Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog› entry 35 of 35 › view all entries
Rio. Wow. This place had certainly been built up for us - and it lived up to it every bit.
We stayed in Ipanema beach (after hearing from every single person who stayed in Copocabana that they had been robbed). Ipanema beach is where the young beautifup people come to sun themselves.. they lived excatly up to the brazilian reputation here.. girl in dental floss bikinis and guys in short shorts. You could easily pick the tourists cause they didnt have as skimpy swimmers on. We drank caparinhas and beer and ate hot corn and Acai, a traditional brazilian cold snack made from beans from the amazon, and even went shopping all from the comfort of our spot on the beach. Every day was blue sky and warm so we enjoyed the beach alot but also managed to catch a few sites.
The most famous tourist attraction is the Christ de Redemmer which overlooks the city. There was absolutely a million people there (check out the pics) and we werent even there in the most popular time of day. However the view was spectacular and wecould see all of Copocabana and Ipanema beach even through the city haze... everyone was trying to get the perfect picture of christ but i think he was too big to manage at over 30m high. Another great view was from Sugar Loaf mountain which we managed to visit at sunset. you catch tow cable car to get up to a perch on a huge rock overlooking copacaban a beach and with a great view to the christ statue high over Rio.
The city tour also took us to the infamous rio football stadium where we visited the hall of fame where pele and ronaldos feet were moulded in the concrete and also to the main Carnivale street which is built just for the 4 days in february when Carnivale is in action.
I think the most amazing thing we did was go on a favela tour (of the slums in Rio). there are about 200 slums in Rio alone and many more in Sao Paulo and the other big cities; where people dont pay tax and only pay for electricity and water (they cheat a bit there too by hooking into the line for free). Its usually very dangerous to go in the favelas but this tour company takes you on a tour right through it. The favela was on a big hill just next to a really rich area of rio; we started by taking a motor bike taxi all the way to the to top (oh my god!) and then walking back down through. The place is controlled by drug dealers so there are signs eveywhere showing which group is in charge of the area. There are guys controlling every entrance to the favela and if police come in they single everyone by letting off fireworks.
Back in Ipanema we stayed in a little alley which lots of houses facing each other which had all been turned into hostels. It was a really cute and relaxing place to stay probably one of the best on our trip but expensive compared to the rest of brazil at 40 reals per night (but thats the norm for ipanema).
So after Iberia cancelled our tickets causing a bit of a run around the day before our flight, we came to the end of our South American adventure. A great experience, now I´m just wondering when we will be able to go back to see all the places we missed?