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Festival travel: Escape from Fresno to Rio de Janeiro for Rock in Rio

Rio de Janeiro certainly knows how to party. But, few events hit the Brazilian city like Rock in Rio, one of the world's largest music festivals. If you're looking to anchor a South American getaway, this year's Rock in Rio festival takes place on Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 3-6.

Spread over the 1.18 million square meters of Barra Olympic Park, Rock in Rio features some of the top names across global musical genres. Headliners this year include Drake, Ellie Goulding, Foo Fighters and Sepultura.

As soon as the music stops, however, Rio beckons visitors, teeming with mountains, beaches and vibrant streetscapes.

It’s more feasible than you might think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are loads of flights from Fresno to Rio de Janeiro in that time frame, and the prices aren't too shabby.

So, if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your radar. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

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Flight deals to Rio 

Currently, the cheapest flights between Fresno and Rio de Janeiro are if you leave on Sept. 27 and return from Brazil on Oct. 4. Copa currently has tickets for $998, roundtrip.

Top accommodations

To help plan your stay, here are some of Rio's top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do and customer satisfaction.

JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro (Avenida Atlantica, 2600)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to treat yourself, consider JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro. The hotel has a 4.8-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $321/night.

JW Marriott has everything one would expect from a five-star hotel and more, from a gym and swimming pool to rooms equipped with all modern conveniences, not to mention unrivaled views of Copacabana beach from the rooftop.

Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery by Sofitel (Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

There's also the 4.5-star rated Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery by Sofitel, which has rooms currently set at $350/night.

"Probably the most beautiful hotel in Rio that isn't on or near the beach. Santa Teresa is a wonderful neighborhood (one that admittedly feels more like Portugal than Brazil); if you don't stay here, at least take in a panorama from the rooftop," wrote visitor Robert.

Belmond Copacabana Palace (Avenida Atlantica, 1702)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to splurge on top quality, there's Belmond Copacabana Palace, which has rooms currently going for $662/night. With a 4.5-star rating on Skyscanner, the hotel is one of the most luxurious in the city.

Settled in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, this hotel is close to Copacabana Beach and Avenida Atlantica, as well as Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Featured restaurants

If you're looking to snag a bite at one of the city's many quality eateries, here are a few notable culinary destinations from Skyscanner's listings that will help keep you satiated.

Rio Scenarium Pavilhão da Cultura (R. do Lavradio)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First things first: where to get a drink. For a popular option, check out Rio Scenarium Pavilhão da Cultura, which has an average of 4.7 stars out of 29 reviews on Skyscanner.

"This place is perfect for a drink and some food while listening to good music, because they often have live music," wrote visitor Charissa. "Definitely try their sandwich with filet mignon, cheese and pineapple."

Confeitaria Colombo (R. Gonçalves Dias)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Don't forget the other essentials: where to satisfy your sweet tooth. For a popular option, check out Confeitaria Colombo, with 4.7 stars from 24 reviews.

"If you come to the old city centre, make sure you come and have something sweet at Confeitaria Colombo," wrote visitor Monique. "This is old-school Rio glamour, with beautiful old mirrors and amazing sweets. A little piece of the past, tucked away amongst the busy streets."

Restaurante Cervantes (Av. Prado Júnior)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a solid place to grab a drink, plan to visit Restaurante Cervantes.

"This is another one of Copacabana’s most well-known foodie hideouts," wrote Max. "The sandwiches here are truly awesome, and are a great way of curing those inevitable Rio hangovers."

Top attractions

To round out your trip, Rio de Janeiro offers plenty of popular attractions worth visiting. Here are some top recommendations, based on Skyscanner's descriptions and reviews.

Christ the Redeemer (Parque Nacional da Tijuca Alto da Boa Vista)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

The top-rated visitor attraction in Rio De Janeiro, according to Skyscanner, is Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor).

Christ the Redeemer, the largest Art Deco statue in the world, is the ubiquitous symbol of Brazil, standing at 130 feet tall on the peak of Corcovado Mountain.

"This is a must in Rio! The view from the top is just marvelous, but it must be a clear sky to be able to see best," wrote visitor Maria. "Do not take a van or taxi up. The ride up by the tram is part of the experience. Best seats are on the right-hand side."

Sugar Loaf Cable Car (Av. Pasteur)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Sugar Loaf Cable Car is another popular destination.

Sugar Loaf is one of Rio's iconic sights, offering a dramatic view of the mountains and bay below. Coconuts and juice are for sale, perfect for calming the nerves after the dizzying ride on the bodinho (funicular) that ports visitors to the peak.

"Incredibly rewarding hike up Sugar Loaf mountain," wrote visitor Darci. "The view is incredible, and there [are] lots of [opportunities] for pictures, and to see over all of Rio."

Copacabana Beach (Av. Atlantica Copacabana)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Lastly, consider checking out Copacabana Beach.

The vibe at Copacabana beach has little to do with the cheesy strains of the Barry Manilow song — instead, guests will encounter jutting mountains, drum circles, a strong surf, beachfront restaurants serving caipirinhas and the distinctive mosaic sidewalks.

"Beautiful beach," wrote visitor Charissa. "[A] must-see when in Rio. There are artists, markets and plenty of beach bars nearby."


This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.