About a four hour drive south of Rio is the pretty colonial town of Parati, which is well worth a visit if you have the time.
Parati is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautifully preserved colonial architecture. It was settled in the 1600s but grew in importance when it became the main shipping port for the gold from nearby mines in the 1800s. Once gold became scarce, Parati switched to coffee, but with the abolishment of slavery in 1888, that too dried up and the town faded into near oblivion. In 1966 the historic colonial centre of Parati was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and cars were banished from the old colonial core. This pedestrianisation means that it is easy to imagine life here in colonial times, though it is very much a living and working town, not a museum.
My separate page about Parati has more information if you’re interested, including our lovely accommodation in the Pousada Porto Paraty (now the Porto Imperial).
Tijuca Forest is famous, you can find many things about it in many travel books...but hardly you will find something related to the water springs that provides you such a delicious refreshing bath after a long day undera ghastly sun...
Well sun is never bad...but sometimes you suffer with the heat..so nothing better than after you visit the Christ or just hanging in this area you stop by and simply GO FOR IT!!!
These showers are in a place called Paineiras!!! This time I could not resist...I have been there once, I also wrote about it in one of my tips...but now I can show you exactly how to use these "natural orgasm".
Very easy to reach...just pass through the road that leads you to the Corcovado Hill entrance!
When you come to Rio you will know that problably you will stay in Ipanema and you will enjoy one of the most famous beach in Rio..you will be with the most beautiul bodies and faces of this charming carioca people. You will also see Copacabana, our most cosmopolitan district...and for sure you will visit the Sugar Loaf Mountain and the famous Christ Mountain... You will do many good things but you will hardly will be taken to wild beaches in the west region of Rio. You will not read anything about Abricó Beach.
Amazingly there is no public transport to the beach...which is nice...the nature will be always preserved!
The best way to go to Abricó is by car and with someone you certainly know about his/her knowledge about Rio.
I am lucky to know Rafael, he always takes people there!!!
Just like him, I am always in the search of unique places in this marvelius city!
Hhahahahahaha I had such a fantastic day this week with Rafael and two nice english friends in one place in Rio that very few people know. It is a beach in the far endings of the city, when you head west you really come across with the best and most beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro city!
The nature is still there..untouchable...I think that the landscape is the same since the french setlled there, made friendship with the native indians and invaded Rio from the back side of the newfoundland place!
Abricó...now famous for being the only one nude beach of the city...
The Nature is simply very present..lots of green, sparkling water and total freedom for you to enjoy the wilderness!!!!
Going to Abricó is also the opportunity for you to see unusual places like Prainha and Grumari, two more spectacular beaches in Rio de Janeiro.
Even when you are in the city of Rio there are some jewels that only expert travellers can find, an unique place where you can overview the beautiful area of Leblon on the bottom of the majestic DOIS IRMAOS (Two Brothers) Hill. And also the woods of Gavea, and very faraway the beach of Ipanema and the rock of Arpoador BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL!!!
Penhasco means CLIFF and the city park is preserved by the City Hall....Not even the local people know that place, and it was not in my american friends' mind to be there!
Scott and Halley came here this november for the first time, and they had a great time and they are really privileged to see so many unique places in Rio de Janeiro.
Many people who come here for the first time only expect to see the SUGAR LOAF, THE CHRIST, COPACABANA, IPANEMA, FAVELA TOURS, SAMBA and so many obvious things...but to explore Rio you have to go deeper...
My friends do it all the time and I am really honored to have this SEATTLE PEOPLE here and I am always in the mood to take them to the best of the city :)
And it is also the great chances I have to be in touch with new places to go in my own RIO DE JANEIRO
Yes!!!!! When you are in Rio and spend hours and hours in a huge traffic, just head south of the city and try to reach via the neighborhood Cosme Velho the so impressive green of Tijuca National Park, in this park you will see the famous Statue of Christ on Corcovado Hill and you can walk in the lovely and well kept trails of Tijuca.
Rio has a great advantage to have nature everywhere, no way to be stressed when you have the presence of Nature everywhere you go in the city!!!
You will only find these places if you go to the Christ by car!!! Some of the unique places that my so dear friend Rafa knows and I am learning each lesson!;)
Dramatic photo!!!!! but it happens once in a while in some beaches of Buzios, the natue is so present and Buzios so off the beaten path that even the sharks come for a nice holiday, but the fish are so many that they come to the shore searching for fish, well some of them will misunderstand a surfer from a seal, but as we do not have seals in Brazil...okay!!!
But just by seeing such a shark in our water it is something to be very impressed and also proud...
We all know that we find sharks in Brazil, in South Africa and in Australia, but here they are not that killers!
A tour guide I know who lives in Buzios took this picture one month ago!
When you go to the Christ Statue by car you will pass through the Tijuca National park because the Statue is on the hill called CORCOVADO.
Before getting there there is a detour (is the spelling ok?) that you can turn left and it will lead you to a another hill called MIRANTE DONA MARTA...And from there you will find amazing views of the city just like this one where we can see the Sugar Loaf from there!
Rafael took me there and it is one of my fave places in town!
Actually Brazil has enormous islands such as Florianópolis, Ilha do Mel, Ilha Bela, Itaparica, Fernando de Noronha, São Luis where I was born, yes, the capital of Maranhão is an island! And also Marajó island...Huge islands!!! And each one with endless beauty
BUT ILHA GRANDE in Rio is something special...the island bewitches you!!!
I went there for a great weekend with Rafa and we had a blast, and I saw many wonderful little and virgin beaches,, and I felt like the first explorers which came to Brazil for the first time!!!
Just wait because I will dedicate a place for this place that I love too much!!!!
This pic I took there I also have in my memory!
It is another jewel of Niteroi, across the mountains you reach the OCEAN REGION and this beach is one of the most competitive off the beaten path destination in Rio...
When you plan a trip to Rio you quickly think about Copa, Ipanema or the most intelligent and prepared travellers would mention BARRA DA TIJUCA.....
BUT ITACOATIARA no one knows!!! Well I went there and I am very pleased to tell you that this place exists and it is not far from Rio, if the trafic is okay, you take less than 40 minutes to go there!
Buzios is very popular among brazilian and many other visitors from all over the World, but when you know someone who are really familiar with the area, you can find out some unique places. Brava Beach for this reason became my fave hidden secret of Buzios...the wilderness is in everywhere, not as much construction, just the Nature and YOURSELF!;)
I had great moments there...going to Buzios is quite easy, it is less than 3 hours by car from Rio heading north of the state close to another famous destination: CABO FRIO
THREE DAYS IN BUZIOS COULD MEAN YOUR SECOND HONEY MOON..or maybe the first!;)
Oh yes, you might think we are crazy to wear such heavy clothes in Rio de Janeiro!!!
But it is quite common when you head south to the mountains ranges of Mantiqueira..to see the falls and the quiet villages of Visconde de Mauá where you can see thick green forest with lots of trails to explore...the falls are unique, and there are very chraming restaurant for a fondue or a delicious onion soup.
Extreme cold there and lots of aventures are waiting for you just 3 hours drive from the city!
First thing you have to know about Rio: RIO DE JANEIRO is a city and capital of a State with the same name, the State is also called RIO DE JANEIRO, you get me???
So a good idea if you have some time to explore the whole region is getting out of the town, and Rio State from North to South, from East to West has loads of options.
When I travel with my friends I usually go to places where the NATURE is fully present, and once in a while we take the car and we spend the weekends in little villages or small cities.
This time me, Grazi and Rafa picked up the colonial city of Paraty, full of History and also with some hidden spots in its bay such as desert islands that you can reach by boat like this one in Paraty Mirim. You can hire a boat just for you and your friends or you can take a SCHOONER which tours around many island of Paraty area.
In the morning Grazi and I took a boat while Rafa was travelling to paraty just to meet us!
Very soon I will give you details of Paraty in a special page.
It is a place that you simply cannot miss, it is about 4 hours fom Rio city heading South, very close to the limits of São Paulo State
Every tourist in Rio go to Sugar Loaf but the most of them miss the wonderful pedestrian path near Sugar Loaf station. It is called pista Claudio Coutinho and it opens about 7 and closes about 6. From there you can hike to morro da Urca ( the first stage of Sugar Loaf teleferique) ,walk or run in the path itself or inside the forest ,see the monkeys in the trees (pic) or if you are brave enough go down or up on the rocks. There are people who go climbing too. The near beach ( Praia Vermelha) is too dirty to swim but good to look at. You can eat or drink something at the militar club at the corner of the beach. The food is plain but the view from there is amazing, a tip would go after sunset and wait for the moon appears behind Sugar Loaf.
Rui Barbosa (1849-1923) was a famous writer, jurist and politician. He gave his first public speech for the abolition of slavery when he was just 19. For the rest of his life he remained an uncompromising defender of civil liberties. Slavery in Brazil was finally abolished by the Lei Áurea ("Golden Law") in 1888. Part of Barbosa's legacy to history is that he authorised, as minister of finance in 1890, the destruction of most government records relating to slavery. His former residence in Rio (built in 1849) contains many of his manuscripts, letters, caricatures and first editions by Brazilian authors. It also houses memorabilia of Barbosa's life, including his 1913 car and an extensive library that's often consulted by scholars from around the world.
Admission: Free. Open: Tues-Sun 9am-5pm.
Rua São Clemente, 134
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