There are three things that first strike you about Rio de Janeiro: the beaches, the beaches, the beaches. Yes, at Rio de Janeiro’s heart is the beautiful Guanabara Bay, the majestic bulk of Sugar Loaf Mountain rising to the west and the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain overlooking the city from inland are unforgettable. Nevertheless, the beaches define Rio de Janeiro.
Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro are the two most famous beaches, dazzling white sands and supremely inviting. The beaches are the social center of the city and once you arrive you’ll understand why. They have a pull as strong as a magnet. Everything happens on the beach. It is here that the locals and tourists spend as much time as they can, either worshipping the plentiful sun or having fresh seafood at the huts at night. They provide a great opportunity to see Brazilians at play: eating, drinking, making music, kicking a soccer ball around. At the busier beaches, hawkers sell everything from coconut water to fresh lobster, suntan oil to swimwear, even CDs and football posters. At the more remote beaches, you can easily find yourself alone amid a swathe of sand and surf, with only the odd fisherman to tip your hat to.
No visit to Rio de Janeiro is complete without paying homage to the Christ the Redeemer statue, high atop Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. This imposing 130-foot tall statue looks out over the city and is an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. Talk with a Luxe Travel expert about scheduling a private tour of the mountain and statue.
Start making plans now for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro. This will mark the first time a South American city hosts the event. The event runs from August 5 to 21, 2016. It is not too early to book accommodations. Be sure to speak to a Luxe Travel Advisor about securing a room at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, a luxury destination since 1923.
Brazil’s famous celebration Carnival is in February before Lent, when millions of tourists come to Brazil to witness and participate in one of the world’s greatest parties. In Rio de Janeiro, Carnival is mostly a spectator event, where glitzy, lavish celebrations and parades abound. Audiences watch from grandstands, and then party in the nightclubs until the sun comes up. Some of the popular sites are the Sambódromo, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue, which is used during Carnival.
Rio de Janeiro has some fantastic museums, including the terrific photography museum, The Instituto Moreira Salles, and the wonderful National Gallery of Fine Arts with an extensive collection of Latin American painters and artisans. A visit to the Jardim Botanico to hang out with the monkeys is a must do. They’re always good for an afternoon of hijinks and laughs.
While in town, check out Maracanã Stadium, one of the world’s largest football stadiums. Brazilians football fans relish in celebrating the nation’s most popular sport. If you can take in a game while here, you will witness some of the best soccer players in the world.
As with every great city, the food and entertainment in Rio de Janeiro are excellent and diverse. Restaurants range from the exotic Zaza Bistro Tropical in Ipanema where you dine on throw pillows, to Porcao Rio’s, with its stunning view of Sugarloaf Mountain. Porcaos Rio’s is the most critically acclaimed churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) in Rio de Janeiro.
Some of the best shows and entertainment happen on Rio de Janeiro’s streets and beaches every day. However, a visit to some of Rio de Janeiro’s dance clubs and theatres make for a great experience. The Plataforma Show is a popular tourist attraction especially for those who would like to experience Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival and Samba culture.
For shopping, we recommend the popular weekend fair & market, the Babilônia Feira Hype. This fantastic market creates a festival atmosphere. Stalls include a mixture of clothing, sunglasses, jewelry and live bands. Have a mistico read your fortune. A variety of food stalls feature fried sausages or beer.
For a unique experience, consider staying at the Luxury Santa Teresa Hotel and Chateaux in Rio de Janeiro. A historical coffee plantation mansion, the sophisticated and elegant rooms offer a tranquil tropical setting amidst charming gardens overlooking the city.
Rio de Janeiro is tropical and has warm weather year round. During the summer months of December through March, you can expect it to be very hot and humid, as well as the most crowded. The best time to travel is during the winter months of May through September, when the sun is enjoyable and the city is not as crowded. Brazil’s official language is Portuguese, so bring a Portuguese dictionary, as English is not widely spoken.
There is much about Rio de Janeiro to herald: the citizens, the sites, the nightlife and of course the beaches. It certainly occupies one of the most spectacular settings of any metropolis in the world. To schedule your luxury vacation to Rio de Janeiro, contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or email@example.com.