Carnival and Mardi Gras Hot Spots Make Great Trip Destinations Year-round

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Mardi Gras Shines a Special Spotlight but Experiences from make New Orleans, Rio and Venice Great for a Getaway, Parade or Not

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Venetian Masks Commemorate Carnival during a Tour with

As the peak of the carnival season approaches with its culmination landing on March 8 -- Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday -- a few destinations around the world bring the pre-Lenten celebration to a fever-pitch. For travelers hoping to experience the height of the party or those inspired to visit during a less active time, the leading resource for researching and booking nearly 6,000 trip activities and experiences at the best prices is highlighting a few carnival hot spots to inspire travelers any time of year.

New Orleans, Louisiana – This unique southern U.S. destination boasts a party-vibe 365 days a year. Any traveler who may want to bypass the large crowds that hit Bourbon Street and the French Quarter during Mardi Gras will still get their fair share of Cajun celebration any time they plan a visit. Great ways to experience this U.S. Mardi Gras capital include:

  •     The Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise features the ‘Dukes of Dixieland’ band, breathtaking views of the city and casual buffet-style dining
  •     With food as much a part of the culture as music, the entertaining and educational New Orleans Cooking Class gives travelers skills to create local specialties like Gumbo and Jambalaya
  •     Including a behind-the-scenes look into NOLA’s oldest restaurant, the New Orleans Original Cocktail Walking Tour helps set the nighttime agenda for the rest of the trip
  •     The Crescent City Nights Walking Tour is an exploration of New Orleans at night, with dinner at Tujagues Restaurant, jazz on Bourbon Street and beignets at Café Du Monde
  •     The New Orleans Power Pass™ is a great value for independent travelers with a combined value of over $500 in admission fees for attractions throughout the city

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – While New Orleans is well known for their parades, Rio’s variety comes complete with marching Samba Schools, often made up of thousands of fully-costumed samba performers, dancing the night away. From rain forests to beautiful beaches, Rio is an exciting destination for travelers year-round:

  •     Speaking of dancing, the Plataforma Samba Show exposes travelers to the exotic glitz and glamour of Rio’s colorful samba culture
  •     Visit a South American icon during the Corcovado Mountain, Christ Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain Day Tour, with a cable car ride and cog train excursion through Tijuca Rain Forest
  •     To experience Brazil’s unique ecosystem, a remarkable contrast to the big city, the Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro provides opportunities to spot indigenous wildlife and tropical flora
  •     The Rio de Janeiro Full Day Tropical Islands Tour and Sepetiba Bay Cruise including Lunch includes a visit to a secluded island for a private swim, a schooner cruise and a ride through the city’s residential neighborhoods
  •     The Rio de Janeiro Half-Day Walking Tour is a four-hour expertly guided exploration of the city’s historic architecture and famous landmarks

Venice, Italy – In the early days of this beautiful city’s commemoration of Carnival, all types of people joined together in celebration, keeping their identities hidden by their intricate and ornate masks. Beautiful souvenirs to bring home any time of year, the masks of Carnival are illustrative of the amazing beauty of this Italian city.

  •     Skip the Line: Venice in One Day is a great way for travelers to see Venice in a short period of time, cruise the canal and skip the line at St. Mark’s Basilica
  •     For a leisurely and often romantic adventure, the Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade represents a quintessential Venice experience (which often sells out well in advance)
  •     The Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour is one of the best ways to explore the city built on water, to learn the history of the historic destination from the perspective of the canal
  •     To view the most splendidly decorated rooms of what used to be 'the brain' that governed the Republic of Venice, the Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with Doges Palace is ideal
  •     Explore the backstreets of Venice as a local not a visitor, and, through the lens of a camera during the Venice Photography Walking Tour: A Day in Life of Venice

For more travel inspiration as well as the latest news, special promotions, deals, contests and suggestions, travelers can visit the Viator Travel Blog ( as well as Twitter (ViatorTravel) and Facebook (ViatorTours).

About Viator
Viator is the world's leading online resource for travel experiences, providing access to nearly 6,000 tours, attractions and activities in 450-plus destinations in 75 countries. Viator - the Latin word for traveler - offers travelers a one-stop shop to plan, research and book trip activities with helpful resources like close to 250,000 traveler reviews and photos, star ratings, suggested itineraries and the Viator Travel Blog. Viator's in-house travel experts have picked respected and trusted local operators to ensure a quality experience, value and service, all backed by Viator's low-price guarantee. Founded in 1995, Viator sells its products directly to consumers and through its global network of more than 1,000 affiliates that include major hotel and airline companies, online travel agencies, city-specific sites and more. Through its collection of company operated and affiliated sites, including seven European-language sites and a Japanese site, Viator welcomes more than 2.5 million visitors per month. Viator is headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices in Sydney, London and Las Vegas.

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