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How to enjoy a perfect day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

How to enjoy a perfect day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The undisputed global champion of party cities, Rio de Janeiro has been experiencing a surge in popularity as a holiday destination since, oh, say the fifties that is showing no signs of letting up any time soon. Home to the most flamboyant carnival in the world, Rio de Janeiro, or the River of January, is something of a spiritual homeland for those who love to strip off and strut their stuff.

Rio de Janeiro isn’t just another bland holiday destination where you can lie on the beach all day and party all night, though. This narrow strip of land surrounded on all sides by tropical forest, granite mountains and infamous beaches has much more to offer the body, mind and soul than just tan-lines and Pina Coladas. What if you have just a day to spend in this fabulous city? Here are some ideas for how to spend the perfect day in Rio.


Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

You can’t visit Rio without spending some time on the globally recognisable Copacabana Beach. This beautiful stretch of fine golden sand sees the sun almost all year round. If baking in the full heat of the South American sun isn’t your idea of fun it’s a good idea to head to the beach early, before the midday scorch. Enjoy the cooler morning by joining in with one of the many football matches that take place up and down the beach and while it might be a little early for a signature Caipirinha cocktail, catch an breakfast at one of the beach-front restaurants.


Corcovado Mountain

Corcovado Mountain

Journey away from the beach and head up Corcovado Mountain to get an up-close view of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. It takes 30 minutes to get to the top of the mountain by car, bus or van. This climb is not something you want to try on foot in the heat of the midday sun. The easiest option is to take advantage of one of the many reasonably-priced tour guide options available. Any Rio de Janeiro travel guide will give you a list of suitable companies. That way you can just sit back and relax, open the bus window and let the refreshing breeze cool you off as the travel guide tells you the history of this incredible 38meter statue.


Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf Mountain

You’ve already been up one mountain, might as well make it two. Sugar Loaf Mountain is accessible by cable car and boasts the most impressive view in all of Rio. The cable car ride itself is a thrill. Established in 1912, the cable cars are currently completely transparent, giving you a 360 degree view of the world around you. (Probably not a great idea for someone who doesn’t like heights.) From your vantage point at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain you can view Copacabana Beach, Corcovoda Mountain, Christ the Redeemer Guanabara Bay.


Churrascaria

Brazil Restaurant

By now you’ll have built quite an appetite; the perfect time to sample Brazil’s Churrascaria cuisine. Brazilians are dedicated carnivores and barbeque meats make up a big part of most of Rio’s inhabitants’ diets. Churrascaria is essentially an all-you-can-eat barbeque and Churrascaria restaurants are dotted around the beach areas of Copacabana and Ipanema in particular. If you’re not a big meat-eater or even a vegetarian, these restaurants will have something for your appetite as most have impressive salad bars and often serve sushi, pasta and other international foods alongside the barbeque meats. After all that food, you’ll probably be ready for bed, but Rio is a city that doesn’t sleep. It’s cocktail time!


Image Details and Licenses: https://flic.kr/p/dm5PJg (Ole WintermannCC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/ae3KH5 (Carlos OrtegaCC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/34zHz7 (Rodrigo SoldonCC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/5rkcbD (FotoCastorCC BY-NC 2.0)

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