Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro

Get plenty of sleep before you board the plane, because once you land, it’s nonstop revelry until Ash Wednesday (sort of) brings it all to a close. With nearly 500 street parties happening all over town, you will not lack for options. For the full experience, join a samba school and parade amid pounding drum corps and mechanized smoke-breathing dragons before thousands of roaring fans in the Sambódromo. Or assemble a costume and hit one of the Carnaval balls around town. The buildup starts weeks in advance.