Rio de Janeiro is one of the World’s true paradises, a city with life, passion, energy, chaos and tranquility, beaches of perfection and one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet. If you haven’t been to Rio yet then I cannot recommend it enough and when you do hit the shores of Rio, here are 4 of the best things you can do in the city.
Christ the Redeemer
One of the World’s most iconic landmarks Christ the Redeemer is an absolute must-visit on a trip to Rio. The 38-metre structure is set on the top of the Corcovado mountain and can be seen from almost all areas of Rio. It is however, up close and personal that is the best way to see this feat of sculpting, from the foot of Corcovado you can take the mountain train up to the peak and stand at the feet of this magnificent statue. The views from the top of Corcovado across the Rio landscape are phenomenal and if you can manage to visit in the late afternoon then you will witness an incredible sunset from one of the best vantage points in the city.
Visit a Favela
Brazilian favelas have gained notoriety for violence, drugs and their gang cultures, in the past there were wars between favelas and daily brutality. Thankfully the Brazilian police have spent time and money on cleaning up the favelas and you can now peacefully walk through them to get a taste of the real Rio de Janeiro. The favelas are not a people-zoo and should not be treated as such, however, these communities have been cleverly constructed by people who were priced out of the property market when Rio boomed. Those who live in the favelas are essentially off-the-grid yet they still manage to create homes, hospitals, schools and have basic infrastructure from transport links to electricity and some even have their own TV stations. The community spirit here is fantastic and many favelas such as Rochina are very welcoming to visitors.
Hit the Beach
Naturally everyone will advise you to ‘hit the beach’ when you are heading to a coastal location but in Rio it is not advisable, it is imperative, particularly the beaches of Ipanema and Copacobana. These beaches have become famous and the reason is that the beaches in Rio aren’t only for visiting, they are where life takes place in Rio. From beach cafes, restaurants, markets, exercise classes, sporting activities and events, beach transport and even a beach school, these shores aren’t just for sunbathers and you should without question spend some time on the iconic beaches.
Climb the Sugarloaf
The sugarloaf is the peak that sits at the end of Ipanema beach and makes up an important part of the iconic Rio skyline. Better still, you can actually take a tour and climb the Sugarloaf, at the top you have unobstructed ocean views on one side, and the Rio shore staring back at you on the other. Climbing the Sugarloaf is part rock-climb part-hike and is suitable for almost all ages and abilities, for the best views of the Rio coastline, head to the Sugarloaf.