For different reasons, the beginning of my stay in Rio was sad. What it is important here is that my little camera, which was supposed to visit Rio with me, broke down so the big camera stayed at the hostel and I had to use my phone for the pictures (which I hate! 🙁 ).
Rio de Janeiro is a huge city with many sights which can keep you busy for a week or more. If you are short of time, these are my two MUSTS of any visit to Rio:
1- People watching on the beach. Rio has maybe the two most famous beaches on this Planet and even if I am not a “beach person” I could not miss that. Shorts, T shirt, sunglasses and havaianas on, I walked along Copacabana and Ipanema many times in different hours. Runners, street sellers, tourists, bathers, surfers . . these beaches are a SHOW, a place to see and to be seen. On Saturday evening some beach bars in Copacabana propose life music and it is nice to stop, take a seat and listen to some samba and bossanova while drinking your favorite cocktail or beer. But even if there is no music, sunset watching with a caipirinha is always nice in Copacabana.
2- See Rio from ABOVE ! Dario Moreno said it in his song: “si tu vas à Rio n’oublies pas de monter là haut”. The best views of Rio are from Corcovado and Pao de Açucar, especially in the afternoon and sunset. After a failed attempt on Corcovado (the mist was so thick that it was impossible to see the bay), I decided to join a tour to visit Corcovado (again) and Pao de Açucar. Being in a private tour with a private transportation, I felt confident to take the big camera so I was also happier 🙂
We left the hostel early in the afternoon and the weather did not look very promising but when we arrived on the top of Corcovado the sun appeared and I could (finally!) enjoy the most amazing panorama of Rio.
And visiting Pao de Açucar at sunset was just magical 🙂
After some days in Ilha Grande and Paraty I came back to Rio to take my flight to Iguaçu. My stay in Rio and Rio State was so nice that I was sad to leave this crazy city. After some days in Rio, we are all a little bit more Cariocas.
My Tips :
El Misti Copacabana (the one located at Rua Silva Castro): super well located close to Copacabana beach, it has a cool staff and super breakfast and a small bar with good caipirinhas. They also prepare dinner for 18RS, perfect for me because like this I did not need to go out alone at night;
Rio’s international Airport was really disorganized and I had to queue for 1 hour only to reach the check in /baggage drop counter (traveling with TAM). If you are flying from this airport, take your time;
Corcovado, located in Tijiuca rain forest, is often hidden in the mist. Before going up to Corcovado check if you can see the Christ Redemeer from the city centre. If he is “disappeared”, postpone your climb to Corcovado.
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About WORLD TRIP PLANNER
Quirky explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, I am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to help you plan your dream World Tour!