The Olympics are almost ready to take over Brazil! The Games kick off Friday, August 5th with a calendar of amazing athletic events running until Sunday, August 21st. Can you imagine how samba-licious that Opening Ceremony is going to be or how hot the competition is going to get? Rio 2016 promises to be one of the Games’ most sizzling and sensational editions yet.

Read on to learn how to have the best experience in Rio this summer – from booking to flying back home, we’ve got you covered:

On Your Marks, Get Set, Book!

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First things first: book your flights and accommodation. With the start of the Games now less than a month away, time is definitely of the essence. Be quick, but don’t worry too much. A number of major airlines fly to Rio from several airports in the U.S. – and, indeed, most of the world. And here’s a tip: If you don’t mind missing the beginning or end of the Olympics, you might be able to score a cheaper flight arriving there midway through the Games. Or if you can’t stay well after the Games finish, you might find your return flight costing a lot less than if you leave during or immediately after.

For a Limited Time Only: No Visa Necessary

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Usually visitors from the U.S. must apply and pay (more than $150) for a travel visa when going to Brazil. But to encourage tourism during the Olympics, no visa is required from June 1 to September 18, 2016 for stays up to 90 days.

CoSport, the Official Booking Site

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CoSport is the “Rio 2016 Authorized Ticket Re-seller for the United States” (and most other countries too). For tickets to any event, you need to create an account (it’s free) and browse around for what’s available. As you might expect, many of the most popular events are already fully booked, but there’s plenty still to choose from. Your best bet is to go to ASAP for a look at what you can still attend.

Explore Beyond the Games

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Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of attending the Paralympics (including the writer of this post) knows that they can be just as riveting and exciting as the Olympics (or even more so!), with world-class athletes not only competing against each other but also against their own physical disabilities. This makes for some of the best and most compelling sporting action you can ever expect to witness. The 2016 Paralympics run from September 7 to 18, 2016, also in Rio.

Know Before You Go

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It’s hard to bring up Brazil these days without someone mentioning the Z word. But how much of the talk about Zika hype? The World Health Organization offers some practical and easy to follow advice for travelers to Brazil concerned about Zika. The U.S. Department of State also has a great checklist for folks attending the Olympics with tips about avoiding Zika staying safe in general during the Olympics.

Are you going to the 2016 Olympic Games or planning a sports themed vacation this year? We would love to hear about your plans. Please share in the comments section below!

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About The Author

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, curator, and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world. He's called London home since 2001.