With temperatures soaring to as high as 40 degrees, the perfect trip can be planned to Rio De Janeiro, complete with a pack of sunscreen and plenty of water. With its vibrant culture, this seaside city impresses with its modern outlook. Its beautiful rain forests, gardens, beaches, carnivals and tourist spots have made Rio Brazil’s top-notch tourist destination.
Things to do in Rio De Janeiro
1. Party at the world-famous Carnival
With a one-week duration, the Carnival at Rio occurs in February or March. One can find the streets lined up with hundreds of street parties, wherein colourful fancy dresses are more than welcome. The night can be reserved for visiting the Sambadrome, where Rio’s biggest samba schools compete to be crowned the Carnival Champion/
2. Dance to Samba at Pedro De Sal
Once a shelter for escaped and free slaves, the streets of Saude are full of live Samba bands known as ‘Rodas de Samba’, which provide the perfect backdrop for people to dance rhythmically and sip caipirinhas. Pedro De Sal is one of the most traditional Samba events of Brazil, known popularly as the ‘birthplace of Samba’.
3. Hike up the Pedra do Telegrafo
Pedra do Telegrafo, one of the most famous viewpoints in Rio, provides a platform for visitors to take breath-taking panoramic shots and seemingly death-defying photos. This easy hike is found in Barra De Guaratiba, a small fishing neighbourhood located on the outskirts of Rio.
4. Plunge into the cold waters of the Cachoeira Do Horto
The Cachoeira Do Horto waterfall requires one to take a 15-minute hike from the main road. Providing an unspoilt natural backdrop, this waterfall gives a chance to unravel under its cool, calming water. It is located in the Tijuca forest and is sheltered under a canopy of trees.
5. Stand-up Paddle to Ilhas Tijucas
A hub for turtle sightings, stand-up paddling to the Ilhas Tijucas island makes up an amazingly fun activity. One just needs to hire a surfing board from Barra da Tijuca and stand-up paddle across the ocean! Some experience in stand-up paddling can prove to be beneficial, especially if the water is choppy.
Sightseeing in Rio De Janeiro
1. Maracana Football Stadium
Known popularly as the ‘Mecca of Football’, the Maracana Football Stadium was the largest football stadium until recently. Host for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, this stadium is a must-visit for fans of legends like Ronaldo and Pele. It encompasses the capacity to hold 1,00,000 excited fans!
2. Rodrigo De Freitas Lagoon
This lagoon-cum-district is more of a Christmas attraction, when a special Christmas tree can be seen erected over a floating platform, moving about in the water. This place is also favourable if one is travelling with children, as it harbours free sports courts, nautical sports facilities and so on. Other entertainment options include quality hotels and restaurants.
3. Samba City (Cidade Do Samba)
Located in the adjoining town of Gamboa, this city is the sacred birthplace of Carioca Samba. This architectural addition arose to acknowledge the ancestral dance of Samba, which came from Africa.
4. Sugarloaf Cable Car
One of the oldest Cable Cars in the world and the first in Brazil, Sugarloaf travels through three stations: Praia Vermelha, Morro da Urca and Pao de Acucar. Celebrities like Ronaldinho and Brooke Shields have travelled through these cable cars, along with millions of tourists every year.
5. Santa Teresa
A perfect blend of culture and architecture, Santa Teresa is standing proof that Brazil is more than just beaches and football. One can idly cycle through the cobblestone streets, visit the Ruins Park and behold the legendary Selaron Staircase while moving downhill. The hilly setting provides breath-taking views, which can be enjoyed through a tram ride around the Santa Teresa neighbourhood.
6. Christ the Redeemer
An addition to the Seven Wonders of the World, this colossal statue is one of the most famous tourist points in Rio. Initially, reaching the statue located on top of a mountain required one to climb nearly 220 steps; however, it can be reached by a 20-minute Tram or car ride now. This imposing structure provides a panoramic view of Rio.
Best Time to Visit Rio De Janeiro
The period between December and March is perfect for visiting Rio, with the weather warm and sunny enough for enjoying the beaches and clicking beautiful pictures. Visiting in the months of February or March provide an opportunity to witness the world-famous Rio Carnival.
These few months i.e. Rio’s summer months count as peak season, with almost two million people flocking to Rio to celebrate the New Year’s. Ironically, this period also witnesses the most rainfall, so keep your umbrellas handy! Revellion (New Year’s Eve) and the Carnival are organized within these months, which also attracts tourists.
Accommodation and flight rates are expected to soar during this time, but it is all worth it when it comes to enjoying the rich culture of Rio.
Rio De Janeiro Nightlife and Bar Culture
One more thing that Rio is well known for is its classic bar culture, which provides one an opportunity to hang out in local bars, sip local beers or enjoy a finely-crafted Caipirinha. The following bars and restaurants are must-visits:
1. Palaphita Kitch
Palaphita Kitch provides a wide range of cocktails. An open-air bar, it is located next to a beautiful lake, decorated with bamboo furniture and flickering torches.
2. Bar Urca
Founded in 1939, Bar Urca continues to be famous for its special Cachacas and amazing seafood. It’s speciality includes Monique’s fish stew, and special dishes for kids.
A hotspot for casual mingling, Comuna is famous for its homemade burgers and beers. It is also a famous host for pop-up art shows and fashion events.
4. Bar Astor
A sophisticated beach bar, the glass walls of Bar Astor’s glass walls provide an amazing view of Ipanema Beach. Their signature drinks include five variations of gin and tonic, along with a modern take on Brazilian cuisine.
A beautiful, vibrant city- Rio provides the complete package for those willing to step into a comfortable, casual culture of carnivals and glowing festivals. The city appeals to both children and adults, with its collective love for football, beautiful scenery and brilliant architecture. Visit Rio for a series of celebrations, set against the backdrop of a vibrant culture!