Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebrations come to a close

Carnival costumes and celebrations near our exclusive hotels in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

The biggest street party in the world, Rio de Janeiro’s carnival, has come to a close for 2016, once again putting on a dazzling display of music, dance and colourful costumes.

Alongside the hundreds of blocos, or street parties, that unfold all over the city during the carnival week, much of the action goes on at the Sambadrome, a venue purpose-built for dancing competitions, where 70,000 fans gathered to watch a host of samba troupes dance in a blur of feathers, glitter and flesh. The Mangueira samba school were declared the winners of the samba contest – the highest accolade in the world of the Brazilian dance, closing the show regarded by many as the greatest show on earth.

Carnival-goers were entertained not only by the thousands of dancers but also by hundreds of extraordinary floats extravagantly decorated with bright colours, their proud creators standing at the top waving to the millions of people in the crowds as they pass by. All in all, the carnival is a lively combination of outbursts of colour, joyful song, pounding drums and samba dancing until the sun goes down.

This year’s carnival is extra-special, as 2016 is the year that Rio will host the Olympic Games, with the carnival acting as a warm-up for the opening ceremony which is sure to wow the world when it takes place on August 5. Nods to the Games ahead included a procession of a replica of the Olympic Torch, and floats featuring a whole host of Brazilian Olympic medallists.

If you’d like to join Brazil in time for its big Olympic party or even book ahead ready for next year’s Carnival, head to our website for the best exclusive hotels in Rio de Janeiro.

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Image: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo, available under Creative Commons

Andrew is a firm believer that travelling like a local inevitably leads to the best off-the-beaten-path finds which truly make a destination remarkably more memorable. From traditional Indian festivals in humid Hyderabad to fresh seafood pasta by the Sorrentine Peninsula, he appreciates variety when travelling. He hasn't been everywhere, but it’s on the list.