If you have to opportunity, mark your calendar and make your way to Rio de Janeiro in time for Carnival. Rio de Janeiro is an increasingly expensive city for , but there are bargains available if you know where to look. Set apart from the bustling sights and sounds of central Rio, this remote neo-Gothic castle rests on a tucked away island in the Guanabara Bay. Although formal dining in the city is expensive, budget visitors can eat well and cheaply at Rio's many pay-by-weight lunch spots. Find that perfect souvenir at one of the smaller shops, or reinvent your entire artistic aesthetic at your new favorite gallery.
Wander through the vibrant artist neighborho. But don't spend all of your time at the shore; the Marvelous City has more spectacular natural beauty to offer with sites like and. Strolling along Santa Teresa's cobblestone streets, you'll be enchanted by sidewalk mosaics, palatial mansions and artsy galleries. Beaches and beach bodies: Think of Rio de Janeiro, and it's hard not to conjure up images of beautiful people lounging on equally attractive beaches. The chic neighborhoods of Ipanema and Leblon are the places to head for sophisticated bars and clubs, while a more casual, hard-partying crowd heads for the downtown party district of Lapa. After all, the money you save when you plan a trip with us is best spent along the way. The shore empties out during the weekdays particularly during Brazil's winter — June to September , making Prainha a great alternative to other tourist-laden beaches.
One of the best places to visit on one of the Rio de Janeiro tours is the Tijuca National Park. Be sure to keep an eye out for the abundance of wildlife and colorful birds, while visiting this rainforest. Hot Tips: Don't miss the Lapa street party on Friday and Saturday nights. Hot Tips: Fruit juices and smoothies from the ubiquitous corner juice bars. Sample hand-made jam at a stop on a forgotten highway, or let the hustle and bustle of modern life sweep you away as you lose yourself in the organized chaos of a modern metropolis.
And world-famous man-made constructions such as the statue of Christ the Redeemer and the cable car that whisks visitors up to the summit of Sugar Loaf mountain add to the sense of the city as a giant adventure playground. When deciding on dates to visit Rio de Janeiro, consider planning your trip to coincide with Carnival. Far from being mere myth, these images are brought sharply to life when the tropical sun beats down on Rio. This hilly bohemian district boasts an eclectic array of art and architecture. Head up on a clear day, for spectacular views over the city.
Wait until the Brazilians show you how it's really done. Hot Tips: Don't walk around with your camera on display - keep it out of sight until you need to use it. Is the wind whispering suggestions in your mind? Rio de Janeiro is one of the world's greatest party cities. Take a walk on the world famous steps created by a local artist, the Escadaria Selarón. When the clouds gather and the rains fall it's a different story, with the beaches looking windswept and forlorn until weather conditions perk up again.
This famous festival occurs every year right before lent, when millions of people take to the streets to celebrate in one of the world's most colorful festivals. Visitors enjoy the clean waters, as well as its ideal conditions for water sports like windsurfing and bodyboarding. The beach is marked by postos, or lifeguard stands, that offer changing rooms and restrooms for a small fee. The beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana are just two of the many stunning strips of sand to be found in the city, and the vast Tijuca National Park is awash with opportunity for hiking and climbing. Inside the castle, you'll find hardwood mosaic floors, elaborate stained glass, as well as the transformed Ceremonial Room that's now used for Navy formal events.
Your choices are endless—and so are the adventures to come. Local residents and tourists alike enjoy parades filled with festive floats and Samba dancers. While the eyes of the world are on the spectacular samba school parades at the purpose-built Sambodromo stadium, the vast majority of the city takes to the streets to join in the riotous blocos or street parties, that take place across the city. From the glass-enclosed bondi tram , you'll get a dazzling view of the city. Grab a map and follow the other tourist up to the Cristo Redentor Christ the Redeemer statue, which is the second largest statute of Jesus in the world.
While sunbathing, you'll observe wildly entertaining games of futevolei the Brazilian version of volleyball without hands and smell fresh shrimp grilling nearby on skewers. While a few hardy souls are up to scaling the mountain itself, the vast majority of visitors ascend to the top of Sugar Loaf by cable car - a dizzying two-stop journey that calls first at the smaller Morro da Urca. While help maximise time on the sands, you'll pay a steep price for the prime location, and as a rule of thumb you can expect more bang for your buck the further away from these tourist hot spots that you are prepared to travel. Standing high above Rio's bustling metropolis at 1,299 feet, Sugar Loaf Mountain cascades over the picturesque Guanabara Bay. For a real feast, look out for rodizio restaurants - cut after cut of glistening grilled meat will be brought to you at your table until you can eat no more. With few exceptions, these are touristy joints serving less than spectacular food. Prainha's magnificent shoreline features a backdrop of rolling hills and verdant rainforest.
Samba: So you think you can dance? With so many Rio de Janeiro activities, it could be hard to decide what to do first. Nightlife here is is all about , and whether you want to shake your rump to sultry samba or get down and dirty to some favela funk or hip hop, you'll find plenty of opportunity to do so. Outdoorsy types love exploring this expansive green rainforest. Surmount Sugarloaf Mountain and admire the view, and then visit the Christ the Redeemer s. This iconic statue watches over the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro. Conveniently situated just southwest of , this neighborhood offers traditional Brazilian restaurants, bars and craft stores. The weekend street markets held in Laranjeiras and Ipanema are good places to shop for artsy gifts, while a nightly market along Copacabana beach front sells more touristy wares.