Banda de Ipanema has heralded an unofficial (read three weeks early) start to Carnival since 1964 and always gets the hoards mobilised. Starting next to Praça General Osório, the madding crowd dances along the beach road Avenida Viera Souto until Rua Joana Angelica, where the band makes a right before doubling back on Visconde de Pirajá and coming to a rest once more at General Osório. If you still have the juice, return for the big one on the Saturday of carnival itself, but regardless of when you make it down there'll be cross-dressing, fancy-dressing and under-dressing galore, so make an effort and go with the flow.
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Bloco Banda de Ipanema
Rua Gomes Carneiro, Ipanema
Metrô General Osório
Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors
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