Rio de Janeiro Journals

Rio de Janeiro: South America's Glittering Star

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A September 2002 trip to Rio de Janeiro by actonsteve

The cablecar and Pao du Acaucar Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil More Photos
Quote: You will fall in love with Rio de Janeiro. The sapphire of the sky contrasts with the white of Copacabana beach, people dance to samba and the Sugarloaf overlooks everything. This metropolis is alive and exciting, and must be the best city in South America...

Rio de Janeiro: South America's glittering star

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Overview

The view from the Corcovado Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
This city is for the senses.You can lie under the blazing sun on a beach overlooked by towering green mountains. Mahoghany bodies chatter beside you with brown eyes, white teeth and healthy glows. Hawkers cries their wares, soft white sand lies underneath and the atlantic gently laps at your feet.Am I in heaven? No - Rio de Janeiro.Words cannot describe my love for the 'Cuidade Marvelosa'. It was a deep unconditional affair with what must be one of the most spectacular cities in the world. And to leave was almost physical in it's painfulness. It slivers around the contours of Guanabara bay with the jungle covered peaks of the Tijuca NP as...Read More

Hotel Debret

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Hotel | "Hotel Debret - location, location, location"

Hotel Debret Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
And ...of course... the location is right on Copacabana beach. Step out of the door and a quick right takes you onto spiffy Avenida Atlantica. Cross the lanes of traffic and you can run your toes through the sands of the most famous beach in the world. If you are staying at Debret you can be up, swimming in the Atlantic or joining in with a game of volleyball all before you settle down to breakfast. I cannot recommend this place enough. It is in the heart of Copacabana near the western Ipanema/Aproador end and overlooks the famous Avenida Atlantica and the beach. From it's 11th floor restaurant you can see the entire length of the half-moon beach with the Sugarloaf in the distance and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 27, 2003

Hotel Debret
Avenida Atlantica 3564
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
21 5220132

Arpoador Inn

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Hotel | "The Aproador Inn - one step to Ipanema beach"

Arpoador Inn Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
I wandered past the Aproador Inn on my second day in Rio, and thought "What I would give to stay there...?" And the irony is that I could and did stay there. This find was probably one of the highlights of my trip to Rio and is literally on the beach. It is situated on the Aproador headland which interjects between famous Copacabana and stylish Ipanema beach with expansive views of each for about £30/$45 a night. But the highlight is the restaurante - there you can sit sipping guava juice while the beach boardwalk is the other side of the window. A few yards away will be an open-air gym with men hoisting themselves up on the bars and kids pushing surfboards deep into the waves. As for ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 27, 2003

Arpoador Inn
RUA FRANCISCO OTAVIANO 177
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
2122746995

Carlito's Grill

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Restaurant | "Carlito''s Grill - capirinha''s in the sunshine.."

Quote:
Rio is one of the worlds most exotic tourist destinations and has a restaurant scene to match. In Brazil you can dine on Mexican, Italian, Indian, French, Polish, Arab and at some of the cheapest Japanese restaurants in the world. The trendy districts of Copacabana and Ipanema are lined with expensive foreign restaurants but if you are here in Brazil you must try the regional food which may not be as spicy as Mexican but is still very good and available all over the city.Rio is a city of eight million. Most of these cannot afford to eat at the plush charrascaria''s (barbeque houses) or the restaurant''s of Ipanema or Barra di Tijuca. They tend to rely on bars/quilo restaurants which sel...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 27, 2003

Carlito's Grill
corner of Visconde Piraji and Farme Amedeo
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
not known

Contemporary Art Museum (MAC)

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Attraction | "Museu Contempora - Modern art in a flying saucer"

Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) Photo, Niteroi, Brazil
Quote:
Many things come to the mind''s eye when thinking of Rio, but never modern art? The truth is that Rio has a thriving arts scene. Writers and painters are drawn to this city and a wealthy middle-class means there is more income to spend on art then other cities. Contemporary art can be found in the galleries of Ipanema but also across the mighty Guanabara bay at the Museu de Arte Contemporanea in Niteroi. Niteroi is a kind of mini Rio with mountains, hotels and beaches facing it''s glittering sister across the immensity of the waters of Guanabara. I told a Carioca friend that I had visited Niteroi and he laughed. "The best thing about Niteroi is the ferry back to Rio..."...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 27, 2003

Contemporary Art Museum (MAC)
Pria Da Boa Viagem
Niteroi, Brazil

Le Boy

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Attraction | "'Le Boy' - the best gay club in Brazil..."

Quote:
Normally, you wouldn't associate gay life with South America.It has the reputation for Roman Catholicism, machismo and extended families. But every continent has it's own paralell nightlife for it's gay population. In places like Ecuador, Peru and Chile it is not so public. But Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela it is very open and Buenos Aires has a gay scene as big as Madrid or Chicago. Best of all is Brazil with Sao Paulo, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro leading the way.The cream of the crop is 'Le Boy' in Aproador. I would rank it as one of the top five gay clubs in the world - up there with 'Heaven' in London, 'Splash' in New York and 'Le Queen' in Paris. It is the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 27, 2003

Le Boy
Rua Raul Pompéia, 102 Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 22080-000
+55 21 25134993

The Burle Marx boardwalk Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Copacabana is an almost sensual experience. All your senses are invigorated as you fall in love with the most famous beach in Brazil. Everything you have heard about Copacabana is true. The striking blue sky contrasts with the deep blue of the Oceano Atlantico, the sand is sugar white and as soft as snow - kid's run in the surf, middle-aged men jog along it's length, hawkers cry their wares and backing it all are the Art Deco hotels and jungle covered mountains. Copacabana is a golden corner of the world. I suspect the sunworshipping Carioca's know how lucky they are. Imagine being brought up with this beach in the vicinity from the cradle to the grave? How many summers have ...Read More
The cablecar and Pao du Acaucar Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
We have Roger Moore and his safari suit to blame for my wanderlust. It was seeing him on the big screen in the seventies when I was a kid which intrigued me about exploring the world. He and the lovely Lois Chiles battled Jaws atop the cablecar in "Moonraker" and when I was old enough I promised myself that I would visit such a spectacular location. And the Sugarloaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro surpasses expectation and became my favourite sight in the Cuidade Marvellosa. To underestimate the importance of the Sugarloaf in the psyche of Carioca''s is to underestimate their same love for the beach. The Sugarloaf predates Rio and was there when the Portuguese sailed into Guanabara bay back in 1500....Read More
The whole swep of Ipanema Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Tom Jobim, the composer of Brazil''s bossa nova, has alot to answer for. It was his composition "The girl from Ipanema" that put this beach on the worldwide map and every visitor to Rio has to visit. Supposedly, he coined the words and tune from senora''s wandering past his seat at a beachfront cafe. The tune is just as applicable today as the beautiful people come to shop, eat or be admired in one of Rio''s most spectacular beaches. If Ipanema had comparisons with other cities then it would be with Beverley Hills or Hampstead. This is the abode of filmstars, footballers and millionaires with some of the property the most expensive in Brazil and it''s main drag Rua Visconda Piraji is ...Read More
O Christo Redentor embracing the city... Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
What do you think of when you think of Brazil? Probably a vista of miles and miles of steaming jungle broken only by meandering brown rivers and the cries of monkeys. Maybe Carnival? Maybe football? Maybe gigantic waterfalls..? But nine times out of ten the image flashing in your minds eye will be of the Chriso Redentor perched on it''s pinnacle high above Rio.... This is a sight worth crossing continents to see. This is the great icon and symbol of the ''Cuidade Marvelosa''. As famous as the Acropolis is to Athens or the Golden Gate to San Francisco. The sight of it floating majestically above the city is one that every visitor to Rio never forgets, and every visitor makes the pilgrim...Read More
The Corcovado from the banks of the lagoa Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Brazilians hold elections like carnivals. I got the chance to see this for myself as I strolled around one of the most beautiful parts of Rio - the Lagoa Rodrigo dei Freitas. At the southwest corner of the lake was a political rally. About 100 people blew whistles and waved white and blue flags. They jumped and danced around to the beat of drums and there was an air of a festival. One woman grabbed my hand, shouted something excitedly about "Da Silva!" and tried to drag me along with the show. Da Silva was of course the centre-left candidate who got elected this year. From my Brazilian friends here in London I know that the country elected it''s first left wing President in twenty year...Read More
The bookmarket on Largo di Carioca Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
One morning I found Margaret Thatcher''s face staring back at me from a market stall. It was at the bookmarket on Largo di Carioca and was a biography under the title "great leaders" (stop laughing at the back...) and was amassed with hundreds of portuguese language paperbacks. Perhaps it was put there to annoy visiting Argentineans. I wouldn''t put anything past the cariocas. But the bookmarket on Largo di Carioca is one of the hidden gems of Centro Rio. The city centre/downtown of the ''Cuidade Marvelosa'' is a really buzzing place and worth an afternoons excursion. Crowds of peope rush around it''s narrow cobbled streets and the architecture is a real mix of the old and the new. Tow...Read More
The edge of the ferry terminal Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
All great cities have a historical square at their centre and Rio de Janeiro is no exception. The Praca 15 Novembro or simply Praca XV (pronounced Pra-chah Quin-Zeh) is one such square and sits a the very heart of Centro. Once you tire of the bronzed bodies of Ipanema or Copacabana get yourself on a bus and explore this area. It has everything - historical palaces, harbour views, busy markets, baroque churches and the ebb and flow of carioca life which for me is it''s highlight. One morning isn''t enough to do Rio''s city centre justice - it requires at least two days exploration.When you think of colonial Latin America you think of Peru or Mexico. In 2001 Brazil celebrated the 500...Read More
The infamous Rochina favela Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Sometime in the 1980''s Rio got a very bad press. The television news was full of dramatic stories of hideous crimes and travellers around the world were advised to keep away from this city of sin south of the equator. I am now going to say something controversial. "I went to Rio de Janeiro and NOTHING HAPPENED TO ME!!!" Shock! Horror! Someone goes to Rio and doesn''t come back with a gratuitous tale of a robbery or mugging. Hard to believe eh? I fact, I will go further and say that I never felt unsafe as I was wandering around and was impressed by how well policed Copacabana was and will go as far as to say that this city is one of the most underrated in the world....Read More