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By Nicole Eberhard, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While your Carnival week in Rio will (and should) inevitably revolve around samba beats and endless parties, in a whirl of parades, blocos, balls and costumes, don’t miss the opportunity to see more of the Marvelous City at the same time.

Visiting Cristo is a must in Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Visiting Cristo is a must in Rio, photo courtesy of Rdj4u.

One thing to keep in mind is that many tours shut down during Carnival as the entire city embraces the Carnival fever. Luckily there is still plenty to see and do, but remember to confirm availability during this busy time by booking in advance. Here are five alternative things to do during Carnival.

1. Visit Christ the Redeemer
A visit to this iconic statue sitting atop Corcovado Mountain is unmissable. Do all the tourists do it? Yes, but don’t let the crowds put you off this classic Rio landmark. Get your must-have snaps of the statue and the breathtaking views by taking a tour to Christ the Redeemer, with the added ease of a pick-up from your hotel.

2. Ascend Sugar Loaf Mountain
Speaking of must-do things in Rio de Janeiro, Sugar Loaf Mountain is another landmark that deserves a visit. Ascend Urca Hill first and then take the cable car to the summit. You can opt to go in comfort with a Sugar Loaf Mountain tour or get active and hike up Urca Hill before getting the cable car the rest of the way. We recommend doing this first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon for the best light to take in the spectacular panoramic views.

3. Take a Favela Tour
Many of Rio’s top samba schools come from its hillside favelas. Learn more about their context and culture by taking a safe and educational favela tour. Visit Rio’s largest favela, Rocinha, as well as Vila Canoas, on this non-invasive tour and gain greater insight into Brazil’s diversity and social realities.

Take a non-invasive tour into one of Rio's favela communities, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Take a non-invasive tour into one of Rio’s favela communities, photo courtesy of Rdj4u.

4. Seek Shade in Tijuca Forest
Let’s face it, Rio in February is hot, and we’re not just talking about the beautiful people. What better way to spend the day than in the shady and cool forest? Learn more about Rio’s lush nature and exotic wildlife by taking a jeep tour in Tijuca Forest. If you have the energy, there are also plenty of walks through the forest allowing you to get up close to its natural beauty.

5. Eat your way through Rio
Sample the best of Brazilian food in the Marvelous City. From Rio’s gourmet restaurants, to its botecos with fried bar snacks, from the per kilo buffet spreads to exotic fruits at the corner shop, the flavors of Rio will whet your appetite. Check out this guide to the best cuisine in Rio to help you navigate your way through the gastronomic landscape as you refuel for more Carnival partying!

The city may shut down during Carnival, as everyone enters the Carnival spirit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore some of the city’s highlights. Get to the heart of Rio’s spirit by discovering its top sights, flavors and immersing yourself in the culture. And then lose yourself to Carnival’s hypnotizing samba beats!

Looking to book tours and travel activities in Rio? Rdj4u offers a wide variety of top tours with an easy-to-use online booking system.

* This is a Sponsored article written by Nicole Eberhard, English Content Editor for Rdj4u.com.

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