A very tough question, indeed. I’ve done one carnival in Rio and two in Florianopolis. I’m coming up to my third in Florianopolis in one week. I recall the first carnival I did in Rio, I said to myself: this is me every year from now on. Sure enough the following year I found myself in Florianopolis experiencing the carnival on offer there. After the Carnival in Florianopolis I said to myself: this is me every year from now on.
Both locations a very good – second to none – they are like you’re in a dream. I feel like when Carnival is on I’m dreaming and when I’m asleep that’s the reality and sleeping becomes living. Carnival is amazing. It will change your life. Rio has many things to do for carnival, as with most major cities in Brazil during the carnival period. A lot of the parties I experienced in Rio were the streets. There are cool parties around Leblon during most days and things get very crazy. I think you need to do a Carnival there to say you’ve done it. For those coming up to there thirties a carnival in Florianopolis may be more appealing. There you have street parties and also parties you pay to enter – the more exclusive parties. Although, the parties can be expensive to enter, they often provide drinks and food free once you’re inside the party.
I’ve never had the chance to go to the parties in the north of the country. I’m sure they’re great. I just fell in love with the atmosphere in the south of the country and visiting the north would mean I miss a year of the carnival in the south – something I’m not ready to do.
I recommend both cities. If you haven’t done Rio, do it first. If you have, well Florianopolis is better. It’s crazy. Although, Rio is crazier. But Florianopolis is still crazy enough to be up there with the craziest things you’ve ever done. It’s tough to say one is better than the other. Both require a good attitude and a willingness to never-say-never. You’ll have the time of your life in both cities.
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