Rio de Janeiro is land of the tiny bikini and even tinier speedo. A vibrant city with so much culture and diversity and is commonly known as the second largest city in Brazil. Rio does have the reputation for being dangerous. The first night I arrived here our rental car got broken into so after that I decided to leave all items that I considered valuable at home so I didn’t have to worry about being mugged. We were warned by the guy we rented our flat from to only go out during the week day and to not go out during the weekend as it is dangerous due to muggings, hijacking and murders. But that didn’t put me off from enjoying my time here.
Lapa is the most famous nightlife district in Rio. Santa Teresa is not too far from Lapa, with its steep winding roads and staircases. Once you get make it alive to the top it is a great place to see picturesque views of Brazil. Our apartment was conveniently located in Lapa near the famous Escadaria Selarón steps. Walking up these steps every day made me realise how unfit I am.
If you want to see the steps without having loads of people around you I would aim to come here early as it can get quite crowded with tourists constantly taking photographs. As you walk up the 250 steps you get the chance to admire all of the different tiles from over 60 countries from around the world.
Take the cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain for spectacular views of the city. Prices vary, with Adults – R$ 71.00, Reduced price for youngsters 6-21 years old – R$ 35.00*, Children under 6 years old – Free *non-cumulative discount. Check out the main website for more details.
Laze on the shores of Ipanema Beach. The word ipanema is an indigenous word for ‘bad, dangerous waters’, which is not far off given the strong undertow and often oversized waves that crash onto the shore. Be careful, and swim only where locals go.
Copacabana is the longest Rio city beach, stretching over 4 km! There is a subtle transition between Leme and Copacabana at Princesa Isabel Avenue which cuts across to Bota Fogo via a tunnel.