Summer Getaway in Rio

Rio, the "Marvelous City"


Rio is home to phenomenal views, which make this city a dream destination.  It's one of those places that you need to visit at least once in your lifetime.  You'll find mountains, beaches, music and friendly people, all in one place. It's a travel destination with perfect weather year round.  We went in July, their summer, and the average temperature was 78 F.

I'm originally from Rio (that's why I'm so friendly) and even though I grew up there, the truth is, I have lived in the US longer than in Brazil.  But I can't stay away too long, so I try to go every 2 years.

A few things you need to know before you book a trip to Rio (or any other destination in Brazil):

The Official Language is Portuguese.
The current Population is estimated at 208 million.
Brazil is the Fifth Largest Country by Area and Sixth Most Populous in the world.


Brazil is one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to the strong immigration from various places in the world.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's move on to some Awesome Places and Tips!

1) Getting there
If possible, fly direct to Rio.  A lot of flights stop in Sao Paulo, which I try to avoid at all costs, cause a few things can happen once you land in Sao Paulo:
a) if your flight was delayed for any reason, chances are you will lose your connecting flight to Rio, which can take hours till they put you in another flight :-(
b) once you land in a foreign country, you need to go through customs and pick up your bags, and, depending on the number of flights that have to go thru customs, you can be delayed and lose your connecting flight.
I learned it the hard way, so this is a tip from someone that got delayed way too many times...

2) Where to stay
When booking a place to stay, a good rule of thumb is to stay in either, Ipanema, Leblon or Copacabana.  From any of those places, you'll have direct access everywhere via Metro, bus or Uber and the beach will be within walking distance.

Famous Boardwalk

3) Mobile Service (unless you're going to unplug)
Ask your mobile service if they'll provide you service while out of the country and what kind of costs are involved.  I have T-Mobile and get free service, including data when traveling to certain countries (Brazil is one of them), which saves me a ton of money.  Companies are always changing plans, and maybe for a small fee you'll be able to avoid the roaming charges.

4) Be a smart traveler
What does that mean?
Do not walk around with flashy jewelry, expensive cameras and handbags, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt (even though Rio is not Hawaii), thinking that you're doing a great job blending in.
Do yourself a favor and keep all important documents stashed away in the hotel safe (you can carry a copy of your passport with you), carry 1 credit card and a small amount of cash.
Keep it simple.
Save yourself the trouble. 

5) Local Food & Real Coconut Water!
Brazilian cuisine is as diverse as its people, with African, European, Asia (mostly Japanese) and Amerindian influences.  It varies greatly by region, reflecting the country's mix of native and immigrant populations, and its continental size as well.

The country's National dish is Feijoada (a stew os beans and pork, of Portuguese origin) and the National cocktail is caipirinha (made with cacha├ža, sugar and lime).

I love the ocean.  Give me a beach, a pair of flip flops and a book and I'll be happy.  Oh, and drinking coconut water at the end of a walk on the beach is such a gift also...but I'm getting sidetracked. Sorry.

Rio de Janeiro

6) Brazilian Culture & What is Samba?
Something else you can encounter while walking on Copacabana beach boardwalk: a statue of Carlos Drummond de Andrade (a Brazilian poet and writer, considered by some as the greatest Brazilian poet of all time).  I stopped by for a chat, and since he wasn't very talkative, I gave him a bookmark of my blog.

Carlos Drummond de AndradeA city was written on the ocean

Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style, with its roots in Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly of Angola and the Congo (thanks Wikipedia).  Samba has become an icon of Brazilian national identity (remember the animated movie, Rio?).

If you search "samba" on Spotify, you'll get a list long enough to entertain you for hours!  Here's just one of the songs that I happen to like:

7) Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, Selaron Stairs, Vista Chinesa...
These are the must-see spots in Rio.  Your best bet is to book a tour provided from the hotel, that way, you'll avoid rush hours, get pre-sold tickets and go with a tour guide.

Christ the Redeemer

8) Forget the "Favela Tours"
And here's why I say this - in my opinion, these tours exploit, rather than support.  And, they really can't guarantee your safety once you're there.
That's not just in Rio.  I would not recommend taking a tour in south L.A. either.

If you're looking for something adventurous to do while in Rio, how about a hang gliding tour?

9) Fun Fact
A person born in Rio is called Carioca (just like New Yorkers, Texans, etc.)

10) Paradise nearby - Regiao dos Lagos
When cariocas want to escape the chaotic life in Rio, they usually go to an area called Regiao dos Lagos, which is where we headed this year.  The 3.5 hrs drive from Copacabana was well worth once we got there.

My favorite beach in this area is Buzios, which is a popular tourist destination, especially among Brazilians and Argentinians.  This particular beach became internationally famous in 1964, when the French actress Brigitte Bardot visited.  There's even a statue of the actress in one of the beaches in Buzios.

We stayed at a nice Resort called Serena and we were not disappointed.  The staff was very helpful and the rooms were just as beautiful as the images on the website.


That concludes my summer adventure.  Do you have any upcoming plans?


  1. Looks amazing! Fab photography x

  2. I want to go to Rio so much! I’ll bookmark this post as you’ve given tonnes of good info! Looks like a lovely place and it’s on my bucket list to visit!!

    1. It really is a beautiful place to visit, with so much to do! Thanks for bookmarking :-)

  3. thanks for sharing this wonderful blog.we are very thankful for this article.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and reading the blog! Come back soon :-)

  4. Wonderful photos and great tips!
    I would love to travel to Rio someday. The local food and cocktail sound lovely. And coconut water.. Love it!

    1. I started my "list" of places I want to visit in the next 5 years! That's my goal!