Ten Must-Do things in Rio de Janeiro
I honor of Carnaval season in Brazil being underway…
…besides the massive block parties that happen ALL the time during the month of February and sometimes into March (which you can see above from last year’s Carnaval)..here is a list of my favorite things to do in Rio if you get a chance to get away from all the madness for a few minutes!
1: Dos Irmaos Hike: I’ve posted about this hike before and I will continue to write about it for many reasons, the most important being it’s not only a hike but a cultural experience as well. To get to the top of the famous Dos Irmaos, the two famous mountains you usually see when looking at pictures of Rio, it takes several forms of transportation, which in turn gets you to see many different parts and neighborhoods of Rio. You take a taxi, and then hire a motorbike to take you through the favela, then you hike through someone’s yard, and bam, then you get to the bottom of the trailhead. The total of the hike takes about 45 minutes to an hour once you’re at the bottom of the trail. If it’s a warm day be sure to pack some water!
2: Cervantes Deli in Copacabana: Known for their pineapple and steak sandwiche. This place is a traditional sandwich places that is always packed no matter what hour of the day. The waiters are friendly and the service is very fast.
3: Santa Teresa: This neighborhood is located up on a hillside near the Selaron Steps. It’s a very bohemian laidback neighborhood up on top of Rio. I used to go up here on Sundays and have some beers at a café and just relax with good people and good live music. You can spend some time walking around awing at the hillside homes.
4: Lapa: This is for the nightlife that you’ve heard about in Rio. Lapa is the place to go. Drink beer and capirinhas in the street and dance the samba until the sun comes out.
5: Churrasco: If you’re in Brazil you must go to a churrasco! These are restaurants where you pay a flat fee and they serve you endless grilled meats until you can’t move. Indulge.
6: The Cristo: Everyone has to do this. I know it’s touristy but once you’re up there you won’t believe how massive the cristo actually is, it’s mind blowing.
7: Ipanema beach: Hands down the best beach in Rio. It’s always a good time and will NEVER disappoint. You’re bound to run into some guys in their songas juggling a soccer ball, a group of four bare-bummed ladies whipping their perfect brown hair around and lots and lots of Capirinhas!
Best Day Trips:
8: Buzios: This is known as the hamptons of Brazil. Buzios is the ultra chic beach town located about two hours north of Rio. You can live it up and stay at a villa on the beach or find hostels for around ten bucks a night. Either way it’s worth a trip.
9: Ilha Grande: Oh Ilha Grande…I will be kicking myself until I return to Brazil that I never made it here. Let the pictures do this island paradise justice. This rustic island is very much just that, rustic and pristine.
10: Florianopolis: Finally, Floripa. This is a little more than a day trip from Rio. It’s either an hour plane ride or a 10-hour bus ride from Rio. However this Southern Brazil beach town does not get enough attention from people in the U.S. The perfect beach getaway nestled in this cute beach town with endless white beaches and water activities. Very reasonable prices as well.