Rio de Janeiro Journals

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

A February 2005 trip to Rio de Janeiro by Amaj

Escadaria Selaron Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil More Photos
Quote: We love to party, and what better way to do it than at Carnival? We've done Notting Hill and Trinidad, so the logical next step had to be Rio. If you love caipirinhas, carnival, samba, juicy steaks, and tiny swimwear, then Rio is definitely the place to be!

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

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Overview

Quote:
There were so many highlights. Dancing to the early hours of the morning in Centro was definitely the most fun - we met a lot of crazy people from all over the world, danced with men dressed as nuns, and drank some interesting substances that tasted like mud from a rubber tube and a lot of Skol (?!). The Red and Black Ball at the Scala was another nighttime highlight, although the bruises from being groped so much lasted a good few days. Everyone was dressed in red and black, although lots of men turned up dressed just in their Speedos (!), and the stage was busy with amazing samba dancers and drummers. Cachaca fuelled craziness at its best! Sunset and passion-fruit caipirinhas on Ipanema Beach de...Read More

Copacabana Praia Hostel

Hotel | "Copa Praia Hostel"

Quote:
The accommodation was a welcome surprise. For the three of us, we were given a small apartment with a double bedroom with ensuite shower and toilet, a dining room with fridge which also had a bunkbed, and a small kitchenette with a cooker and a sink. It all looked very new and was exceptionally clean. The hostel also had a number of dormitories, and there was quite a sociable feel to the place, with a communal courtyard where people can gather to have a drink or two before they head out for the evening. The staff are helpful to a point, although I think we may have tested their patience a little. There are a number of organised excursions. The location is good, although some may...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 4, 2005

Copacabana Praia Hostel
Tenente Marones de Gusmão, 85
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Baronetti

Attraction

Quote:
Baronetti had been recommended to us by a number of people as the best nightclub in Rio, so we were keen to check it out. The first time we went down there, however, the entry charge was so high that we decided to go somewhere else (fortunately, it's located near a number of other bars and nightclubs). The second time we went, we were lucky. The doorman took a shine to my incredibly beautiful friend, and not only ushered us to the front of the queue but gave us VIP passes (lucky, because the queue is a joke). Inside the decor is pretty similar to a club that you might find in London - shiny bar tops, comfy sofas. We snacked on sushi and then danced the night away to funky house tunes with a selec...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 4, 2005

Baronetti
354 Rua Barão da Torre
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Praia de Botafogo

Attraction

Quote:
This is a small but pretty coved beach set on the main road. Lots of small boats are moored here a little way from the shore. And there's a spectacular view of the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain. We had just eaten an amazing lunch at a restaurant called Pax in the shopping mall over the road (it has amazing views and the food is really good), and the plan was to go to Ipanema Beach, but we were so full that we ended up stumbling across the road and vegging out here instead. It's very quiet. There were no tourists, just a group of boys playing football and a couple of Brazilian families paddling in the water. We did venture in the water, too, but soon backed out, as the water here is pretty fi...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 10, 2005

Praia de Botafogo
Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Copacabana

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Attraction | "Copacabana Beach"

Quote:
Copacabana Beach is a 5km strip of white sand set against a dramatic backdrop of mountains that is truly pretty impressive. Back in the day, this was the place to be seen, before Ipanema stole its crown. This is the first strip of Rio beach to be commercially developed back in the 1920s, with the opening of the Copacabana Palace Hotel in 1923. While the rest of the neighbourhood hasn't been able to maintain the same glamour and reputation as this landmark hotel, during the day, the beach is still definitely worth a visit, especially if you're staying nearby, as we were. Head for the stretch in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel - this is the best-maintained area (other parts can be quite litter...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 12, 2005

Copacabana
Avenida Atlantica and Xavier da Silveira
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 22010-000
+55 21 2542 8080

Escadaria Selaron

Attraction

Escadaria Selaron Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
The weather wasn't too nice on our first few days in Rio before Carnival started, so instead of lounging about on the beach, we thought we'd have a wander through Rio, find our feet, and visit the famous steps where hip-hop stars Snoop and Pharell filmed the video for "Beautiful." This stairway links the Rua Joaquim Silva in Lapa to the Rua Pinto Martins in Santa Teresa. It took us a while to find it, but when we finally did, it was worth it. Two-hundred and fifteen steps are covered with ceramic mosaics in green, yellow, and blue (the colours of the Brazilian flag) with mirrors and tiles. This decorative and incredibly beautiful stairway was originally created as a tribute to the Brazil...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 13, 2005

Escadaria Selaron
Escadaria do Convento 24, Lapa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
021/2242-0922

Maracanã Stadium

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Attraction | "Football in Brazil - kick-off at Maracana"

Maracanã Stadium Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
I don’t pretend to know much about football. I am a supporter of a London football team, although that is more an inherited responsibility as it’s a family tradition. I couldn’t tell you who plays for them, or explain the offside rule. But football is such a Brazilian institution and Maracana is, after all, the largest stadium in the world--how could we not go? The tickets were quite cheap (around US$5) and available easily, but the stadium is so vast that this Flamengo v Fluminense match (two top Rio teams) couldn’t possibly fill it--a quarter of the stadium was filled, tops. But that didn’t in any way diminish the experience. The crowd was seriously passionate--flipping cartwheels, cry...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 13, 2005

Maracanã Stadium
Rua Professor Eurico Rabelo S/n São Cristóvão
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 20271-150
+55 21 25689962

Quote:
Unless your budget can stretch to going for a few cocktails at the famous poolside bar of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, I would give this area a miss after the sun goes down - there are nicer places to be, such as Ipanema or Leblon, where there is certainly more interest going on. The main evening attraction here is Help! discotheque, which is where many tourists head for a night out. My advice is to give it a miss - this is a tacky trouble hot spot (muggings are commonplace along this strip at night), where petty criminals go to make some easy money out of tourists, the music policy is uninteresting, and it's full of prostitutes. Prostitutes are not only restricted to this discotheque, ...Read More
Quote:
The Red and Black Ball is an annual event held during Carnival that is renowned for being one of its most exciting and crazy events. The Red & Black theme is in honour of the colours of the football team Flamengo, which is a top Rio team. It's held at the Scala, which is a huge venue located in Leblon. Tickets are available from the venue up to a few hours before the events kick off. It’s admittedly not cheap, but well worth it. Dress code: well, obviously you have to wear red and black. They have been known to turn away people who are not dressed appropriately, and people here do go all out, so it's worth making an effort. As we enter the venue, it is absolutely packed, swe...Read More
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In Rio de Janeiro, the beach isn’t just a bonus or a tourist attraction – it’s a way of life. The Cariocas that inhabit this city are just as keen to get down to the beach as the gringos – the suntan is the all-important accessory in this part of town. It is not uncommon to see girls and guys on the beach applying suntan lotion with a paint brush, delicately coating each centimetre of their skin in this substance that will ensure they leave the beach with a golden glow. But while us gringos may be sitting there on the beach sweating in our bikinis or baggy Bermuda shorts, peeling and slowly turning an unattractive shade of lobster red, they somehow manage to do it in style, always looking gorgeou...Read More

Ipanema Beach

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Ipanema is one of the most glamorous and pretty parts of Rio. It has a magnificent beach and tree-lined streets that are packed with restaurants, bars, and shops. As one of the most expensive and exclusive neighbourhoods, the people who live here are not only wealthy, but also glamorous and beautiful. The beach has beautiful, soft white sand and is framed at either end by mountains and hills - Ponta do Arpoador at the eastern end and the Morro Dois Irmãos, which makes the setting even more picturesque. The clean blue water is quite rough, and its large waves crash onto the shore – it’s a little turbulent to swim in unless you’re a strong swimmer but good fun for messing around in, or you can sur...Read More

Carnival in Rio

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Welcome to the Sambodrome"

Quote:
The Sambodrome is quintessential Carnival - it's what the rest of the world sees on their televisions and so has become the international representation of the Rio carnival. It's here that you see the amazing floats, the fantastic costumes, and the amazing samba dance moves and hear the Carnival anthems. Consequently, everyone wants to be here, so tickets can be quite pricey, going up to thousands of dollars. It’s open every night of Carnival, running from 10pm until about 6 in the morning. Food is available here, too, but I wouldn’t get too excited – the food is provided by Bob’s Burgers only (Brazil’s answer to Mcdonald’s, and if you didn’t think it was possible, it tastes even worse!) – but it...Read More

Carnival in Rio

Rio de Janeiro