Travel Tips and Destinations: Rio de Janeiro

By Published On: March 30th, 20103 Comments

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

When we hear the word vacation a lot of people probably wouldn’t think of South America first, but they have a lot to offer.  Look a little closer and you’ll find Brazil, and look even a little closer than that and you’ll find the little town of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a vacation paradise with beaches, rain forests, great food and wine, carnival celebrations and maybe even a little wakeboarding.

If you decide to head down to Rio there are three main areas of the city to explore. There is the City Center or “Centro”, the beach fronts of Copacabana, and the ever popular beaches and shopping of Ipanema and Leblon. Each of these areas are amazing and have their own sort of flare to offer visitors. Which area you chose to spend most of your time around can easily be decided by your budget, but they’re all worth checking out.

Centro is the city’s financial and business center. It’s the downtown where all the hustle and bustle happens, but they also have a lot to show off to tourists. Some of Rio’s oldest and most magnificent buildings, churches and museums are in Centro. They also have a lot of art exhibits, both historical and modern. Once the lights go out just ask the taxi driver to take you to the neighborhood of Lapa in Centro. This is the area everyone migrates to at night. The bars and streets will be full of people along with live music you can samba to and there is no shortage of a great food and drink selection. While in Rio one drink you have to try is their signature Caipirinha, which is made with a sugar cane liquor called Cachaca.

Botafogo beachfront

Botafogo beachfront

Copacabana is the place to be during the day. Its infamous beaches are a great place to just hang out and get that ever needed R&R. It is littered with beach front bars so if you’re looking to wet your whistle the hike isn’t going to be far. Food will usually accompany drinks so there will be just as many places to get a wide variety of grub. If you choose to meander around a little keep an eye out for the imitated Burle Marx sidewalks. In the summer the beaches are going to be packed, so if people watching is your thing you will have no shortage.


Ipanema is going to be the more budget friendly version of Copacabana, and if you want to get some solid shopping done this would be the area to check out. It’s still going to have amazing beaches to lounge on, but it will also have great little stalls with various local foods and drinks. You can also see many local artist’s work.

There are a couple things you have to do while vacationing in Rio. You can’t go there without taking a trip up to Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) at the tippy top of Corcovado mountain. Cristo Redentor is the largest Art Deco statue in the world and was made one of the new seven wonders of the world. There is also Sugarloaf mountain, one of the largest football stadiums in the world, Estádio do Maracanã, and rain forests, which are easy to get to since one is in town. There are going to be all kinds of carnivals, fairs, parades and celebrations happening in Rio. A good way to find out what is going on while you are there is to simply ask the hotel staff.

Cristo Redentor

Cristo Redentor

Some other side attractions could include water skiing and wakeboarding in Rio’s fresh water lagoon, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, or maybe taking surf lessons, hang gliding, paragliding, scuba diving, rafting, you can even rent a sail boat and have a crew sail you around Rio. Should you chose to go in 2016 you can catch the Summer Olympics, which will be the first time the Olympics have ever been in South America.

Taxis and buses are going to be the best way to get around. Traffic conditions in Rio de Janeiro are said to be hazardous at best, so you should avoid driving yourself. The buses and taxis should be safe along with the tourist areas but Rio is known to have a significant amount of crime. Be sure to ask the hotel which areas to avoid. Rio has a tropical climate which means bring your sunglasses and sandals, but the weather has been known to change rather quickly so be prepared for more than just warm sunny days. December to March brings a lot of rain so that may not be the best time to visit. They speak Portuguese in Rio so it would be handy to bring a translation book, but most of the tourist areas should be mostly English speaking.

There is much to see and experience in Rio de Janeiro and if you hit up the right places it can be budget friendly.

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  1. […] is the original post: Travel Tips and Destinations: Rio de Janeiro | HouseJunkies Share This […]

  2. Visit Brasil April 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Hey, nice blog!

    Definitively, when thinking of holidays… Brazil is the place for adventures, parties and nature! And specially Rio!!!

    Here I post a video so you can have an idea… and make plans for the next summer trip!!!

    Take care!

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