Immerse Yourself In Rio de Janeiro

September 9, 2014

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil, best known for its spectacular beaches, lively music and the local’s undying passion for football.  Each year in February the city comes alive for Carnival but it’s not the only time of year when it’s thriving.  In fact Rio is a great place to visit all year round with an abundance of attractions, so here are some of the best.

Copacabana Beach is one of the most popular tourist spots in Rio and is where locals and tourists alike flock to play soccer or volleyball, stroll along the 4km long promenade that lines the beach or sit back and relax to soak up the sun.  There are kiosks all along the beach that sell refreshments including cold beer or coconut water straight from a coconut.  The vibe at Copacabana beach is electric as the area buzzes all day every day.

Standing thirty nine metres tall and with the arms outstretched twenty eight metres in width, Christ the Redeemer sits on top of Corcovado Peak and is an absolute must see when in Rio.  The statue sits seven hundred metres above the city and can be reached by taking a train to the top of Corcovado and then escalators to the base of the statue.  Not only is the statue incredible to see up close but the panoramic view from the top of the peak is breathtaking.

Sugarloaf Mountain rises four hundred metres out of Guanabara Bay and is a spectacular monolith of quartz and granite.  Travel by cable car in two stages to the summit, each taking sixty five passengers and travelling at speeds of approximately thirty kilometres an hour.  From the top of Morro da Urca you’ll enjoy unparalleled panoramic views of Rio.

Maracana Stadium is where all the football magic takes place.  When it opened in 1950 it could hold 200,000 people but due to safety reasons the capacity has now been reduced to 80,000 making it the largest stadium in South America. Take a guided tour of the stadium or take in a game for a true Brazilian experience filled with drums, flares, chanting and dancing.

The Lapa neighbourhood in downtown Rio was once the city’s red light district but now it’s known for its vibrant nightlife.  The neighbourhood is filled with samba bars where you’ll often find people out on the streets dancing and singing the night away so if you’re up for a great time, head to Lapa.

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key then the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens, or Jardim Botanico could be right up your alley.  The 137 hectare garden is home to over 8000 plant species, a Japanese garden and a lake filled with water lilies.  The gardens are quietest midweek before the weekend arrives and the families and music take over.

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