Rio de Janeiro Journals

Sun and Surf in Rio

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A September 2006 trip to Rio de Janeiro by travellingdave

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor) Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil More Photos
Quote: Four days embracing South America's hottest spot, the Brazilian gem of Rio de Janeiro.

Sun and Surf in Rio

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Overview

Sugarloaf Mountain Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
The hands-down highlights of Brazil's most popular city are the beautiful Cristo Redentor statue, the Pão de Açúcar cablecar ride, and the warm, sunny Atlantic beaches.After arriving into town and heading to your hotel, stroll around Copacabana to get oriented. Have dinner at the highly recommended Monchique Churruscaria (Brazilian BBQ) and people-watch at Copacabana Beach before heading to bed. The next day, spend a while relaxing and being seen on Copacabana beach. The perfect, idyllic beach one sees only in their imagination, comes to life here. Perfect water temperature, bustling party atmosphere, and warm sand make this experience outstanding.The next day, head to the Pão de Açúca...Read More

Apa Hotel

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Hotel

Apa Hotel Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
This cute little hotel is centrally located in the beautiful beach district of Copacabana, near budget restaurants and shops. Perfectly situated only 3 blocks from the beach, it is also on a main bus route and is easy to get to and from wherever you are going. The decor is quite nice for this price range, and each room has comfortable, but small, beds. Rooms are complete with mini-bar, fridges, television (high up on the wall for easy viewing), couch, and tables. The rooms are very spacious and cozy, and each room has a balcony (which can sometimes be noisy). Rooms are complete with much-needed air-conditioning.Service at this hotel is good, and porters do expect to be tipped. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Apa Hotel
Rua República do Peru 305
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
+55 (21) 2548-8112

Monchique

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Restaurant

Monchique Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Copacabana's premier churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) is the place to come for the best meats that Rio has to offer. This popular place is packed nightly with hungry tourists and locals alike. Waiters casually stroll around the restaurant with huge skewers of meat, cutting off pieces tableside and serving them to hungry customers. Everything from lamb and beef to chicken and pork is served up here - freshly grilled to perfection. The quality of the meat was exquisite. Among my favorites were the grilled chorizo, the carne asada, and the grilled lamb. Those who are sensitive to salt should avoid the res do sel, a mouth-numbing piece of roast beef, covered in crushed sea salt and barbequed....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Monchique
Avenida Nsa Sra de Copacabana, 796-A
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2548-5140

Bob's

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Restaurant

Bob's Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Bob's is Brazil's most popular fast-food chain. Serving burgers and shakes with a Brazilian twist, these restaurants are always jam-packed. They are everywhere in Rio, with one almost on every other block.Their menu is family-friendly, and burgers can be ordered either with beef or chicken. Toppings vary from guacamole to garlic to cheese. Combos are readily available, with fried vegetables, french fries, or chicken sticks to add-on. The menu also features other goodies like hot dogs, chicken or tuna salad sandwiches (on toast), and a local favorite, the cheese and banana sandwich (try one!).There are many flavors of shakes, if you're in the mood for a frosty dessert, all of wh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Bob's

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Primo Cappo

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Restaurant

Primo Cappo Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
This cute little pizza shop is located in northern Copacabana, near the border with Botafogo. One of Rio's premier Italian budget restaurants, this is popular with locals and tourists alike. The easiest way to get here is by taxi, unless you are staying in a nearby hotel. Definitely do not attempt to walk, as it's a good distance from the center of Copacabana.We visited Primo Cappo as our last meal before leaving town on an overnight bus. We arrived at around 9:00 PM and found the place still as packed as ever, filled with the laughter and conversation of many groups of people enjoying the best pizza in the city. We grabbed a table and joined in on the fun, experiencing the at...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Primo Cappo

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cantina

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Restaurant

Enjoying fresh juice at Cantina Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
This is a hole-in-the-wall juice bar and restaurant located just a few blocks from the beach in central Copacabana. It might not be much to look at from the outside - just a counter with a couple of rickety stools - inside is what counts. Here, the menu is all about food - GOOD food, done right.We approached somewhat hesitantly, but were soon encouraged to get a bit closer by the owner, a Brazilian with a good sense of humor, who laughed at almost anything he heard. We mosied on up to the counter and took a seat at the small bar and ordered a fresh juice to start, while the cook prepared our hot meals. I had the guava juice, two glasses of excellent orange juice, and a glass of passion f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Copacabana Beach

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Attraction

Copacabana Beach Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Rio's most popular beach is the place to see people and to be seen. This beach, around two miles long, is the nightlife capital of South America, and Brazil's hottest spot.With excellent surf and a view that will blow you away, this is THE place to swim and surf while in Rio. The sand is warm, the sun is hot, and so are the people.This beach does have some problems with nudity, so if that offends you, this may not be the place for you. Scantily clad women and men strut their stuff down the beach, making it a great place to mix and mingle.The ocean is a bit rough here. I accidentally didn't remove my glasses, and held them on for dear life as I tried to make my way back to shore...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Copacabana Beach

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio Sul

Attraction

Rio Sul Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Rio Sul is Rio de Janeiro's premier shopping mall, located a short taxi ride north of Copacabana in the community of Botafogo. This trendy mall has everything you'd ever want, from high-class fashion to optical/sunglasses merchants to electronics superstores. Brazil's economy is red-hot, and no shortage of variety or merchandise is here.The mall is quite large, and takes a map to get around. Ask at the information desks. Information officers wear red shirts and speak fluent English. They came in very handy when I lost my glasses and blindly wandered the mall in search of an optometrist.The food court is reasonable and offers food choices from Brazil, fast food, and some high class rest...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Rio Sul
Avenida Lauro Muller, 116
Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro 22299-900
+55 21 25457200

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor)

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Attraction | "Christ the Redeemer"

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor) Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Absolutely no visit to Rio de Janeiro is complete without ascending Corcovado Mountain's steep walls to the Cristo Redentor monument (Christ the Redeemer). Seen from almost everywhere in Rio, this statue showing Christ with outstretched arms, seemingly hugging and blessing the city, is THE cultural highlight of Rio.To get to the monument, take a Corcovado-marked bus from your hotel in Copacabana. This bus will take you to the Tram station at the base of the mountain in suburban Rio. From here, enter the tram building and pay the hefty $17 USD entrance fee, then you're on your way. Lines are very long, so expect to wait up to two hours before there is room on the tram. The tram uses cog rai...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor)
Corcovado Mountain
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sugarloaf Mountain

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Attraction | "Pão de Açúcar"

Sugarloaf Mountain Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
After visiting the massive and beautiful Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) can seem a bit redundant. To avoid this, and enjoy the mountain and its beautiful, yet thrilling, cablecar ride, visit here before visiting Cristo Redentor.Once you arrive in the neighbourhood of Urca at the cablecar station, you will ascend some steps to the ticket booth. Pay the steep $17 admission (the same as the much, much better Cristo Redentor) and you're on your way. The lines are relatively short, and the most you will wait is around 20 minutes.The cablecar brings you almost a kilometer up to the first station. Here, you will find a small theater with ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Sugarloaf Mountain

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
55 21 2461-2700

Morro da Urca

Attraction | "Praia Urca"

Morro da Urca Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
This beach, opposite the beautiful Pão de Açúcar (sugarloaf mountain) is very much a local's beach. Prices are 1/4 of what they are in Copacabana for drinks and hotels, but with the cheap prices comes dirtier water, and much less surf.

I would compare this beach to that of swimming in a marina, as the waves are meagre at best, and the water is simply too dirty to enjoy.

Use this beach as a suntanning spot only, otherwise you may be a bit disappointed. Recommended only for its views.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Morro da Urca
Praia Vermelha
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 22290-270
Not applicable