Rio de Janeiro has a lot to offer; this exuberant cultural capital of Brazil is tucked between the mountains and the sea and is endowed with awe-inspiring natural beauty. From Copacabana Beach, to savouring the local delicacies, we share the Top 5 experiences one should have on their next trip to Rio.
1. The Corcovado
A definite must-see is the Corcovado which can be accessed by Corcovado rack railway train up to the top. Approximately 300,000 visitors flock from all over the world to see this amazing statue known as the Statue Redeemer of Christ, which stands 38 meters high and is one of the seven New Wonders of the Modern World.
Whilst standing at the top you have amazing panoramic views of downtown Rio, Sugarloaf mountain, Copacabana, and Ipanema beach. I stood at the foot of the Corcovado surrounded by unique mountains and formations while taking in all of the beauty Rio has to offer.
2. Sugar Loaf Mountain
Next to the Corcovado is Sugar Loaf mountain which is located at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. To get to the top of Sugar loaf mountain you can take a glassed wall cable car that runs along a 1400 meter route between Pao de Acucar and Morro de Urca every 20 minutes.
It was a beautiful ride to Sugar Loaf and full of breathtaking views!
One thing you must see for yourself is the traditional Brazilian dance "Capoeira" Generated from the slavery period, the movements looked like dance to the passerby, but in reality it was a meant to simulate a fight between two men.
4. Sip a Caipirinha
During the hot months, cool down with a fruit flavored Caipirinha pronounced "Kie-Pur-Reen-Yah" which is their most famous drink and consists of limes, Leblon cachaça, and pure sugar cane syrup. If you don't drink alcohol, then coconut water is best which helps to cool you down from the hot weather and only costs about $2.50 Rias (1.00 CAD).
5. Copacabana Beach
This is the famous beach where small bathing suites are sold (and worn) and is full of kiosks selling coconut water and food. The famous grey and black wave marble that lines the beach stretches 4 km with many restaurants and hotels. The beach itself has white sand and calm water. It is a popular spot for beach sports like soccer and volleyball, and a good place to sunbathe.
Even though there is poverty in Brazil seen in the Favelas situated higher up the mountains, I have to say Brazilians are probably some of the friendliest and happiest people I have ever met in my life! Brazil is an amazing country with so much to offer and it really made me appreciate the tiny things in life that we tend to take for granted!
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*Rio will be the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics in 2016, and will be the primary host city for the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in 2014.*