Beyond Rio…Carnaval Style

Some people think Carnaval is just a debaucherous four-day party in Rio de Janiero but the rest of Brazil would have to disagree. Months leading up to Fat Tuesday, even the tiny towns are constructing elaborate floats, practicing samba routines, and gearing up for this nationwide party. Beyond the grandstands of Rio (we’ll get to that after our stay this weekend), here our the look at Carnaval from the four weeks traveling the country through little beach towns to the colonial cities that started it all.

In Brazil it's all about attitude. Colors can never be too bright, clothes are never too tight, and self confidence pulls anything off. This piece of street art rules the block.
Bright pinks, blues, yellows, greens... essentially the rainbow pumped up a notch is the palette of not just Carnaval but the whole of Brazil. Everything from houses to shops are in a vibrant coat of paint so when streamers of every color hang through the streets of Olinda for Carnaval, they perfectly complement the town.
Over-the top frocks like this sweet pea dress are perfect for nights out and these Liberty of London (meets Brazil) style skirts are just the thing for a morning block party.
Carnival bead shop in brazil
Like Mardi Gras, reams of glitzy beads are essential to Carnaval style. This shop caters to the locals and can string up anything from their 100s of choices. Women wear a numb of strands around their neck and men tend to slip them through each arm to crisscross them over their chest.
carnaval shakers
For sound and flair, colorful beads slip over gourds to create every neighborhod's percussion section. Even if you never gave these a shake they would look very global chic on a console table or bookshelf.
carnaval puppets
Massive papier-mâché puppets modeled after local celebrities and political figures are the stars of the bloco. When worn on the shoulders of a puppet master as he saunters down the parade, the figure is the mark of that group's artistic talents and sense of humor.
Girls take the streets with their resounding drums, and equally loud hair and makeup. Flowers are a running theme in clothes and accessories.
carnaval bloco
Woven baskets encircled with metallic streamers become an essential prop for traditional Afro-Brazilian dances through the streets of Salvador.
salavador carnaval dance
Sassed up with head scarves, bangles and some relentless dance moves, these ladies weren't going to leave the party to the kids. Flowing linen and lace dresses make for dramatic spins and a classic look.
carnaval olinda
Classsic red blue and yellow umbrellas are a dancing essential in Pernambuco. For spins, jumps, pivots, they make every Frevo dance move more dazzling with their blur of primary colors.
carnaval bloco leader
Leading this neighborhood bloco, these intricately beaded banners command the attention they deserve.

Has anyone ever been to Carnaval in Rio or seen photos? Though spectacular (we went to the Sambadromo last night), I was amazed by  how different and incredibly charming the regional takes on the party different could be.


  1. Erin Beattie said:

    Every picture screams with color. Brazil is the culture of flare :). My favorite snap is the top picture with the masks. I read every post meticulously but for some reason I cannot comment on the honeytrek blog, probably something blocked from my end. I especially love the videos of the amazon. Makes me feel like i’m right there with you guys. Lots of love.

    February 21, 2012
  2. Kristin said:

    Amazing pics and thanks for the captions. What a life full of color! No wonder Marcy left NY to go back home! Thanks for sharing and safe travels on the rest of your journey!

    February 21, 2012
  3. Amy said:

    Wow, those photos are amazing. Never been to Carnival (is it with an A or an I?), but have always wanted to go!

    February 22, 2012
  4. Was blown away by these vibrant and lively photos…been following everything you guys have been doing, living vicariously and have to say it is beyond amazing to see the things you guys are seeing! So proud of you two. Keep up the amazing work with photos, videos and blogging…we all love it! Be safe! xoxo

    February 22, 2012
  5. Timothy said:

    Any photos of what you wore? Would love to see the Honeytrekkers carnaval costumes!

    It looks like you are all having a blast. Enjoy

    February 22, 2012
    • Thank you all for the lovely comments! Carnaval (all A’s no I’s ; ) is quite the sight, right? As for what we wore Tim, check out these photos on HoneyTrek’s Facebook page below. I wish I could say I rocked that massive sea-creature-umbrella outfit all night, but I spent most of the day in the floral Aladdin hat and 4-ft wide metal pom-pom wings (all previously worn that night by the Sambadromo dancers! They were just throwing these amazing costumes away outside the stadium, can you believe that?). Thanks again for following, more to come!

      February 22, 2012
  6. Ashley Garver said:

    Beam me up Scotty! Anne, I’m sold. Your pictures are fantastic and descriptions captivating. I love seeing the posts to Honey Trek and all of your updates. I feel like I’m right there with you two! Onward!

    February 22, 2012
  7. Lindsey said:

    Beautiful pics- I don’t know what camera you used- but you captured the carnaval so well I want to be there! (and really, really wish I were there!)

    February 22, 2012

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