We arrived into Rio by plane into the domestic airport. Arriving in Rio I was both excited and extremely anxious about our safety. Out of every place we are visiting over this three month period this was the only one I was worried about before we flew over to South America.
People are constantly telling you the horror stories that come out of Rio. “Mugged at gunpoint” “shot in a favela” “pickpocketers everywhere” “taxis are not safe”. We did not see or witness any of that and despite being on edge for the five nights we were there and taking precautions like not dressing or wearing anything attention grabbing; we felt relatively safe in Rio.
Don’t listen to everything you hear, Rio is an amazing city and it should not be missed!
WHAT TO DO:
Go to the beach! You can rent chairs and umbrellas on Ipanema and Copacabana but I would say Ipanema is cleaner. When we were there chairs are 10 r and umbrellas 20 r.
Clubbing – There are a lot of clubs in Rio so best to get tips from your hostel. Night one we went to a hip hop one and the music was really awesome. Entry fee was about 20 NZD though so not cheap. On Friday and Sunday nights lapa is the place to go. This is an area with heaps of bars and street food and street bars and turns into a full on street party. Amazing atmosphere. TIP: Be careful with drinks in Rio as I had my drink spiked one night.
Hike to sunrise – This is a tour run by an awesome guy called Bernado. His Instagram is Hike to Sunrise and that has his contact number on it. Cost for us was 50 R each as we had a big group. This is a hike up two brothers mountain otherwise known as Morro food Irmaos. You start at 4.30am and walk up a pretty steep mountain for 40 minutes before watching the most amazing sunrise over Rio. Highlight of my trip so far. Afterwards you do a tour back through a favela that sits below the peak of the mountain.
Christ the Reedemer – book a space/time slot online by downloading the app and save yourself so much time and waiting around. You can pay by credit card using this and then just collect your tickets from the office when your day and time slot arises. Take the tram up and check out the massive statue as well as the amazing views all over Rio. Cost was around 76 R.
Stairs – escadaria selaron. These are free and you can be dropped off by taxi right at them. Pretty amazing to see all the work that would have gone into making them but you don’t need long here.
WHERE TO EAT:
Before I list a couple of places that were tasty bare in mind that food in Rio is expensive and relative to prices you would pay in cafes in New Zealand. There are some street food options which are cheaper and really quite tasty and supermarkets are really good in Brazil if your trying to save some money.
Azteca – Small mexican restaurant in Ipanema. I got a steak quesadilla from here and it was delicious.
Mama rosa – We stumbled across this place one night after returning from Christ Reedemer. You should not miss it! Best Italian I have had in a long time. The pastas were out of this world. Photos below. After visiting the Reedemer walk down the hill about 1000m or so and it is upstairs on the opposite side from the Attraction. Rua das larajerian
Travelling with three of us we found that when we were not walking taxis and Uber’s were the best option. They are safe, cheap, and they have aircon which you NEED in the heat and humidity of Rio. Taxi and uber are available everywhere and we did not have any bad experiences.