What can I say about Rio de Janeiro that you don’t already know? This legendary Brazilian city is famous for the Rio de Janeiro carnival, for having some of the world’s best beaches and for being the kind of place we all dream of visiting.
Not being a huge fan of lounging on the sand, I turned up here wondering what I would do during my stay in the city. I didn’t have to worry, as there is more to Rio de Janeiro than just the beaches. Having said that, we might as well start off by look at the famous Rio de Janeiro Brazil beach appeal.
The Rio de Janeiro Beach Options
You almost certainly know a couple of Rio de Janeiro beach names; Copacabana and Ipanema. These places are more ridiculously famous than any stretch of sand has a right to be. Copacabana is a magnificent city beach backed by big hotels and restaurants. Rather than sunbathing here I went for a stroll along the sand. It is 2 and a half miles long, so you should set aside some time to do this. The beach is typically crowded and it is lined with drinks kiosks and souvenir sellers. Expect to see people playing soccer and dancing as well as sunbathing, surfing and strolling. It feels a bit edgy here after dark, though. Ipanema is close to Copacabana but feels like a classier kind of Rio de Janeiro beach. It is just as lively as Copacabana but my feeling as that it was a bit safer. There are a number of other beaches, such as the massive 11 mile long Barra de Tijuca.
The Food and Drink in Rio de Janeiro
If I am being honest, I enjoy exploring the food and drink in a new place more than the beaches. In the case of Rio de Janeiro Brazil, this meant discovering the delights of Guaraná and Coxinhas. Guaraná is a natural fruit drink that is famous for its energy boosting properties. Some products using this berry have made it abroad and I seem to recall eating a Guaraná laced chocolate bar in the UK some time. In Brazil it is an institution and you will find canned Guaraná drinks everywhere. However, nothing beats the fresh drink sold in the little lancherias. These are small snack bars that are ideal for dropping into for a quick refreshing drink. You will also find coxinhas here. They are delightful little street food snacks filled with chicken. I loved them so much that I don’t think that I ate a proper meal in all my time in Rio. Instead, I lived on a diet of Guaraná and Coxinhas.
Rio de Janeiro Carnival and the Other Attractions
You really don’t want to try and see all of Rio de Janeiro in a day or two. There is enough to see and do here to keep you going for at least a week. I went up Sugarloaf Mountain and to see the Christ the Redeemer statue. However, what I was most interested in was the world renowned Rio de Janeiro carnival. This is an annual event that takes place all over South America, usually at the start of the year.
The Rio de Janeiro carnival is the most famous but when I went to this city it was August and I assumed that a bit of samba dancing on the street was out of the question. Thankfully, I soon discovered that you can go to see a Samba school practise for the next Rio de Janeiro carnival. You can do this at any time of year. In my experience, this means drinking lots of powerful caipirinha and listening to them trying out their songs to see which one they will use in the next parade. It obviously isn’t quite as amazing as seeing the full carnival experience but I loved it.
If you plan to go during carnival then be warned that the city gets very expensive and that finding a hotel room could be difficult.
But whatever time of year you come to Rio De Janeiro, I’m sure you will find it as insanely enjoyable as I did.
Rio de Janeiro Brazil is Insanely Enjoyable: by Robert Bell