Visit a galpão
Preparations are underway year-round for this festival and it all happens first at the galpãos, the large warehouses where costumes, floats, and giant puppets are designed, built, and stored. A tour is an excellent opportunity to go behind the scenes.
Choose a side and stick to it
The competing performance troupes and their supporters take this seriously, and are even superstitious about switching loyalties, believing bad luck will follow. Caprichoso or Garantido? You decide.
Attend all six major stagings
If you’ve come this far, you should participate in the full event to learn if the judges pick the right winner. No two performances are the same, and there is so much happening on stage simultaneously, repeat viewings will help you pick up on the themes and characters.
Bring your camera
This is a colorful Brazilian festival so it’s photogenic. But, furthermore, there are few people you know who’ve ever captured Boi Bumba on film so be the first.
Parintins is an island city of around 50,000 people near Manuas in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Most travelers arrive by boat, and it’s a multi-day journey to get there. Traditional accommodations are scarce, and the majority of visitors’ sleeping arrangements are hammocks on the boat. There are pousadas in town, but those rooms are snatched up a year in advance. Boi Bumba takes place in the last weekend in June, nominally in honor of St. John’s Feast day.