Every television set and travel agency has told you about the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Don’t you think it’ll be overhyped?
Trust me, you’ll save a lot of money and have as much (or more) fun on your own, if you attend the Reveillon instead…
The New Year’s eve beach party at Copacabana! Everyone dresses up in white (Andrea had to change later, minus points for that) and pops a bottle of bubbly at the stroke of midnight on 31st December every year. The mood is upbeat, the parties are as wild as Carnaval and best of all – gorgeous seafront fireworks!
2. Copacabana is overrated. Vidigal is underrated.
You’ve obviously heard of the famous Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon beaches – I just wrote that in the order of their hotness, Copa being the Juhu Chowpatty of Rio de Janeiro. But wait… there’s ANOTHER beach further south from Leblon, if you are cool with walking down another kilometer or so – Vidigal.
This is a beautiful beach, frequented only by locals and guests of the adjoining Sheraton Hotel. Being a smaller beach, it’s perfect for a small group or playing some beach sports, undisturbed. On the walk back to Leblon, stop by a for the perfect picture at the Mirador do Leblon.
3. Missing the gym? Head to the Botafogo-Flamengo stretch.
If you’re a fitness buff like me, or just looking for some daily exercise – you don’t need to look for a gym in Rio. Just head to the Botafogo-Flamengo stretch for a run, and follow it up with some weight training at the ‘Circuito do Praia’ – free, public gyms that run along the coast of the Marvellous City!
4. Visit Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf) for the most stunning views. Pay half the price!
There’s something truly magical about this place in Rio – the Sugarloaf mountain (Pao de Acucar).
It offers the most spectacular views of Rio de Janeiro, and it’s calm and ambiance is unbeatable. But here’s a little secret. Trek up halfway to Morro de Urca and THEN take the cable car up to Pao de Acucar.
Not only will you appreciate some nature along the way + get some exercise, but you’ll also save 50% on the ticket price!
The return journey is free for you, all the way back to base. You’re welcome 😉
5. After a beach day at Ipanema, stay back for the sunset surprise.
As i was hanging out by the pavement one day at Ipanema beach, i noticed a crowd gathered to stop and look at.. the sunset.
At first i just smiled and walked away, but as the sun went down, the crowd broke into an applause. I mean who applauds sunsets? They happen every day, right? Cariocas do – the warm, beautiful people of Rio de Janeiro. Don’t miss this amazing, hair raising experience that celebrates the small joys of life!
For more ideas, check out the official website of Visit Rio.
Do YOU have any more Rio secrets to share? Agree / disagree with any of these?
Let me know in the comments below!
Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.