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Hottest Host City: Rio de Janeiro

Brazil is hosting this year’s FIFA World Cup, one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.  If you are traveling to see the World Cup, stay a few extra days. Brazil has so much to offer travelers and adventure seekers. Here’s hoping that everyone enjoys Brazil’s time to shine on the world stage.

The highlight of any trip, Rio’s beach scene is not to be missed. Set your towel down and watch the world come to you. Literally venders come strolling by selling everything from bikins, to jewelry to sunglasses. You could bring nothing with you and be completely outfitted in no time flat. As you may have heard, the woman of Brazil are admired for their beauty and luckily the men aren’t to shabby either. When the boys of Brazil start playing volleyball you just might forget there’s a beach.

Looking for a place to stay?  Long before there was AirBNB, this network of Rio residences opened up rooms to provide a unique bed and breakfast experience.  Check out Cama e Café on the web.

Bought your tickets for the World Cup? Here are a few places you should see:

Saint Teresa

Not all the fun is on the beaches and not all of Rio is chaos. I fell in love with the quaint and lovely Saint Theresa neighborhood which sits high up on the hillside and is made up of faded colonial mansions, cobblestone streets and cafes where artists sing Antonio Carlos Jobim alfresco.  Plan an afternoon to stroll through streets, eat lunch or dinner and enjoy the bohemian experience.

santa_teresa_dancing

Corcovado (Monte Cristo) & Cristo Rendentor

If you’re looking for one of the best views from which to see all of Rio, make sure you visit Corcovado Mountain, located in central Rio.  The granite peak rises 2300 feet and is located in the Tijuca Forest.  Corcovado Hill stretches high above the city and is known throughout the world as the home of the 100 foot statue of Jesus who stands high above the city on its peak.  While the statue is one of the most popular tourist attractions, your stay in Rio will not be complete without a trip to see Christ the Redeemer.  Be sure to go in the morning, check the weather, and book your train in advance/online so you can avoid some of the wait and crowds.

Christ-The-Redeemer-Statue-w

Sugarloaf Mountain

Another very popular spot to go high up above Rio with spectacular views is Sugar Loaf Mountain.   While the best views are at the top, the scenery all the way up in the glass-walled cable care will take your breath away. The cable car runs between the peaks of Sugarloaf Mountain and Urca’s Mountain every 20 minutes.  The panoramic views of Copacabana Beach are incredible.  You should really try to see a sunset from the top, but if you do go early.  Arriving during or just before the sunset takes timing, but it can be done!  It’s also a great trip to do in the morning so you can see Rio awaken.  Sugarloaf so much fun you may find yourself going up several days during different times so you can take plenty of photographs.

Sugar-Loaf-Mountain-Rio

Theatro Municipal

This lavish 1909 theater is an outstanding place to see a show or take a tour.  You’re bound to get at least one cloudy or foggy day when you’re in Rio and this is a very beautiful way to pass the time.  The tours are given in English, cost about $10, last one hour and you can book in advance.  Due to crowds, it’s best to arrive early.  Just go, you’ll be glad you did.  It’s absolutely over-the-top and stunning inside and out.

Theatro-Municipal

Maracana Stadium

Yes it’s true, Rio is home to some outstanding soccer clubs and international tournaments.  You never know who you’ll find playing in Maracana Stadium.  One of the most iconic football landmarks in the world, it was home to the FIFA World Cup in 1950.  Recently renovated and ready to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, the arena is a must-see for sports lovers.  After the World Cup is over you can take a tour or see a local team play.  During the Club Season, teams from Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama sports clubs all play at Maracana Stadium.

Maracana-Stadium
Photography by Reuters

Have you traveled to Rio de Janeiro?  What was your favorite thing to do?

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This Post Has One Comment
  1. Wonderful advice!

    I’ve just come back, and found that an underrated but wonderful site to head to is the Forte de Copacabana located at the beginning (or end, depending on where you come from) of Copacabana beach. It does involve paying a fee to enter, but has the best cafe and view to see Copacabana and Sugarloaf as well as a wonderful informative and historical fort to check out.

    The area of Urca is also really wonderful to check out. It’s super laid back and very local. So do like the locals do, grab a bite and a drink and sit on the wall chatting with others

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