CARNIVAL worth the trip?

Old Jan 7th, 2003, 05:06 PM
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CARNIVAL worth the trip?

Trying to choose between Argentina and going to Brazil for the Carnival in early March. I have 2 weeks. Any suggestions? Also, may be travelling solo (female). Thank you.
Old Jan 8th, 2003, 03:19 AM
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The Carnival in Brazil varies hugely depending on where you are. In Rio it is a tourist attraction these days and is not nearly as fun as it used to be - they build grandstands so you can sit and watch the procession go by. This has rather spoilt it.

On the other hand Salvador still has a real proper street party...
Old Jan 8th, 2003, 03:22 AM
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Carnival is a special event - you either want to see it or you don't.

I think your question should be - do I want to go to Carnival. If yes - then go.

If not it should be - would I prefere to go to Argentina or Brazil (and should I go to Brazil at carnival as things quadruple in price and I don't care about Carnival).
Old Jan 8th, 2003, 10:22 AM
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Rio might be worth the trip but Carnival maybe not. Why pay 3 x the price for a hotel and have to wait hours just to do things. You won't be able to get a table in a restaurant, its too packed. I'll be there from March 14th on as the prices come down and the crowds leave, its a great time to be in Rio as is the 2 weeks before Carnival which is another good time to go. Also as a female travelling alone you should be ok, in all my times in Rio I have met many single women from around the world and they seem to be getting along just fine.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 08:05 AM
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As you have already been told, Carnaval in Brasil varies from place to place. In Rio de Janeiro, the highlight is the Desfile de Escolas de Samba. Escola de Samba is a kind of cultural association, which every year chooses one subject (exemples: an important person, a historic event, a political situation). This subject is narrated as a samba (music + lyric). The Escola de Samba (around 3000 people) parades before you, singing this samba, under the powerfull and rhythmic beat of the Bateria (percussion). The Escola de Samba is divided in sections, each sporting a different attire, very collorfull. Between sections, huge allegorical coaches, full of people dancing the samba, displaying marvelous and rich attires, highligh the most import episodes of the story which is being told. Escola de Samba may be interpreted as an opera. In Rio de Janeiro, this happens the nights of saturday and sunday, in a special place called the Sambódromo. You buy tickets to watch this show, which is also broadcasted in the television. However, in other places of Brasil (exemples: Salvador and Recife), Carnaval doesn't follow this style. In those places, Carnaval is enjoyed in the streets, everybody mingles toghether to the sound of the music, which explores rhythms very different from the samba. Some associations parade, but they are very different in nature from the Escolas de Samba. You may, for a modest fee, join in one of those associations and participate in the parade, which is enthralling and advantageous (for instance, it's safer). Choose your preferred type of Carnaval. Although Carnaval is highseason (crowded, prices skyrocket), normal life resumes quickly after it, so these inconvenients don't last for long. Have a nice stay in my country !
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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Ellen, here is what I would do. I would fly on February 28th to BA and stay there until Wednesday, March 5th. THen I would fly to Rio for a few days, and then continue on to Bahia, Brazil. You are coming awfully far, you should do all of the above! However as a single woman I doubt very much you would find Carnaval a blast...a little too overwhelming. One exception would be if you booked a terrific Brazilian resort for the Carnaval period, however since it is so much more expensive then, and very much a family-oriented holiday, I would use that time to visit BA and then visit Brazil. Two weeks is plenty of time to do it all.
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