THE SOUTHERN AMERICAN SERIES PT5
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
After cruising around some of Brazil’s best beaches and islands, I was finally making my way to Rio for the next 10 days.
I COULD ALMOST PUT RIO IN MY TOP 5 AND I HAD ONLY BEEN HERE A FEW DAYS
From the moment I started planning this I made sure to be here for Xmas, Rio’s party lifestyle is said to be one of the best in the world.
WHERE IS RIO?
Favelas, Christ & Sugarloaf
LEMON SPIRIT HOSTEL
I deliberated for a while where to stay. I always fancied Copacabana but was never fussed by any of the hostels. Ipanema was also an option but again I just wasn’t happy with the choice. Ideally I didn’t want to be as far south as Leblon but Lemon Spirit Hostel was a sure fire winner. In hindsight it was the right choice, purely due to the others who were staying here.
COPACABANA & IPANEMA
The first I met up with Cami who I knew from Sao Paulo, she’s a bit of a traveller herself but has admitted Brazil is where the heart is and I can see why. We met at Pedra do Arpoador which is the rock and meeting point of the two biggest beaches in Rio and two of the most famous beaches in the world. It was my first look at Ipanema and Copacabana and I was shocked at how big it was and how busy. My appetite was well and truly whetted.
Favelas are infamous here in Rio and make up 25% of the city’s population. They are notorious for being dangerous and any tourist or local who lives outside are highly recommended never to visit. However, out of the 1,000 there are only 1 or 2 which are safe enough to host tours. These tours are usually taken by locals who are locally connected with the community and it’s suggested no one goes it alone.
Favelas, Christ & Sugarloaf
We had a tour of Rocinha which isn’t far from Ipanema beach. Having a background in construction I couldn’t help but be wowed by these shanty like towns. I’m very much OCD, where everything has to be in order but I couldn’t help but appreciate the audacity and creativity.
CHRIST THE REDEEMER
Overlooking the entire city of Rio, the state of Christ the Redeemer is one of the modern wonders of the world. You can see it from anywhere in the city and it quite an attraction. I wasn’t entirely so about it being a wonder of the world but its iconic and had to see it.
- Height – 38m
- Construction began – 1922
- 9 years to build (1931)
Myself, James and Gary who I met in Ilha Grande took a trip up to Sugarloaf Mountain, yet another iconic landmark in this city. You could probably understand why I love Rio, there is just so much to do here. Saying that, once you get to the top, it’s a case of having a beer and enjoying the view.
It was finally time to enjoy the beaches here and I needed at least half a chilled day before Christmas tomorrow. So I took to Ipanema to see what all the fuss was about.
I soon learned that working out is part of the culture here, the majority of people are in very good shape. I suppose that would happen in a city you spend half of your time in a bikini or swimming shorts.
After a day chilling out, a few of us from the hostel took to the beach for a few drinks and just sat and chilled. It was the perfect way to start Christmas as these would be as close to family as you’re going to get
- PEOPLE – 8/10
- BACKPACKING – 7.5/10
- SAFETY – 6.5/10
- WEATHER – 85/10
- THINGS TO DO – 8.5/10
- VALUE – 8/10
- HIGHLIGHT – Christmas Eve on the beach
- VISIT AGAIN – Absolutely
- RATING – 8.5/10
I fully expected to enjoy Rio, that’s why I planned to stay here for so long as well as over Xmas but it was exceeding any sort of expectations. Over the next few days, it will take it to an entire new level.
A perfect Christmas Day in Rio. Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you visited Brazil or Rio, what was your experience like?
- Tell me about your highlights.
- Would you recommend anything else?
Let me know in the comments below . . .