Have you been to Rio de Janeiro?
“I met a girl at the Carnival, in Rio de Janeiro. We danced all night on the boulevard. In doorways we did the tango.” – Spanish Eyes, Ricky Martin
I had the hugest crush on Ricky Martin when I was in high school. My first and only celebrity crush.
Writing this post reminded me of the line from the song above.
Rio de Janeiro is a city of contradictions.
Luxurious apartment complexes; and rickety homes that cling to the side of a mountain.
Shiny new cars cruising next to the beach; and families without running water.
Beauty salons on every block; and barefoot boys wandering the streets at night.
There are so many aspects of Rio de Janeiro to explore. Any short trip would hardly be able to do the city justice. From the colourful spectacle that is Carnival, to understanding the social housing problems. There is much to learn from Rio.
My time in Rio de Janeiro was spent close by Ipanema.
Although this is a rich part of the city, poverty was still very much present.
I did not do a tour of a favela. I don’t have enough knowledge on this issue, so I don’t feel I could make an informed decision as to whether a favela tour is beneficial to the people who live there.
Or if it is a form of exploitation for the sake of a few tourist photos and one’s own conscience.
I did, however, visit the other popular tourist attractions in the city.
I must say, I sufficiently enjoyed the beaches. The water was a wavy in some areas, but the white sand was the softest sand I have ever walked on.
The beach was full of activity – men playing soccer, women watching, children swimming, and vendors strolling the scene hawking hats and wrap skirts.
10 photos to inspire you to visit Rio de Janeiro
1. Christ the Redeemer Statue
Cristo Redentor in Portuguese, the statue stands on top of the Corcovado Mountain and watches over Rio de Janeiro.
2. Copacabana Beach
In the southern part of the city, Copacabana Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. There are even songs about it.
3. The view from Corcovado Mountain
Looking down alongside the Christ the Redeemer statue, you can see Sugarloaf Mountain and other islands in the distance.
4. Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro
Perhaps an unusual shape for a cathedral, the bright stained glass inside combine modern and classical.
There are lots of cute little monkeys hanging around the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.
6. Sugarloaf Mountain
Take the gondola twice. First to Morro da Urca and then to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain.
7. Guanabara Bay
See the sailboats crowding the inlets of Guanabara Bay. Come at sunset for a special view.
8. The Atlantic Ocean
From one the many beaches in Rio de Janeiro, gaze longingly out over the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Even if you don’t come to Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, you can still visit the Sambadrome, see the costumes, and even try some on.
10. Ipanema Beach
Swim in the ocean. Sunbathe alongside hundreds of tanned bodies. Buy fresh coconut drinks. Or just take your shoes off and feel the softest sand you have every walked on.
Let me know in the comment section below, what are your thoughts on visiting Rio de Janeiro?