Rio de Janerio is a city that is famous and known around the world, not just for it’s recent World Cup or Summer Olympics; but, for Copacabana Beach, Sugarloaf Mountain, and more. I am quite fortunate that I have the benefit as to having family here and as such I had never done the touristy things, but with my boyfriend coming here I finally got the chance to be a tourist.
I arrived Thursday in Brazil and was picked up by my mother’s best friend, where I stayed at her house until the 20th of June. My mother’s best friend’s house is beautiful and on the side of a huge hill in a famous part of Rio called Santa Teresa. Santa Teresa sadly over the years has had a great number of assaults and attacks due to its proximity to the favelahs, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a beautiful view.
The same day I arrived I went to visit my grandmother, aunt, and uncle in Copacabana followed by having a restful evening in Santa Teresa. The following day, Friday, I accompanied my aunt to her adorable children’s salon and stayed with my family until it was time to pick up my boyfriend.
The 17th of June my boyfriend got to experience his first day in Rio, and so we went to Downtown Rio; but, not without first taking the bonde down Santa Teresa. (Important note: the Bonde, tram car, is free to descend but R$20 to ascend). We sadly had to go halfway down before descending because the Bonde no longer goes the way due to a few years ago an accident happened where the brake gave out and it crashed into the side, killing people.
Once we got to Central Rio we visited the Art Museum and walked around the Musuem of Amanhã. The Art Musuem has a great deal of Natives pieces and truly enchanting art pieces.
Afterwards we visited some shopping and enjoyed a lunch of Picanha. In the evening we got to see a beautiful view from Leblon and crash from a day of plentiful activity.
The 18th of June we joined my aunt to go to the Ferra Hippie in Ipanema, which is a fair every Sunday, that sells linen, hats, art, clothing, and decorations. I have never managed to not find something adorable there and the prices are fantastic. For lunch we went to a churrascaria, Brazilian BBQ, where they bring endless meats to your table for a flat rate. After a lovely lunch we went to the all famous Copacabana Beach with my uncle for coconut water and a truly picturesque sunset. (The man who cut Adam’s coconut said nothing and made it appear he wanted Adam to hold up his coconut while he swung a knife at him. Slightly confusing and terrifying at the same time).
The 19th of June was our last day in Rio before heading out to the beautiful Amazon Rainforest, so we made the most of it by going with my uncle to Sugarloaf Mountain. Now, if you only have the time to do one famous attraction such as Sugarloaf or the Christ Statue, do Sugarloaf. Sugarloaf is far less crowded, you can see the statue from there in your pictures and get the beautiful views in Rio, in contrast with the Christ statue that is very busy and has beautiful views but ugly parts too. The Sugarloaf Mountain you go up in two legs, one is to Morro da Urca then Pão de Açúcar. It takes you up by a cable car with spectacular views on every angle. Now at 15:00 we had tickets to go see the Christ statue, so we had to get back to meet my mom’s best friend whom was accompanying us. My aunt called us a cab and within blocks a bus hit us. I had a slightly scraped knee and Adam being the rock he is didn’t even move. We were offered to be taken to the hospital, but as I was fine we called another taxi and left. Once we met my mom’s best friend we caught the train up to the Christ Statue where it took ages to get to because it stops for everything, but was still helpful because it gave us time to relax. The Christ Statue is big and beautiful, but was ten times more crowded than Sugarloaf. In the end we had a full, fun, busy, and slightly terrifying at some points but amazing trip in downtown Rio. Now off too the Amazon Rainforst!