Where to recover after Rio Carnival

You've danced, shimmied, strutted and grooved your way across the Sambodrome. You've made new friends, eaten incredible street food, marvelled at the gorgeous Brazilian dancers and sworn you would go on a diet the minute you get home.

But the Carnival is over. So now what? 

We think you deserve to relax and unwind. And while for many of us this means soaking up the rays on a white sandy beach, it can also mean giving the liver a break and getting out into the great outdoors. 

Here's our list of places you can go to recover, relax, refresh and refuel after the past five days of partying at the biggest party in the world.

Morro De Sao Paulo
If you're not quite ready to hang up your dancing shoes, take a quick flight over to Morro de Sao Paulo in Bahia. It's especially easy to get to if you've spent Carnival in Salvador (as many are starting to do as a way of escaping the Rio crowds). This little village at the northeast end of  Tinharé Island is known for its Ressaca (hangover) parties, and you can pretty much guarantee there's something happening every hour of the day.

It's a tiny slice of heaven, with no traffic except for essential vehicles and the 4x4s owned by the pousadas (guest houses) and airstrips. The beaches are imaginatively named 1st Beach, 2nd Beach, 3rd Beach and 4th Beach. But as a handy guide just remember the lower the number, the closer you are to the action.

Most of the year it's just a tiny fishing village, and it's got some great walking and horseback riding trails. You can also catch a glimpse of gorgeous sunsets and dolphins jumping through the waves.

You'll still get all this during Ressaca, but be prepared to share it with a ton of other revellers, all looking to keep the Carnival party going. There's nightclubs, luaus, bars and live shows. Most of the big parties kick off at midnight, so make sure you've had something to eat beforehand! 

Tijuca National Park
Sweat out the booze and get a fresh perspective on Rio after hiking through the Tijuca National Park. The world's largest urban forest sprawls for 12.5 square miles, and from its 1021m peak you'll have Rio at your feet - Christ the Redeemer, Maracanã stadion, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the 16km bridge over Guanabara Bay to Niterói, Ipanema Beach, Lagoa and Pedra da Gávea. They're all here.

You'll feel your body start to unwind and your lungs fill with fresh air as you admire the hundreds of species of exotic tropical flora and wildlife. Keep an eye out for monkeys, toucans, marmoset, morpho butterflies and more. Birdlovers, see if you can spot the scaled antbird, star-throated antwren, eye-ringed tody-tyrant and red-necked tanager.

Don’t miss Cascatinha Waterfall, Mayrink Chapel and Vista Chinesa. On your way up there's also a stairway carved into the stone that was especially made for the Belgian King Albert 1, a keen mountaineer who visited Rio in 1920. Apparently he never actually used the stairway and preferred to scramble his way up to the top through the natural terrain instead. Sadly, King Albert died while rock climbing in Belgium so....

By now you'll be ready for a proper spot of relaxing. Just three hours from Rio, Paraty is the perfect place. You'll fall in love with its old-world charm and emerald waters. Paraty is so small, it's impossible to get lost. You could spend hours just wandering the 17th century cobblestone streets, where the original paving has been perfectly preserved. Actually, speaking of which you'll need to pack some decent walking shoes because the irregular paving can make it a bit tricky. 

Paraty was built around 1600, but it became popular after gold was discovered in the 1800s. The area prospered after the gold rush, and it became the second most important port in Brazil.

The buildings are so charming, with their chipped white facades highlighted by brightly coloured doorways and shutters. There's also some small art galleries and artisan shops where you can buy stunning handmade jewellery.  

It's a great base to explore beaches like the stunning Trindade. There's plenty of places to go diving and snorkelling, and you can't miss the waterfalls in Andorinhas and Pedra Branca.

Try the locally made cachaça, a sugar cane-based rum. Order a caprihina, a delicious lime and cachaça mix. Kick back and reminisce about your Carnival experience.

Take a look at our Carnival packages, and treat yourself to a post-party recovery when it's over.





Follow Peregrine Adventures