In our last post we introduced you to Recife in the north of Brazil… now we introduce you to Rio de Janeiro!
The city is known (and visited more often) for the carnival season in February/March, however you can still feel the energy out-with!
Our visit started with a short walk to our hostel but with a unwelcome surprise. A man with some washing up liquid and a toothbrush squirted tomato ketchup on Nadines’ shoe and leg. Now this was a surprise to both of us, leaving us stunned until we both realised this was a tourist scam. We speak no Portuguese so communication was impossible… our saving grace was a taxi driver. We paid our cash, made sure we got the change and continued our short walk. Genuinely, not the greatest start and a lesson learned.
We decided to have a crack at the Christ the Redeemer Statue and the Sugarloaf Mountain in the same day – two things that are definitely on the to do list!
To get to the statue, we recommend the train leaving from Corovado Train Station which crawls up the jungle with some views along the way. This costs R$62 for the return journey and entrance to the statue
Sugarloaf mountain is accessible by two cable cars from… this costs R$99 (£20) per person. Price includes a museum and exhibitions at each stop with the chance of meeting some monkeys!
– Yep, Nadine was as terrified as me behind the camera. Do not eat in front of monkeys.
Our view at the top was in the clouds and we were blown away. You might want to pack a jumper for the top, it is breezy.
There is also the opportunity to walk amongst the rainforest, stop and eat some lunch or grab a drink at the bar.
Did you know that the top of Sugarloaf mountain is being used for rainforest conservation?
Plant species in danger of extinction are being reintroduced in special plots at the top of the Sugarloaf making it a great place for nature lovers.
Copacabana Beach has its own song and musical, however check the weather. We went for two hours at the most before the rain made us cold. The beach is well maintained and looked after, definitely a place to visit when the temperature is up and the sun is shining.
We set up camp with a bar stall. Two deck chairs cost R$10 for the whole day with table service for food and drinks.
Nightlife in Rio is something you have to experience! Our hostel was in Lapa, the central area in Rio, and just across the road was a line of bars and a busy club on the corner.
On our last night, we visited a amazing restaurant and had a wonderful meal. Susannah had salmon for the first time outside of Scotland and Nadine had some chicken with spiced rice. This was the first time since we arrived, that we had the Brazilian cocktail – Caipirinha.
Rio de Janeiro is probably a city you could visit for 4 days at the most without being stuck for things to do. A friend at our hostel gave these 5 local suggestions:
1. Museum of art “art festivals and exhibitions”
2. The big graffiti America Latina on “botanical gardens” jardin botanica
3. Christ the Redeemer statue
4. Pedra do Sol. Every Monday live samba music. Enjoy your night with samba dancing and some food from local stalls. The birth place of samba.
5. Pedra de Gambia Rio – mountain
Our Tip for Rio:
Have freshly made juices at one of the plenty fruit bars in town.