Rio de Janeiro is a city of beaches, bronzes bodies and a bloody good lifestyle. The city is huge and will offer a contrast of events to please the pickiest. You’ll find street parties, parties for the exclusive, shopping, concerts and just about anything you’d require for day, or night time fun.
Copacabana is probably the most famous beach. Along this beach you’ll see many interesting people enjoying sun, exercise or perhaps an alcoholic beverage. Rio has a relatively constant climate – you’ll rarely see cold temperatures – and year round beach weather. The cooler months are June and July, but still see temperatures near 28 degrees Celsius. Copacabana has a north end – facing the beach to the left – and a south end, which takes close to forty-five minute to walk from one end to the next. But you can rent a bike. The beach is accompanied by a promenade, usually loaded with roller skates, bikes, runners, walkers, or prostitutes, if that’s what floats your boat, too. You’ll find many cafés along the beach and it’s not difficult to pull up and grab a coconut and rest your legs. Copacabana has an amazing backdrop with high-rise building sitting behind the beach followed Rio’s cliffs. One important note, to step aside from the glam, is the beach is not the safest place to hangout during the night. Robberies do take place during both day and night, although, are more prominent during the night. Having said this, with common sense during the day you should be fine. The tourist parts of town, such as Copacabana have experienced an extensive clean up over the last five-years, thanks to Rio de Janeiro hosting the 2014 football Word Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Once you’ve finished with your time in Copacabana, the next beach to the south is Ipanema. Here you’ll find a slightly wealthier part of Rio de Janeiro. The beach there is great and stretches for a similar length to Copacabana. The further south of the beach you go it eventually becomes Leblon, another exclusive barrier by the beach. Post nine – there are numbered posts along the beach – is considered a nice position to hangout. Once again this beach has cafés, bars and exercise courts along its stretch. A couple of blocks back from Ipanema and Leblon you’ll find restaurants, cafes, gymnasiums and decent areas for shopping, too. This is the area to find your accommodation if you’re not on a budget. If you are, you’ll have to head back north for Copacabana, and possibly further away from Ipanema, to places such as Botafogo and Flamengo for cheaper deals. Having said this, these are also decent areas to check out.
There’s a street party, which happens on Friday evenings in Lapa, this party can be pretty ghetto and pick-pockets are pretty common, so don’t dress up, don’t wear jewellery and don’t have your pockets full of goodies for the taking. The party is enjoyable and a good one to experience if you’ve never been to a Rio street party. There are other street parties in Rio de Janeiro also worth noting. I believe they’re on in Lapa during other nights of the week, but Friday is best.
If you hear of a ‘Favela Funk Party’ these parties are insane, if you’re on the young side, or want a wild night to remember. Be sure to go to these with an organization if you’re an amateur traveler. Once you’ve done a few you’ll be more accustomed, but they can be very overwhelming initially due to a huge cultural difference, street favela funk music, and not the wealthiest crowd. It’s not anything like you’ll see in the English world – the gangsters dress a little differently.
Check out Corcovado’s (Christ Redeemer) Statue, too! But make sure it’s earlier in the day with minimal clouds. The thing’s up so high you’re above the clouds while you’re beside it. If there are too many clouds, it’ll stuff the experience up – the cities amazing view.
Rio de Janeiro is a sweet place. It’s hard to wrap it up in one article. I’ve done my best to offload some positives. The best bet is get there and tackle it in your own style. I’m here if you’d like to post basic questions. I lived in Rio for a total of six months of the four years of my South America travel, so I should be able to point you in the right direction, or answer more specific questions, if you require.
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