As some of you may know, this past summer my family went to visit our family in Paraguay, but also spent a few days in Rio De Janeiro for the World Cup. It was awesome!! I really want to go back and have more time to explore. But I wanted to share with you what I did find, and places you absolutely must go to (some are pretty obvious).
1. Cristo Redentor (Christ The Redeemer)
I mean, like I said, pretty obvious. Rio De Janeiro is known for this statue of Jesus Christ, located on the Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park. The statue is 128 ft tall, and is on the peak of the mountain, which is 2,300 ft. up. Oh and it’s also one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World. That’s why this is number one on my list! It really was such an amazing experience.
There are several ways to get up to the mountain. Some people hike or bike up there, which obviously takes hours. I was impressed seeing these people on our drive up – I could never do that! It’s a pretty steep and winding ascent.
We took a shuttle van provided by the Tijuca Forest National Park. It picked us up right in Copacabana where we were staying and took us straight to the statue. There is also a subway-like train that goes up, and winds through the forest. That does sound pretty cool too!
A few tips for when you visit:
- Go around noon or after. Early in the morning there is a lot of fog. You’ll be disappointed if you get up there and you can’t actually see anything!
- If you take the bus, buy your tickets in advance. You still have to wait in a line to pick them up, but the line for buying tickets in person was waaaaaaayyyyyyyy longer.
- Be patient. There are a lot of people up there. You’ll want to take photos of the city below, or you posing with the statue, and you’ll get your change…just be patient.
Here’s a video I took of the view:
2. Pao De Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
Another popular tourist attraction. We did this on our last day, when I was pretty tired already so I feel like I didn’t take it all in as much as I should have. I remember feeling too tired to walk around and really explore the area. Sugarloaf Moutain is 1,299 ft above the water, and you have some great views of the city. It’s well known for the cable cars that you take up to the mountain itself. You take one car halfway, then switch cars and keep going up.
Once you get to the top, they have areas to take photos and take in the scenery. You can also go for walks on trails through a forest area.
The cable cars run every 20 minutes, and the line moved pretty quickly. Same tip as above applies here…go more towards noon time so fog and clouds don’t block your view! Tickets for the cable car are about $30. When you get to the base where you’ll be getting on the first cable car, look up and you’ll see a mountain…and probably some crazy people climbing it!
3. Go Eat!
There are sooooo many great places to eat in Rio, and specifically in Copacabana where we stayed. My recommendation is checking out Boteco Da Garrafa, which I believe has multiple locations, so you can go in Copacabana or go to their location located within the city of Rio. What I loved about Rio was that all the restaurants had mainly outdoor seating. I mean, why not when the weather is 80s year round. We were there during their winter time and it was still 80s! If you’ve never had rodizio, then you have to go to a rodizio grill in Brazil. Try new foods, try new beverages (like guarana!)…oh and definitely try the caipirinhas!
4. Go to a market/fair.
While we were there, we were lucky enough that the once a month Antique Fair in Lapa on Rua Do Lavradio was going on. It occurs on the first Saturday of every month. There were so many artisans and vendors with great crafts. My sister and I were on a budget so it was hard to choose! You can find other markets in Copacabana as well. Take a walk down the famed sidewalk of Copacabana and you’ll be bound to find one on the weekend. Another popular one is the Ipanema Hippie Fair which occurs every Sunday in Rio. This is a great time to find souvenirs to take back home. I also found great items to decorate my apartment with And that’s all that we had the time to do unfortunately. I really wanted to go to Ilha Grande, which is an island off the coast of Rio. Look at how beautiful this looks! Photo Source
The reason we couldn’t go is because it’s a full days excursion, and we tried to pack a lot of stuff into each day. I did find a lagoon that kind of looked like this, but I don’t know what the name was!! It’s by Sugarloaf. We stopped there to get some coconut water and dip our toes into the water. There was paddleboarding too which my sister begged me to do but I thought the water was too chilly. If someone knows where this is, tell me!
Now that I’m writing this post I want to go back there so bad. It really was so beautiful and I know there is so much more I need to see.
If you decide to go, I highly suggest checking out Airbnb. We rented out an apartment which cost us way less than what a hotel one block away from the beach in Copacabana will cost.
Have you been to Rio De Janeiro? Tell me what I need to go do next time!
Where is your favorite place you have traveled to recently?
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