The Maracanã football stadium was built in 1950 for the World Cup and is the biggest stadium of its kind, holding at one point, before terraces were converted to seating, more than 200,000 fans.
A match at the Maracanã is an exciting experience even for those with little interest in football. The atmosphere in the stadium is alive, with rival fans waving huge silk banners and flags whilst setting off flares and fire works. Chants and samba drums reverberate through the stadium whilst vendors climb through the crowds selling cold beers, popcorn, hats, scarfs and headbands.
If a goal is scored the stadium vibrates with stamping feet whilst Mexican style waves ripple through the supporters. The best matches to watch are those between local Rio sides, Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama or Botafogo which guarantee a good turn out.
The bus that will take you and bring you back from the stadium will stop at hotels across Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon to pick up other guests. The length of the journey to the stadium really does depend on Rio's notorious traffic congestion so you will be collected several hours before the match begins. If the traffic is good, you may arrive at the stadium early. Your group will enter the stadium with your guide where you will be taken to your seats which have been selected to allow good views of the match, and an appreciation of the stadium's atmosphere whilst keeping away from the more hardcore fans who can be a little rowdy.
At the end of the match your guide will wait until the crush to leave has passed before taking you back to the waiting coach.