Rio de Janeiro may not be the capital of Brazil, but it’s certainly the place to be. Famous for its laidback beach culture, thriving night life, beautiful landscape, and annual Carnival, you don’t want to pass up experiencing this amazing city! You’re guaranteed to have the experience of a lifetime.
First on the list of must-see Rio attractions is the harbor. The harbor is so unique that it’s actually one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World! Rio’s harbor features a unique entry from the ocean and several distinct geographical locations outdoor adventurers won’t want to miss, including Sugar Loaf Mountains and Corcovado Peak. Trips up Corcovado by train cost about R$43, but the price is worth the view – especially if you want to see the Cristo up close and personal. Sugar Loaf Mountains, or Pão de Açúcar, is comprised of 2 mountains (one taller and one shorter) that make up Brazil’s top landmark. The beautiful view is a truly unique experience, especially at sunset. For the more adventurous travelers, there are also hiking options for both the Sugar Loaf Mountains and Corcovado.
Next stop – downtown! Historic buildings, interesting sights, shopping, and the most delicious food are found in downtown Rio and its surrounding areas. Stop for lunch at one of Rio de Janeiro’s “comida a kilo”, or buffet style, restaurants where you pay by the amount of food on your plate! And it’s not just any ole’ buffet food, it’s authentic and delicious Brazilian food! Be sure to try Brazil’s most famous dish fejoada, a black bean stew filled with sausages, pork, and beef. Yum! Once you’re belly’s full, head over to one of Rio’s many museums and cultural buildings, including The Paco Imperial, Museo Caso do Pontal (collection of local arts and crafts), and even the Museu Carmem Miranda (yes, there is a Carmem Miranda museum!). Don’t forget to grab a trinket or two along the way from one of the many local stores!
Ah, the beaches of Rio. There’s an unbelievable fifteen to choose from, all beautiful (and one is even nude). These Brazilian beaches feature a unique and inviting “beach culture” where you are sure to have some fun in the sun. Catch a wave, rent a beach chair and relax in the sun, or purchase some refreshments from one of the thousands of walking vendors. If you’re unsure which beach location you should visit, the Copacabana (Brazil’s most famous beach) is sure not to disappoint, or you can soak up some rays at Leme beach or Barra da Tijuca. Rio’s beaches and boardwalks are also where you can expect to find some of the best night life.
So grab a towel and a Portuguese language book, bring your appetite and your sense of adventure, and experience Rio de Janeiro!