My surprising trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
My sister and I used to talk about how beautiful Brazil was and how she wanted to visit Rio de Janeiro. But I always thought to myself, “the only thing to see in Rio de Janeiro is the Christ Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue and what else was there to do in Rio?” But curiosity got the best of me and I decided to take a trip with my sister to explore the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Oh boy how I was wrong! Rio de Janeiro offers so much more than just seeing the Christ Redeemer statue and the country of Brazil is absolutely gorgeous from the high mountain tops to the beautiful beaches.
While visiting Rio, we stayed on Copacabana and Ipanema Beach. These areas have plenty of restaurants, shops and local night bars. Most tourists stay on these beaches because they are safe and offer plenty of tourist attractions.
The city of Rio de Janeiro also known as the “City of God” reminds me of New York City because of its fast pace, high sky scrapper buildings, and the millions of people. The lively city is filled with culture and history and it is the second largest city in Brazil and the third largest metropolis in South America.
One interesting observation about Rio is that the rich and wealthy people live in the valleys of the city while the poor, less fortunate people live in Favelas (Slums) high in the mountains tops overlooking the city. While in most areas in the United States, you see the reverse, mostly the wealthy people live high in the mountain tops and the poor people live in the valleys.
Although Brazil's official language is Portuguese, if you know a little Spanish you can get around just fine and communicate with the locals since the Spanish and Portuguese are such similar languages.
It should be noted that the food in Rio was not the greatest and was high in sodium. However, I did like the Acai Berry Fruit. The fruit comes from the Acai Palm Tree and it taste amazing! You can even eat it as as a smoothie. If you ever visit Brazil you must try this fruit!
The culture is enriched with Samba dances and music. The sounds of the drums are filled in the air especially during carnival season. The best time to go to Rio is a week before carnival season which is usually in the month of February and sometimes in March. I also recommend you stay until carnival Tuesday is over, this way you can enjoy the warm weather, tourist attractions, and the carnival festivities.
Helpful tips when you travel to Rio de Janeiro:
- I suggest you visit Sugarloaf Mountain for astonishing views
- Take a Favela tour, you can learn so much about Rio de Janeiro’s history
- Visit Christ the Redeemer Statue
- Bring a language translator book or download a free app on your phone
- Walk with a minimum amount of cash and no flashy jewelry
- Last but not least, have fun and enjoy the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro!