Rio de Janeiro's African heritage is reflected in its streets and, of course, in the city's famous carnival. Discover this legacy when you take our fantastic tour, which is absolutely free!
Free Carnival and Afro Culture Tour in Rio
Geography says the Atlantic Ocean separates Africa from Brazil. However, the music, architecture, and art of Rio all suggest the opposite. We will meet in front of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro at 2:15 pm to start our amazing free tour of the city's African cultural heritage.
First, we take the municipal tram to Rio's port area, stopping at Praça Máua square, where you will encounter the elegant avant-garde architecture of the Museum of Tomorrow. This state-of-the-art building, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, points to the future of the city, whilst maintaining its African roots, which is essential to understanding the history of Rio.
We will continue our free tour of Rio crossing the Largo de São Francisco da Prainha square in the direction of Pedra do Sal Colombo (the Rock of Salt). This is the site of an ancient Quilombo village founded by people of African origin, which is located in the Saúde district which is also known as Little Africa. Here, you will see some colorful graffiti wall art which pays homage to the city's African roots. In this are too, you will feel the rhythms and the magic of carnival.
Rio's Africa Origins are also very evident in Valongo Wharf, where you will encounter a wonderful monument which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the only vestige to the arrival of black slaves to America. Closeby, we will admire the famous Ethnicities Mural by Eduardo Kobra: a gigantic mural artwork which represents the union between the city's different ethnic groups.
At 4:15 pm, our free tour of Rio concludes at the Olympic Boulevard, which was built for the 2016 games. As we make our way there, we will hear some amazing anecdotes about how the city's African roots have influenced the popular Rio carnival.
Visit a samba school
At the end of this free tour, you will have a chance to visit a famous samba school in Rio. In this center, you will get up close to the colorful costumes of the carnival dancers. You will also learn some dance steps and taste a traditional caipirinha.
If you choose to visit this samba school the fee is 75 Brazilian reais per person (18 euros, approx.).
- Our free tour does not accept reservations for groups of more than 6 people. If you are a part of a larger group, you can choose our private tour of Rio de Janeiro.
- Children under the age of 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
- During the tour, we will not be entering any monument or museum which requires payment, however, we will visit their exterior grounds.
- The tickets for the public transport in Rio de Janeiro are not included in this free tour.
All of our providers comply with local legislation and applicable health recommendations regarding protection and safety, to help avoid the spread of Covid-19. Specifically, the provider of this tour will apply the following measures:
- A safe distance of one metre between clients will be maintained whenever possible.
- The use of masks is obligatory. The client must bring their own mask.
- All those running the service (guide, driver etc...) will wear a mask throughout its duration.
- Handing out of printed material such as maps or brochures will be avoided.
- Showing your voucher on your phone will be enough, and it is not necessary to print anything.
- Alcoholic drinks are not available.
Free tours do not have a fixed price, rather each person offers the guide the amount they consider appropriate, depending on their level of satisfaction.
The activity takes place with a guide that speaks in english.
English speaking guide specializing in the history of Rio de Janeiro.
Tickets for public transport (from 4.30 Brazilian Reales; €1 euro approx, $1 USD approx.).
Optional ticket for the Samba school (75 Brazilian Reales; €18 approx.).
When to book?
You can book up until 12 hours before the activity as long as there are still places. Book now to guarantee your spot.
Show the voucher on your phone to take part in the activity.
Frequently asked questions
Q - How to book?
A - To reserve the activity, choose the date and complete the form on this page. You will receive your confirmation immediately.
Q - Is a minimum number of participants required?
A - This activity requires a minimum of 2 participants. Should this number not be reached, we'll get in touch with you to offer alternatives.
If you have any other questions please contact us.
If you are not able to attend the tour, please cancel your reservation, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Río de Janeiro Municipal Theatre