Most people think of Carnaval when they think of Rio de Janeiro. Little do they know Rio has all sorts of culture, dancing, and truly memorable food! Take a trip on the wild side, and check out these one-of-a-kind adventures in Rio de Janeiro.
Hop on a streetcar
The old, rickety Bonde (tram) is still in use here in Rio de Janeiro, and winds its way through the city from Centro to the charming cobbled streets of Santa Teresa. Now mostly catering to tourists, the 20-minute historic streetcar ride brings you through old sections of colourful colonial mansions. Once falling to neglect, this is now considered the bohemian hub of the city where artists have made their home and rejuvenated the area.
Get in touch with nature
Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and hike your way through a little piece of paradise in the centre of Rio de Janeiro. Parque Nacional da Tijuca is one of the world’s largest urban forests, covering approximately 40 square kilometres. The park has lush greenery covering the coastal mountain range with numerous trails to waterfalls, natural springs and peak lookouts. It is also home to a wide range of plant species, birds and mammals, including the primate Marmoset.
Explore the Concrete Jungle
Marvel at the grandeur of the city’s rich past in Centro. Considered the commercial district of Rio de Janeiro, Centro still retains its old-time feel with its cobblestone streets surrounded by beautiful architecture. Explore the old streets where you’ll have your chance to learn about Brazil’s culture and history at one of their many excellent museums, cultural centres, art galleries, and huge baroque churches.
If you are in Rio de Janeiro on a Sunday, be sure to stop at the well known street market, the Feira Hippie Fair. Located near Ipanema Beach, you can wander for hours and find a unique souvenirs to take home. Peruse through the many stalls where local street vendors showcase their handmade jewels, from beadwork to pottery to wood carvings.
Get a little sun
Spend the day on the beach and see how the locals relax. The entire city heads to the beachfront on the weekends, so be sure to go early to reserve a prime spot. There, you can watch the locals play “footvolley” – a game similar to volleyball but played only with the feet. Or you can strut your beachwear on the “dragon tooth” boardwalks, a tiled design that is uniquely Portuguese.
Take in the view
Join thousands of visitors each year as you make your way via cog train to the iconic Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ (Cristo Redentor). This 38m high statue has become a symbol of Rio de Janeiro since being inaugurated in 1931. The statue sits atop Corcovado, which means “hunchback” due to the 710m mountain’s shape. Once at the top, the enormity of the statue takes your breath away, as does the glorious view of Parque Nacional da Tijuca below.