Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Category : Travel Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city in Brazil, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado and for Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak with cable cars to its summit. The city is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns). Its raucous Carnival festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba dancers, is considered the world’s largest. Rio was founded in 1565 (Source: Wikipedia)
- Flight duration from Sao Paulo to Rio is 01:20
- A vibrant city with many tourist attractions
- Botafoga is a great residential area for tourists, cheaper than nearby Copacabana (20 minute walk to fort side) and Ipanema, next to Copacabana, approx. 4km from Botafoga. Our Botafoga apartment was within walking distance of the Sugarloaf mountain cablecar station (15 minute walk)
- Botafoga is 20 minute taxi transfer to Corcovado railway station
- Botafogo has the Rio Sul shopping centre with a large variety of shops and restaurants, very convenient
- Christo Rendentor / Christ the Redeemer, an awe-inspiring site. It seems that the statue is small when you see it from different vantage points across the city. However, one is not prepared for the sheer size of the statue when standing on the platform. Christ the Redeemer located at the peak of the 700 metre high Mountain Corcovado. The statue is 39.6 metres high, including the pedestal, is visible from almost anywhere in Rio and has become an icon of Rio and Brazil. A spine chilling moment. Do not miss the visitors centre for snacks, souvenirs as well as a very interactive display explaining the fauna, flora and very sensitive rain forest environment in and around Rio (no charge)
- Copacabana, one of the world’s most famous beaches, approx. 2 miles long, with the distinctive black-and-white checked pattern of Portuguese stone.
- Other beach areas to keep in mind is Leblon, next to Ipanema as well as Leme, between Copacabana and Botafogo. Urca has a small beach, very close the the cable car station and very private since Urca is more a residential then tourist area.
- Great running areas include Cobacabana & Ipanema beach promenades, running around Lagoa (Lake) Rodrigo de Freitas (7.2 km on the walking & cycling path) or alternatively from Botafogo along the shore (Avenue Pasteur, Praia de Botafogo, Avenue Rui Barbosa & Praia de Flamengo
- Escadaria Selerón – Created by Chilean born artist Jorge Seleron. 215 steps from Lapa to Santa Theresa, adorned with colourful mosaics. A colourful symbol of Lapa’s creative and bohemian spirit
- Worth wile to walk around the Lapa area in Centro, visit the unusual ‘Catedral Metropolitana’ with striking stained glass windows in a cathedral with a very unfamiliar shape and style (central business district) Go past the Lapa Aquaduct towards the steps, up to Santa Teresa
- Pao de Açúcar / Sugarloaf Mountain with 2 cable cars to the summit at 396m US $25 per adult. Keep in mind on and off peak days and tickets seem to be cheaper after 15 April till end of season (?). There are shops and restaurants at both the midway station and the top station and the cable car runs into the night, sometimes as late as 23:00
- Strolling along the promenade at Ipanema & Copacabana on a Sunday is very interesting, relaxing and eye opening experience. The locals love the beach and it seems a compulsory activity over weekends. Lots of other sporting activities, beach bars, restaurants, a lot of cycling, running, strolling, walking, rollerblading, etc. Do not forget the caipirinhas
- Corcovado cog train US $20 per adult and a must see experience when visiting Rio
- Good burger without chips & beer / cold drink US $12
- Taxi from International airport to Botafago with 2-3 passengers and luggage, approx. US $20 -$30 one way
- Gelato / ice cream, a must and available everywhere on the promenade. Do not miss the Acai smoothies….utterly delicious
- Average T-shirt US $ 10 at the Hippie Fair Crafts Market on Sundays….on the border between Ipanema and Copacabana. They have lots of other interesting clothing stalls as well as souvenirs, handmade jewelry & other interesting artifacts as well as original arty shift dresses… very eye catching… and beautiful sarongs
- Safety is often a point of concern in Rio, be vigilant and careful as any assertive traveller should be anywhere in the world…I have to say that we did not feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any point in time
- Opened in December 2015, in time for the Rio Olympics in 2016, the Museum of Tomorrow is a science museum built next to the waterfront at Pier Maua. It was designed by Spanish neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava and well worth a visit. Note that this museum is currently close don Mondays. The Olympic Marathon route passed this museum
- You have to ride the tram from Lapa to Santa Teresa….a tram is always fun and we just love the seats that turn around. It is a there and back route, thus at the end of the line they push the lever and the direction of the seats change around and off you go again….
- Last but not least….fabulous lunch at Balada Mix in Copacabana, although there are a few branches across the city. The menu is Contemporary Brazilian & Health food, great selection of salads and freshly pressed juice options among other very tasty alternatives, reasonably priced.
- Rio has a lot of soul and lots to see and do….contact me for any further information, travel tips and reservations.