Rio, the buzzling latin city

View over Rio |  Photo by: Raphael Nogueira

The city breathes colorful carnaval, samba and and has a warm charming atmosphere.

Oh, Rio… If you’re looking for a tropical paradise this is where to get it. Connected to the Guanabara bay, Rio is, after São Paulo, the biggest city of Brazil. The city breathes colorful carnaval, samba and has a warm charming atmosphere. The notable statue of Christ is blessing the city and don’t forget Maracanã, one of the world’s biggest football stadiums. Apart from the big, well-known sights, what else is there to do? Here are some tips for your belíssimo trip to Rio.

Jardim botanico  |  Photo by: Jaoa Mansano

First of all, we want to highlight Rio’s botanical garden, Jardim Botânico. Here you can wander through the orchid house and experience imperial palms and giant Amazonian water lilies. Close by you have Parque Lage, from where you can take the wooden trails up to the Christ the Redeemer statue and the tropical forest of Tijuca National Park. This National Park is claimed to be the world’s largest urban forest, covering an astonishing 32 square km. For trekking, you have many appealing sights here as well: Diamantina’s Waterfall and the Bat’s cave are the ones we visited and not to be missed when visiting the park.

If you rather go straight to the beach, we advise to go to Clássico Beachclub Grumari, which is located on a less crowded part of Grumari beach. It’s a hidden paradise where you can relax and enjoy delicious food and drinks, while enjoying a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean. Some days they have live music as well, which makes the vibe even better. We absolutely love it.

The two more popular and crowded beaches are Copacabana and Ipanema. Here you can practice your surf skills or eat a sanduíche natural, a cold sandwich with vegetables and mayo. Or the now popular Açaí bowl, which is a purple berry usually blended with honey, granola, bananas and guaraná.

When you’re ready for a hike again, Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising almost 400 meters above the harbor, the name is said to refer to its likeness to the shape of loaf sugar. For a spectacular view, you can take the cable car or bus a little later on the day and watch the sun go down.

Sugarloaf   |  Photo by: Laura Cortesi

One of our favorite and most convivial neighborhoods is Santa Teresa, where you have a lot of street art, bars and restaurants. A lunch spot loved by the locals is Bar Do Mineiro. Here you can taste all kinds of local specialties, which makes it a nice way to learn more about Brazilian culture. The Santa Teresa Hotel is our favorite place to stay, with a rooftop terrace, spa, restaurant and rooms with a beautiful view over the city. The hotel is located in a historic coffee farm from 1850 and the decoration and architecture are inspired by the golden era of coffee and cocoa. With a one of a kind charm the hotel reflects the local culture and cultivates connection with the community and sustainability.

Santa Teresa Hotel. |  Photo by: by hotel

Which restaurants should you definitely go to? Here are some food favorites from us:

 

  • Confeitaria Colombo: in this belle époque it’s as if you’ve taken a step back in time. The elegance of this place is unbelievable, with ornate mirrors, a stained-glass ceiling and vintage silverware. It’s Rio’s pastry palace. Go before noon to avoid long queues and enjoy some mille-feuilles, fruit tartlets and macarons. 
  • Lasai: this fine dining restaurant has its own urban garden and has won an award for its legendary 12-course menu. Chef Rafa Costa e Silva brings experience from kitchens in Spain and the States. The dishes are presented beautifully and complemented with a remarkable wine list.
  • Bazzar ao Mar: located in Ipanema, this al fresco oyster bar serves an avant-garde cuisine, with dishes like mussels with orange zest, sardines with organic vegetables or crab meat with fennel puree. Together with some sparkling Brazilian wine it’s perfect for a bit after hanging at the beach all day.

Confeitaria Colombo |  Photo by: umaviagemdiferente

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