New Years in Rio

To celebrate New Year’s Eve my wife and spent a wonderful week in Brazil. We’ve traveled to many different locations to celebrate New Years, and I would have to rate Rio as my favorite location.

New Years in Rio

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by AndrewL on February 21, 2005

There were so many great things to see and do in Rio. The main reason for going there was to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and it was an incredible experience to spend the night with the other millions of people on the beach in Copacabana, which was the highlight of our trip.

In addition to the New Year’s festivities, I would say that the following top my list:

• Sitting on the beach in Ipanema, relaxing and sipping on a cool caipirinha
• Enjoying the view from the Corcovado or Sugar Loaf, with some of the most magnificent views I’ve seen anywhere in the world
• Strolling along the Lagoa in the evening and stopping to eat at one of the outdoor restaurants and listen to the live music.

In addition to this, one of the best things about Rio is the favorable exchange rate and the bargains that result. Overall, food and lodging costs in Rio are very cheap, even after paying the inflated tourist prices.

Lastly, there is a certain intangible relaxed atmosphere about Rio that makes this such a wonderful place. ${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} We were able to get around by a combination of taxis and walking. We felt very safe walking around the beach areas of Copacabana and Ipanema, though it is quite a walk from one end to another. For areas farther out, we relied on taxis, which were relatively inexpensive. One note, though: most taxi drivers speak almost no English, so it is always a good idea to have the addresses of where you are going and the hotel written down.

The Aproador Inn - One step to Ipanema Beach

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by AndrewL on February 21, 2005

The Aproador Inn has to be one of the best located hotels in Rio. It is just steps away from the beach in Ipanema. In fact, it was the only hotel I saw in all of Copacabana and Ipanema that you could actually walk directly out of the hotel to the beach. All of the other hotels, including those priced much higher, are all located across the street from the beach. In addition to the close proximity to Ipanema Beach, it is only a few blocks away from Copacabana Beach, so you could walk easily to either one.

Our room itself was rather small and did not have any view, but it was clean and adequate. The room included breakfast each morning that was very good and served in the restaurant with a great view of the beach.

The one complaint I had was with the air-conditioning. You could not control the air-conditioning from the room; you had to call down to the front desk to have them turn it on or off. In addition, due to the small nature of the room, it was situated right next to the bed, so it was blowing right on you.

The cost of the room was very reasonable considering the location. We paid less the $50 for the room part of our stay, but of course they bumped up the cost to nearly double that the weekend of New Year’s, just like very other hotel in Rio. Even with the inflated holiday pricing, I still thought the place was a good deal for the price given the great location.

Arpoador Inn
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by AndrewL on February 21, 2005

Marius takes the typical Brazilian churrascaria (restaurant with all-you-can-eat meat) one step further and adds a great selection of seafood in addition to the beef. There was quite a spread of both beef and seafood dishes brought around. In addition, the buffet itself would be an incredible spread for most people. You definitely need to come with a big appetite when dining here.

The interior of the restaurant was quite nice; it was elegant in a relaxing way. Though it was expensive by Brazilian standards, it was still quite cheap compared to what you would pay for similar food in the US. The bill for two of us, including drinks, was less than $50.

Any trip to Brazil requires at least one visit to a churrascaria, and I would recommend Marius as that one stop.

Av. Atlantica, 290
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 22010-000
+ 55 21 2542 2393


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by AndrewL on February 22, 2005

Corcovado (Christ the redeemer) is must-visit while in Rio. This is probably one of the best-known landmarks in Rio, and it is definitely one of the best views anywhere; you can see all of Rio beneath you. To get there, we took a taxi to the rain station at the base and purchased a round-trip train ticket to the top.

Our taxi driver tried to convince us to have him drive us to the top. The price he quoted us was equivalent to the round-trip cost for two train tickets, and we wouldn’t have had to wait for the train. However, we decided to take the train based on advice we had read, and I think it was a good choice. Though we did need to wait a while for the train, the ride up was filled with great views that we wouldn’t have appreciated from the car.

On the top of the mountain, there was small restaurant and snack bar. Though it was a bit overpriced, the view was unbelievable and more than made up for it.

Rua Cosme Velho 513
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 22241-090
+55 21 5581329

New Year's at Copacabana

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by AndrewL on February 22, 2005

We’ve visited a number of locations around the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and I would have to rate Rio my top experience. We joined the millions of other celebrants and crowded in to Copacabana.

We had reserved a table at one of the many restaurants Av. Atlantica. The cost was about US$40 per person, quite steep for Brazil, but I thought it was well worth it. This included a huge multi-course dinner that was quite good, beer and wine, and use of the table for the entire evening. I would highly recommend doing the same. We were able to easily go in and out of the masses of people along the beach and relax for while, and even at the table, we had a great view of everything going on.

As we ate dinner, we watched the crowd of people build up on the beach. As the hour of midnight approached, we made our way on the beach to get as close to the water as possible. To ring in the New Year, we were treated to a fantastic fireworks display over the water that lasted almost an hour. The fireworks were fired off from barges that were docked just off-shore. Needless to say, it was quite a show. After the fireworks finished, concerts began on several of the many stages that were set up along the beach.

I’m sure the celebration carried on until dawn, but we were only able to hold out until about 2am, when we made our way back to our hotel.

New Year's at Copacabana
Praia de Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
+55 (0)21 217 7632

Sugarloaf (Pao de Acucar)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by AndrewL on February 22, 2005

Sugarloaf offers some incredible views of Rio below you. To get to the top, you need to ride a cable car with an intermediate stop-off point. The view from the stop point is quite good as well, but it is just a hit off what is in store on the top. Another must-see stop in Rio.
Sugarloaf Mountain

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
55 21 2461-2700

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