Carnival officially started today all over Brazil with the biggest party kicking off in Rio & Salvador de Bahia. 1.7 Million tourists are expected in Rio this weekend, for noisy, drunken & expensive revelry - accommodation triples in price on the Zona Sul sea front to up to £1500 per night!
The Sambadrome is a given, so the key to Carnival is locating the hottest bloco or street parties, to shake your tiny tush at. Rio hosted 75 today alone starting at 8am with one of the most famous blocos, Céu na Terra in Santa Teresa. This early morning party draws an estimated 10,000 revelers threading through the narrow hilly streets of the bohemian neighborhood.
There are 578 bloco parties taking place in the city between now and 5th March, with plenty of choice for everyone, the challenge is finding the right do for you. Blocos can range in size from 50 to 50,000 partygoers - they are a 100% egalitarian & a FREE alternative to the pricey choreographed, but of course uber-fabulous Sambadrome where you can pay from £50 to £1500 depending on where you sit & dates you go.
Anyone can attend a Bloco party, all you need is to dress up , drink up and come prepared to have fab time - don't forget your wig, mask, Hawailan garland and tail feathers. It's going to be hot noisy and crazy.
Hardcore Carioca Bloco affacionados start partying early and attend 3 or 4 Blocos in a day!
Bloco Favorido or Favourite took place today on Zona Sul Copacobana. Globo Darling, Brazilian Actress Juliana Paes was carnival Queen dressed as in Indian garb as she samba'd down with Isis Valverde in a striking gold Carmen Miranda costume. (See cover pic)
Back in Zona Sul (South Zone), one of Rio's biggest parties of Carnival week, the epic Banda de Ipanema will be winding down with 90,000 revelers along the beach,
The best blocos are no more than casual street fetes with romantic & ironic names like "Me beija que eu sou um cineasta" or Kiss me I'm a film- maker! Find Bloco full listings in Time Out Rio or via these links
Final advice don't forget this is Brazil, leave your valuables in your hotel room, drink plenty of water, watch where you're walking as there will be lots of broken glass on the streets, don't forget your suncream and have an absolute ball!
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