I was lucky enough to spend a month in Rio De Janerio, Brazil at the end of 2013, and oh it was incredible! If you’re travelling South America, or just jetting off to Rio for a break, here’s part one of my guide, covering all the major sights!
“At the Copa, Copacabana…”
Anytime I hear the name of this beach I can’t help but get THAT song in my head, anyone else?
Anyway, Copacabana is a MUST for anyone travelling to Rio, not that there’s much chance you can miss it. Set in the South Zone of Rio, Copacabana beach is absolutely massive and runs for over 2 miles of the coast.
You’ll know when you’re on Copacabana beach once you see the famous black and white Portuguese pavement that spans the entire promenade of the beach.
Along the beach in Rio you will find so much to see and do. From open-air bars with live music, or little cafes if you fancy something more relaxing. There are many different sports played along the beach, from volleyball to football, and even if you’re not that sporty, it’s great to sit and watch!
The Sugarloaf Mountain is without a doubt the place to get the best views of Rio. To get to the top you have to take two cable cars, one to Morro da Urca (which also has some pretty good views!) and a second from Morro da Urca to Sugarloaf.
Once you’re at the top there’s surprisingly a lot to do, considering you’re at the top of a mountain! There are places for food, drinks and souvenirs, and seating areas to just relax and enjoy the view.
Apart from the amazing scenery, the best part about the Sugarloaf Mountain IMO is the marmoset monkeys that aren’t afraid to get up close to you. You’re not allowed to feed them, but they will try and steal any food you have in your hands!
Another thing to do on the Sugarloaf Mountain is to watch the outdoor rock climbers and abseilers, there are lots of rock climbing spots on the mountain so you should be guaranteed to see some.
Christ The Redeemer
This is probably the most obvious tourist spot you HAVE to visit on your trip to Rio. When you’re in the city you’ll catch a glimpse of this Christ the Redeemer every now and then when there is a break in the buildings, but this doesn’t do it justice until you’re up close.
Standing on top of the Corcovado mountain, the statue is 98ft tall and from finger to finger the arms stretch 92ft.
As you’d expect with most tourist spots, the viewing area is really busy. It’s near-impossible to get a photo without anyone else in if you’re there at peak times, but you can still get some really nice shots.
The best time to go would be about an hour before sunset, as you get to experience it during the day and then as it goes dark. The views over Rio De Janerio are also stunning from up here.
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon
If you watched the Rio Olympics in 2016 you would of certainly seen this lake – it’s where the rowing took place!
Situated in the South Zone of Rio De Janeria, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon is MASSIVE, and there’s a lot to do around, and in it.
We spent a lot of time near the lagoon as it was close to where we were staying. We spent a day cycling round it multiple times (it killed me) which was a great way to take everything in. There were lots of bike rental places around the lagoon, so it’s easy to find one for a few hours.
While cycling round you’ll find loads of quiet areas to sit and chill, which made quite a nice change to the hectic streets around Copacobana. Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon is also a great spot to see Christ the Reedemer from the ground.
We also hired the swan boats (like the ones at Alton Towers) and went for a spin around the lake for an hour, which was fun!
So there it is, the first part of my travel guide to Rio De Janerio, there’s definitely many more sights to Rio but those were my highlights.
(Disclaimer: I had some fab photos from my trip to Rio, but I lost them on an old laptop and only had the crappy quality versions saved on Facebook, so please excuse how rubbish they are!)