Rio De Janeiro, a city that proverbially doesn’t sleep. We took a coach to travel from Sao Paulo to Rio. Review of that journey can be read here. Fortunately, we managed an apartment right at Copacabana beach here for four days. This was really helpful as Rio is a very big city and every evening people end up congregating in & around Copacabana only. We spent four complete days here and are still yearning for more. Here are few places we went to during our memorable stay at Rio:
Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)
On a clear day, Christ the Redeemer is visible from most parts of Rio. An iconic symbol of the city, it is one of those monuments that is as grand in person as it is in a picture. It is situated atop Corvocado mountain in Tijuca National Park. As we were staying at Copacabana, we used official bus of Tijuca National Park leaving from Praca De Lido (right next to our apartment) to visit Christ monument. Cost of return journey is R$ 56 pp and also includes entry ticket at the top. While one can take train as well to the top from mountain base, we found that using dedicated bus was a better option.
We reached at the statue in about 45 minutes and were treated to unforgettable views of the city. After clicking numerous pictures, we also managed Facetime with folks back at home to give them a virtual tour thanks to free Wifi sponsored by Hyundai.
Another iconic sight of Rio, it’s a mountain that provides a different perspective of the city from top. The view from here looks into the city from the sea. There is a ropeway to go at the top but for us it felt like a tourist trap. Return ropeway ticket costs R$ 76 pp and its just about 6 minutes ride to the top. Instead, we recommend Claudio Coutinho Trail.
Both these beaches are adjacent to each other & are in South of Rio. They are really developed and huge. There is much to do on these beaches namely, exhibitions, games in sand, dip in water etc. that spending days here is easy. During our stay at Rio, we went to Copacabana daily. Food is costly right at the beach and there are various vendors selling all kinds of trinkets. This is also a place where you will find travel agents if you want to book some day trips. There are number of other beaches as well like Tijuca, Flamengo etc. but Copacabana & Ipanema captures Rio perfectly with their vibes.
Rodrigo De Freitas Lagoon
We went to lagoon for a small picnic and also to escape the tourists at other more famous sights in the city. This place is only frequented by locals. It was surreal to observe many Brazilians doing Yoga around the lagoon. In the evening, there are various waterfront clubs and restaurants that come alive and create a party atmosphere around the place.
This is essentially a rock formation that juts out into the Atlantic. With its unique alignment, it is the best place to see sunset in Rio. There are vendors available selling you beer & other beverages. So sip on and enjoy the view.
- Visit Christ the Redeemer only on a clear day. Check weather at ticket station near base.
- Observe standard safety protocol like no SLRs in neck everywhere in Rio.
- Do not miss Caipirinha – Brazilian National Drink made from Cachaca, a sugarcane spirit.
- Food becomes almost 30% cheaper just one block from beach. So walk & save those Dollars.
- Always bargain. Brazilians don’t mind it neither do we!!