Rio by locals
Rio is better if you taste it with locals. This picture was taken from Niterói (on the other side of the Guanabara bay) and show the Sugar Loaf and the Corcovado mountain.
As an example of a 6 days staying in Rio (it’s just a suggestion and obviously can be changed). Some places you can go just walking or by bus, but some others is better by cab, except if you’re with a local :
Day 1 – Corcovado mountain (it’s 700 high and you can walk if you want or take the train ). After coming down, having lunch at simple and cheap restaurants (kilo food – you choose what to eat and pay by kilo). Afternoon at Sugar Loaf (cable car) and see the sunset from there.
Day 2 – Visiting the beaches. It’s more than 30 km of beaches and the best are far from the touristic hotels area, like Barra, Recreio, Prainha and Grumari. Copacabana and Ipanema are of course a must seeing beach.
Day 3 – Visiting the centre of Rio. Take the subway from Copacabana to get there. It’s the oldest part of the city and its buziness area. You’ll be surprised with the dinamic life you’ll find there. Old churches from the XVII and XVIII and neo-classical buldings co-existing with sky-scrapers. There’s also a very popular market there called Sahara. Lots of bars where people go after work. Try Arco do Telles any Thursday or Friday. Cinelândia is also very alive after work.
Day 4 – Visiting Niterói. It’s a city just after the bay (where actually I live). You can take a ferry (20 minutes) or catamaran (8 minutes) or else cross a 14 km bridge. There you must visit a modern museum designed by Oscar Niemeyer (the same Brazilian architec who bult Brasilia’s buldings - Brasilia is the capital of the country). Visit also the old fort of Santa Cruz (bult by the Portuguese initially at XVI), the city park (Parque da cidade) where people hanglide and from where you can have an amazing view of Rio. Niteroi has also very nice beaches as Itacoatiara and Camboinhas.
Day 5 – Soccer game (if there’s one during your stay, of course). It’s really exciting. Depending on who is playing. The most popular team in Brasil is Flamengo (not coincidently is my team) and they play at Maracanã. So fingers crossed. At week-ends the game starts at 4 or 5 pm and weekdays it starts at 8 or 9 pm. This year (2001) Brazil is playing the qualifying for the World Cup and it still remains two games to be helded in Rio : 15/8/2001 – Brasil x Paraguai and 6/10/2001 - Brasil x Chile. If you are passing here those days, please help us to be qualifyed to the world cup finals...
In the morning you go to a beach and after, the stadium (it’s really carioca) or else go to a street market at Ipanema (if it’s on Sunday). Arriving a little bit early to the game and see people outside the stadium is amusing !!
Day 6 – Visiting the Feira do Nordeste (food, drinks, dancing, etc) on Saturday nigth. It’s a popular market made by the northeastern Brazilian people who came to live and work in Rio. It’s not a touristic area, so take a cab if you’re not with locals.
During those days you can always visit those spots : the Botanic Garden, Beauty Art Museum, Santa Tereza tramway, São Bento church, the Lapa district (great day is Friday nigth) and also any music concerts and smoky bars at nigth. Suggestion is Cobal in Humaitá : it’s an old market where you can find lots of smalls bars and lots of people. On Saturday and Sunday (from 7 pm) there’s musicians playing Brazilian instrumental music (called Choro) at a bar called “Espírito do Chopp”.
New Year's Eve at Copacabana Beach...
View from the top of Sugar Loaf mountain, looking into Copacabana beach.
Arpoador is a small beach between Copa and Ipanema. Paradise for surfers...
Ipanema is an elegant area squeezed between the ocean and the lagoon.
And those are cariocas working hard...
The lagoon (lagoa Rodrigro de Freitas).
The Botanic Garden is a nice place to escape from the noisy city.
São Conrado beach and Gávea mountain at the back. The hangliders land at this beach.
Another view from São Conrado. After Gávea Mountain we can see Barra beach.
Back to central area, there's the famous Maracanã stadium. A few years ago I went to a final game and it was counted 156.000 people there. Really crazy. Nowadays the maximum capacity is around 90.000.
This is the center area in Rio. At the back we can see the Sugar Loaf mountain.
When it was built in 1950 for the world cup, this area was very far from the center. Look it now !
The 13 km bridge joins Rio and Niterói over the Guanabara bay.
The interior of São Bento church. One of the most beautifull example of baroque in Brazil.
The Metropolitan cathedral and the old Lapa aqueduct used nowadays to join the center and Santa Tereza district by an old tranway (called bonde).
This is the Guanabara Palace where the Governor of Rio state are supposed to work at.
The Municipal Theater at Cinelândia square where we can also find the National Library and the Beauty Art Museum.
I hope that you can always find a carioca with his open arms on you ! Take care.
This is the center at night
Still the center but going south passing through Aterro do Flamengo gardens.
From the Aterro do Flamengo we can see this small and beautifull baroque church called Glória. This monument represents Pedro Alvares Cabral, the Portuguese who first steped in Brasil in 1500.
It's the Monument to the Brazilian who died at the world ware II.
It's the Marina da Gloria (small port) and Sugar Loaf at the back.
Aerial view from Copacabana.