There is no bad time to visit Rio de Janeiro. All year round the sun is out, the beaches are full of people and the city is radiant with life. The most accessible public transport is the Metrô, which will take you to all major tourist attractions including the Sugarloaf (Pão de Açúcar), Copacabana, Ipanema Beach, Leblon and it will always drop you off just two blocks away from the seaside.
But Rio is known not only for its beaches, it is a city with something to suit all tastes. Located in the southeast of Brazil, it surrounds the Floresta da Tijuca, the biggest urban forest in the world. Those interested in climbing or hiking in the forest can do so with local tour guides, while the vast array of waterfalls and native wildlife ensure that such trips are more than worthwhile.
Located deep within the forest is Rio’s famous tourist attraction, Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer. The statue stands at an incredible 125 feet on top of the Corcovado mountain and can be reached by public buses, which will bring you to the bottom of the mountain, leaving you to trek the three to four hour walk up to the statue. Visitors can rest their feet at the Mirante dona Marta, where they can soak up a panoramic view of the city.
Save some energy for Lapa, Rio’s bohemian headquarters. Bursting with restaurants, such as the many churrascarias which run on an ‘all you can eat’ policy, Lapa offers a great variety of dishes, for very reasonable prices. After dinner, be prepared to party early into the morning to the sounds of typical Brazilian music, such as Samba and Choro as Lapa’s bars have no set closing time but operate a ‘last customer policy’ instead.
Anyone who feels uneasy at the thoughts of dancing the Samba should visit one of the many Samba schools that open their doors to visitors each Saturday night. The schools are located in the favelas (slums), and have a great atmosphere. Live Samba continues until 6am- don’t miss it.
But Brazil isn’t Brazil if you don’t talk about soccer. Don’t forget to go to one of the matches in Maracanã Stadium on a Sunday afternoon, where you can enjoy the game whilst surrounded by one hundred thousand energetic supporters.
So whether you want to chill out or be adventurous, you can be sure that Rio is the right place for you.