Ah, Rio. Take a perfect seaside spot, backed up by wavering mountains. Plant Christ the Redeemer on a hill to look over it all, and fill in the gaps with a city so steeped in passion that leaving seems to turn everything from a vivid technicolor to faded pastel whites.
You’ll certainly have heard of one Rio party, but the Carnival’s hardly the only occasion for a mammoth celebration. While the years big event sees dancers strut like peacocks down the main roads, prices soar and locals fight for window space overlooking it all, the dancing continues on a smaller scale year round, with ‘samba circles’ livening up the evenings and Saturday night parties on the beach keeping the fun flowing faster that the caipirinha’s.
It’s easy to become a beach bum here, spending your days kicking around a football and chilling with the well-tanned locals, but you’d be missing the charms of the city. A climb up Sugar Loaf Mountain to stare down over it all is a must, as is a tour of the city’s many art galleries, which feature the works of astonishing local artists.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Rio without all that natural beauty, too, and you can explore that in scaling the face of the Sugar Loaf attached to a harness, surfing the breaks of Rio’s beaches, drifting idly through the dense jungles and checking out the diversity of the wildlife or even heading out to sea on a chartered yacht and swimming in the deep blue.
Check out the Parque Lage, an impressive public park centered around an ornate mansion just under that iconic statue, soak up the pricy vibe of the flush Copacabana district, watch a soccer game amongst 200,000 spectators at the Maracana Football Stadium, or tour the tiny green castle of Fiscal Island.
There’s so much to see and do here that you’ll find yourself cramming in plans for the day, then falling in love with every place you go. Soak up the atmosphere and color of a city of passion and you won’t be disappointed.
Make sure you try the cheese on a stick cooked in front of you on the beach, yummy!!! The beach vendors also have some really good shrimp, a great place to indulge in food, wine and endless fun.
Take the ferry from Rio into Niteroi. Niteroi offers the beaches of Rio without all of the congestion. The locals say the best thing about Niteroi is the view of Rio across the bay.
Itacoatiara, which can be reached by bus number 38. It is considered a surfer's paradise (actually it takes part of a world circuit of Surfer's Competition). Expect a young and beautiful crow…