Brazil , Rio de Janeiro – Luggage Factory

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Brazil , Rio de Janeiro

One of the most populous cities in the world with over 12 million people, Rio de Janeiro’s grassy peaks and beautiful beaches are interrupted only by ocean and lagoon waters. The natural beauty of Rio is evident the moment you step off the plane, as the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooks the city from its hilltop perch. The only thing more beautiful than the city, is the people; both inside and out. Here’s a guide to planning your trip to Rio de Janeiro! 5 Must-See Attractions: Christ the Redeemer- The iconic statue of Jesus that overlooks Rio de Janeiro from Corcovado Hill and was originally sculpted by Paul Landowski. Whether the trip is religious in nature of not, the picturesque scene of the statue overlooking the city leaves a permanent memory. Prainha Beach- Rio is known for the bevy of beautiful beaches right by the city, and Prainha Beach might be the most striking. The juxtaposition of the Earthy cliffs, the pale white sand, and stark blue water certainly leaves a lasting image. Sugarloaf Mountain- The funicular ride to and from this spot offers the absolute best views of the city, the surrounding ocean, beach, and grassy mountain peaks. You may have to wait a bit, but it is still a must visit. Tijuca National Park- Hailed as the biggest “urban forest” in the world, Tijuca Forest weaves in and out of the mountains surrounding and pervading Rio de Janeiro. Inside the wood are countless beautiful views and a waterfall. Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro- An ornate theater in downtown Rio available for touring and admiring the art, or taking in a show. 5 Great Sites for Kids: Museum of the Republic- Take the family on a trip through the history of Brazil, with an ornate interior and a collection of beautiful art pieces. Rodrigo de Freitas Lake- Another iconic site of Rio, the lagoon by Rodrigo de Freitas causes a beautiful land bridge to form between the lagoon and the ocean. A great spot to spend a day by the water with kids. Maracana Stadium- Whether catching a match, or just marveling at the awe-inspiring views of the enormous arena, Maracana Stadium is another iconic spot to visit. Trip to the Beach- Rio de Janeiro is the home to many of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and kids love nothing more than a day in the sun by the water, it’s a match made in heaven. Sorvete Finlandes- Rio has a lot of great spots for ice cream, so take a little bit of time away from the beach with good ice cream trip. 5 Free Attractions: Copacabana Beach- While the song may be the first thing that jumps into your head when you hear the name; Copacabana is an iconic beach with a sandy stretch and an urban backdrop right across the street. Sao Bento Monastery-A beautiful monastery first constructed in 1590, during the exploration period of the new world, this Benedictine abbey has a lot of history. Leblon Beach- Most of the beaches in Rio attract a substantial crowd, Leblon is somewhat of an exception, making it a nice place to get out of the city for a day. Shopping Village Mall- Whether looking for a place to shop, or just a change of pace from the regular Rio scene, the Shopping Village Mall offers a plethora of stores and a few nice views of the city. Grumari Beach- While not intermixed with the city as much as Copacabana, Grumari offers a retreat from the sometimes crowded downtown Rio area. 5 Great Restaurants: Mamma Jamma- A pizza place in Rio might be a little counter-intuitive, but Mamma Jamma has unique pizza flavors and a cool ambience. Mitsuba- Mitsuba offers authentic Japanese cuisine, sushi, and fresh fish. Somewhat of a hidden gem away from the traditional hotspots of Rio de Janeiro, Mitsuba is the best Japanese food around. Alfaia- Specializing in seafood, this primarily Portuguese restaurant serves some of the best cod croquettes in Rio. It is a relatively small place and has a great reputation, so make sure to plan accordingly! Emporio Jardim- Emporio Jardim serves breakfast all day, and its patrons are oh-so-thankful! With a huge menu, excellent bakery items, and scrumptious desserts, a breakfast for dinner trip to Emporio should be on the menu for your Rio trip. Café & Bistro Santa Satisfacao- Located just off Copacabana beach, Santa Satisfacao serves a plethora of meat and pasta dishes, a great spot to stop for lunch. 5 Great Nightlife Spots: Leviano- A club in a re-made mansion, Leviano features plenty of space for dancing and an eclectic mix of musical genres. Carioca de Gema- An excellent spot to take in some local Samba by watching or trying your hand at the dance. Avenida Atlantica- Do you like long walks on the beach? No, this isn’t a dating add, it’s an oceanfront walkway equipped with food and drink; perfect for a night out. Melt- A cozy bar atmosphere with dancing upstairs, lots of great drinks, and good music. Cabaret Lounge- A relaxing bar atmosphere that attracts a crowd. It has a great reputation and early 20th century décor. 5 Romantic Getaways: Ipanema Beach-Surprise! Another beach makes the list, but there’s a good reason for that. Rio is covered with beautiful beaches and spending some quality time at Ipanema, away from some of the more crowded spots makes a great date. Sugar Loaf- One of Rio de Janeiro’s biggest attractions is also one of its most romantic sites. The views are beautiful and are sure to inspire peace and unity among lovers. Atlantis- After spending a day soaking in the sun with your partner, grab a steak or one of Atlantis’s many other options while enjoying a romantic view. Cipriani-One of the more well-known Rio restaurants located in Copacabana Palace Hotel, Cipriani serves a bevy of succulent and savory Italian dishes, and their particularly vaunted pasta. Santa Teresa- A neighborhood lined with cobble stoned streets, artistry, and a quaint ambience, Santa Teresa offers a relaxing and romantic day trip. 5 Must-Try Foods: Pao de Queijo-For fans of bread and cheese, these pop-able delights are available around Brazil. But really, who isn’t a fan of bread and cheese? Quindim- A smooth cream cake made from eggs, coconut, butter, and sugar. Pastel de Queijo- A bready-cheese pocket filled with meats and other add-ins typically available at street vendors around Rio. Pipoca- Available widely on the street in Rio de Janeiro, pipoca, or popcorn with salt or caramel is available throughout the city. Brazilian Steakhouse- Now popular far beyond Brazil, Brazilian steakhouses characterized by skewer-wielding waiters are a must try at one of their jump-off points. Climate: Rio de Janeiro experiences a tropical, warm climate year round with temperatures hovering around the seventies and eighties (Fahrenheit). Rio does experience a rainy season that lasts through the first four months of the year. It’s also important to remember that the seasons are opposite in the Southern Hemisphere. Transportation: Rio is a major city, and as such, offers a variety of transit services to move about the city. Taxis remain a good option, and the subway system has a clean reputation. A city bus system and executive bus system also moves people around the city, although they are a little more difficult to use. The vans are not a great option for travelers as they are privately owned and not subject to the same regulations. Safety Precautions: As with any major city, safety is a primary concern for travelers visiting Rio. The most important step is to take some time to research the city and learn what areas are conducive to visiting tourists and which should be avoided. Journeying far from your itinerary into an unfamiliar neighborhood is not the best idea, and could land travelers in trouble. Make sure to secure your belongs in slash-proof, PacSafe bags, and keep store valuables in front pockets where you can monitor more efficiently. As always, do your research, make sure to have a map handy, and avoid traveling outside of your itinerary without sufficient planning. Souvenirs: An excellent souvenir for the family is an authentic Brazilian hammock to take home and remember the time soaking in the sun on a beach in Rio. Trip Highlights: A trip on the Sugarloaf air tram and to Christ the Redeemer statue is certain to leave lasting images of Rio de Janeiro’s mountains, oceans, and sandy beaches. Even for those who don’t enjoy spending time on the beach, Copacabana is a site to see. Paperwork: U.S. residents must be sure to bring both a passport and general identification for both travel to Rio de Janeiro, moving around the city, and for the journey home. Air Travel Information: For intercontinental travel, Rio de Janeiro is serviced primarily by Rio de Janeiro International Airport (RIO), or Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobm International Airport (GIG). It is the same airport; it just has two separate codes depending on the flight and airlines. All major airlines travel to Rio de Janeiro International Airport, including Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, and many other carriers. Travel to and from the airport is available to and from the airport via bus, taxi, rental car, and other options. Special Concerns: With the 2016, Olympics looming, Rio de Janeiro will attract many travelers to see the games and take in the beautiful sites. However, the recent outbreak of the Zika virus poses a serious threat to visitors of the region and their families. For more information, read about the virus here:    

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