WEEKEND GETAWAY: RIO DE JANEIRO
With it’s striking coast, mountains, and tropical jungle, Rio de Janeiro is a city that astounds with it’s natural beauty. But there is much more to discover aside from the obvious. From small bars with live music and idyllic beaches to nature preserves and modern architecture, Rio is without a doubt much more than beach.
Where to eat?
What to do?
–Trilha da Pedra Bonita. You can’t miss one of the hills in Rio to get direct contact with nature and get some exercise. I personally recommend the Trilha da Pedra Bonita, it’s one of the most accessible and the view from 2200 feet is incredible.
- You can arrive by Uber or Taxi to the foot of the hill and begin the 30 minute hike.
- I recommend to buy water there and you help the local economy as well. If the hike isn’t enough adventure, at the top of the peak you can go hang gliding.
–Favela do Vidigal It’s one of the most safe favelas to visit and the experience is worth the effort. It’s recommended to take Uber or taxi to the entrance of the favela and take a moto taxi to hotel Mirante do Avrao. The ride in moto taxi is a unique experience, five minutes on narrow winding roads while a sense of uncertainty overcomes you because you don’t know exactly where you’re going but it’s part of getting to the hotel. A good plan is to eat or drink something, enjoying on of the best views in Rio while you listen to live music.
*If you’re up to it, you can return via moto taxi to Ipanema. The ride and the adrenaline are worth it!*
–Lage Park Acres of incredible gardens surrounding a Roman Palace give notice to this park at the foot of Christ the Redeemer. Originally belonging to a brazilian business man who built a replica of a roman palace and gardens as a gift to his wife. The scenery is perfect, winding paths that enter vegetation, bridges, lagoons, islands, lookout points out of rocks and grottos and mand-made caves. Highly recommend walking in the gardens and then rest while having brunch at the palace.
Where to shop?
-Rio de Janeiro isn’t the best city to go shopping. Without question visit Osklen as it’s totally worth it. The brasilian quality is based on the harmonization of opposites, the urban and natural, organic and technological co-exist. It’s also at the vanguard of sustainable resources: organic cotton, recycled cotton, native fish skin, eco-jute y PET recycled bottles.
Which beaches to visit?
–Ipanema and Leblon beaches are the best to go to within the city. While Copacabana has an old-time feeling and is full of tourists, Ipanema and Leblon attract locals and have more tranquility as well as better restaurants.
–Barra de Tijuca has beaches that are both tranquil and striking. Without a doubt the best in the city.
–Prainha is one of the secrets of Rio de Janeiro. About 30 miles to the east, in an environmentally protected zone this beach is surrounded by small hills and plant life. With white sand and clear, uncontaminated water it’s one of the most idyllic beaches in Rio de Janeiro.
Do you have any tips for visiting Rio? Feel free to leave a comment…
Words and Photos by Hucho Caldeyro.