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    6 Tips For an Epic New Year’s Eve in Rio

    6 Tips For an Epic New Year’s Eve in Rio

    When you think of Rio de Janeiro, it’s likely that the first dance-the-night away event to come to mind is Carnival. But that’s not the only time visitors flock to the sultry, samba-loving city. New Year’s Eve is also an epic celebration in Rio — one that attracts millions of visitors to Copacabana Beach. With live performances, a midnight fireworks display and some of the most passionate party-loving people on the planet, it’s no wonder Reveillon (New Year’s Eve) here is an occasion to remember.

    New Years 2010 Porto Bay Rio Internacional

    Photo via Flickr/PortoBayEvents

    Of course, with millions of people celebrating the arrival of the New Year, it can get a bit chaotic. Follow these tips to celebrating Reveillon in Rio, and get ready to ring in your best year yet:

    1. Book Accommodation Ahead Of Time

    It should come as no surprise that hotels book out extremely quickly around New Year’s. Prices also skyrocket (especially for the hotels near Copacabana) and many hotels have a four night minimum stay. Book your accommodation as far in advance as possible to ensure the best deals and locations are available. Ideally you will want to stay in the Leblon/Ipanema/Copacabana area if you want to be close to all the action.

    2. Arrive at Copacabana Early

    Reveillon 2013 at Porto Bay Rio Internacional

    Photo via Flickr/PortoBayEvents

    Most of the entertainment on the beach begins around 8 p.m. before leading up to the iconic midnight fireworks display. However, it’s advisable to arrive at Copacabana as early as possible (think late afternoon) to avoid the crowds and secure a comfortable spot on the shoreline. It might seem like a lot of time to wait, but just think of it as a day at the beach.

    3. Bring Your Own Drinks And Food

    There will be street vendors around Copacabana, but it’s better to stock up on your favorite snacks and beverages, and tote a cheap cooler along with you. There’s nothing worse than trying to push your way through the crowds to get a beer, only to then lose the spot where your friends were all camped out.

    If you want to look like a local, be sure to bring along a bottle of champagne. It’s common to shake the bottles at midnight, dousing your friends in foam as you shout: “feliz ano novo!”

    4. Don’t Bring Valuables And Stay Aware Of Your Surroundings

    New Year's Eve in Rio is for the most part a family-friendly affair. However, you never know what could happen when over two million people gather in one place to drink and celebrate, so it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. Petty theft is common, and pickpocketers will be on the lookout for phones, cameras and wallets that are easy to walk away with.

    5. Wear All White And Toss Flowers Into The Sea

    One of the most beautiful aspects of celebrating Carnival in Rio is the Afro-Brazilian traditions that are woven throughout. Specifically, many people offer flowers to the sea in honor of Lemanja, the goddess of water and fertility, as a way to show gratitude and ask for luck. Wearing all white symbolizes peace and renewal, and the hope that these gifts will be ushered in during the New Year. You might also see locals lighting candles to Lemanja just after the sun sets. The traditions come from the African religion of Candomble, but you will see many different people honoring and taking part in the rituals.

    6. Don’t Rush Out After The Fireworks Display

    Happy new year!

    Photo via Flickr/Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

    Don’t try to beat the crowds by rushing out of Copacabana as soon as the fireworks are over. This is often the most difficult time to leave, and you’ll most certainly be battling hordes of people to walk just a few feet. Rather than rushing off, stay on the beach and enjoy the live entertainment that continues throughout the night until 5 a.m. By then, public transportation will be running again and the worst of the crowds will have dissipated.

    New Years Eve in Rio de Janeiro is a celebration like no other. Follow these tips and tricks and get ready for a night you’ll remember for the rest of your life — and Happy New Year!


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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