings danced across the thoroughfare. His companion, in devil’s horns and a cache-sexe, gamboled by his side with a traffic-stopping pageant of merrymakers in tow.

For Brazil’s signature city, February is always the zaniest month. But this year’s pre-Lenten catharsis — the first no-holds-barred Carnival since the eve of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 — cranked the collective frenzy up to 11.

Brazil lost nearly 700,000 lives to the pandemic — the world’s second-highest death toll. Few cities were hit harder than Rio, a metropolis of 6.77 million people, which suffered 38,000 fatalities from Covid-19, the second-highest death rate (505 per 100,000 cases) of all 27 Brazilian state capitals.

Three years on, the pall is slowly lifting. With street parades at every turn and

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Celebrating Carnival at Rio de Janeiro’s 100-Year-Old Haven

copacabana palace

Moa Almeida

In Rio de Janeiro, the birds don’t simply chirp; they also coo and sing in sweet harmony with the deep male vocals resonating from a nearby street. I peer out my hotel balcony window to follow the sounds, which have become a chorus of voices offering support through cheery whistles and claps interspersed with car horns and crashing waves. It’s 9:26 a.m. on Sunday, the morning after Rio’s highly anticipated Copacabana Baile do Copa, and the carnival celebrations have only just begun. Carnival is officially back—breakfast be damned.

A sun-drenched metropolis surrounded by a vast expanse of sand and sea, there’s no bad time to visit Rio de Janeiro. But if it’s rest and calm you’re looking for, I should warn you: late February is reserved for partying. For five days straight, millions of people flock to the bustling, South American treasure for non-stop celebrations of community, and

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The moment lightning strikes Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue

A photographer captured the breathtaking moment lightning struck the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

The once-in-a-lifetime photograph, which has gone viral on social media, shows a bolt of lightning hitting the head of the nearly 100-foot-tall statue — the largest depiction of Jesus in the world.

Fernando Braga captured the stunning scene when a sudden thunderstorm hit the coast. He then posted the photo on Instagram.  

“DIVINE LIGHTNING !!! IT’S FRIDAY!!!” Braga wrote in Portuguese. He said he snapped the photo around 6:55 p.m. Friday, using a Nikon D800 camera.

The photo has garnered over 168,000 likes since it was posted. On Twitter, the photos have been viewed more than 20 million times. The image spurred numerous Thor and Zeus jokes.

The moment lightning strikes Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue
The breathtaking moment was captured by photographer Fernando Braga.
Stunning pic shows lightning strike Brazil's Christ The Redeemer Statue
The stunning photographs quickly went viral on social media.


Stunning pic shows lightning strike Brazil's Christ The Redeemer Statue
The statue
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