Rio de Janeiro remains one of the most popular cities for tourism in Brazil, and no wonder why... Rio is still the M-A-R-V-E-L-L-O-U-S City!
And now with the Pandemic restrictions, Brazilian tourists and Cariocas are rediscovering Rio also. I confess, I haven't seen so many Brazilian tourists here in a long time ... Wow, do keep coming!!
I already know what you're thinking ... "But I've been to Rio several times and I know everything!" ... Do you really know?
Here are some tips for incredible places that go beyond Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mt (by the way, unmissable) and that are safer in this period of restrictions, as they are outdoors or are following the safety protocols against Covid-19.
1) Urca wall
Late afternoon, sunset, fantastic view, cold beer and shrimp pastry.
I won't say anything else, just do it.
Address: Av. João Luiz Alves, Urca. Near São João Fortress
2) Reserva Beach
Often completely deserted and not as distant as Grumari and Prainha beaches, it is impressive that a beach like this still exists in Rio. Between Barra da Tijuca and Recreio dos Bandeirantes, the Reserva beach is about 8 km long and is in front of an ecological reserve area, so it has few kiosks, few spaces for cars and is without the bustle of people and vendors. Take your chair and water. But stay tuned because to this date Rio's beaches are still under Pandemic restrictions: you can do sports, swim, walk, but you can't sit or lie down on the sand.
Address: Av Lucio Costa, between Barra da Tijuca and Recreio dos Bandeirantes
3) Ruins Park
A former residential mansion from the beginning of the 20th century, it was a meeting point for artists and intellectuals. Today the ruins of the house have been transformed into a cultural center, with art and music presentations and outdoor attractions.
Go up the stairs to the upper platform for a panoramic view of downtown Rio and Guanabara Bay. After the visit, take a walk and lunch in Santa Teresa.
Address: R. Murtinho Nobre, 169 - Santa Teresa. Admission is free and opening times from Tuesday to Sunday, 8 am to 8 pm
4) Botanical Garden and Lage Park
Very close to each other, my tip is to visit them together on the same day. Both have great green spaces for strolling, gorgeous gardens and opportunities to make beautiful photos. It is also one of the best places to spot animals such as marmosets, toucans and capuchin monkeys. I suggest starting with a breakfast at Lage Park (in the BEAUTIFUL courtyard of the Visual Arts School) and then visiting the Botanical Garden. Trust me, it's worth it.
Parque Lage: Rua Jardim Botânico, 414. Free entrance. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm. PLAGE CAFÉ: from 9 am to 5 pm
Lage Park: Rua Jardim Botânico, 414. Free entrance.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm.
PLAGE CAFÉ: from 9 am to 5 pm
Botanical Garden: Rua Jardim Botânico, 1008. Entrance R$15.00.
Open Mondays, from 12 pm to 5 pm, and from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 am to 5 pm
5) Arpoador Rock
If you haven't already been, DO go. In between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, Arpoador rock is a huge rock formation, with fairly easy steps and passages that allow access to the top.
From there the sunset views are beautiful, but the visit is worth at any time of the day ... sensational views of the ocean and of Ipanema and Leblon shoreline.
Address: Av. Francisco Bhering, next to Diabo Beach
6) Kobra Mural
In 2016, the Brazilian street artist Kobra worked 12 hours a day for 2 months to complete this mural, which was finished just before the opening of the Rio Olympic Games. Representing the 5 continents it is called “Ethnicities”. It is really an impressive work of art with great photo opportunities.
From there and you can also take a stroll along the Olympic Boulevard and visit the "Museum of Tomorrow", the Ferris Wheel (Rio Star) or the Rio Aquarium (Aqua Rio).
Address: Av. Rodrigues Alves, 241. In front of the Warehouse nº 4
7) Selarón Steps
This famous staircase that takes you from Lapa to Santa Teresa district, has 215 steps covered with more than 2,000 tiles, from more than 60 countries. A work of art by Jorge Selarón, a Chilean artist who died in 2013.
Don't just go there to take amazing pictures, but also take some time to look at some tiles in more detail, some are very special like the tiles that represent Princess Diana, Hindu Gods, exotic countries, as well as several tiles with his trademark - a pregnant African woman.
Address: Rua Manoel Carneiro, near the Lapa Arches
8) Rio Helicopters
Of course, we could not leave out a good helicopter tour. And this tour is super complete. In 30 minutes of flight you see all the main attractions like Sugar Loaf Mt, Ipanema, Copacabana, Tijuca Forest, some Favelas and come face to face with Christ the Redeemer statue!
Phew ... With breath-taking views, it is also one of the safest ways to tour in Rio during the Pandemic, because Rio Helicopters follows the safety protocols against Covid-19 and doesn´t put you sitting next to strangers in the aircraft - all flights are private.
Reservations: +55 21 98893-3909 or email@example.com