The Brazilian city of Rio is one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet, a city that offers sun, sea, sand, beauty and raw energy and a city which embodies passion. If you haven’t visited Rio yet then it should be at the top of your ‘places to visit’ list, I’m yet to speak to anyone that has visited and not fallen in love with it. If, or should I say when, you visit Rio here are the top 3 things the you should do in the beautiful Brazilian city.
Christ the Redeemer
One of the World’s most iconic landmarks, Christ the Redeemer is a huge 98 foot statue of an open-armed Jesus Christ that sits on top of the huge Corcovado Mountain. The statue can be seen from all around the city but is best seen up close and personal to comprehend the majesty of this landmark. From the bottom of Corcovado you can take one of the gravity-defying mountain trains up to the peak and stand at the feet of the enormous statue. Not only do you get to see the grandeur of the sculpture, from the peak of Corcovado you will have the best views of Rio that you are likely to see anywhere else in the city.
The heartbeat of Rio lies in it’s favelas, the location where the locals decided to dwell after they were priced out of living in apartments and houses in the city. The favela’s have long been considered the poorest part of the city and have been notoriously dangerous in the past with drug operations and violence. Today however, the favelas are very different, many of them have been cleaned up by the government and are safe places to be. What’s interesting about the favelas is that the people who live here are essentially ‘off-the-grid,’ they have built their own homes, created electric and plumbing systems themselves and some even have their own TV network. The houses in the favelas have been built vertically up the mountainside and are full of life and colour, some are still dangerous but if you can find the ones that aren’t then I would recommend you head into one and see for yourselves just what the spirit of community can do.
Hit the Beach
This may sound obvious but if you do nothing else in Rio then make sure that you visit it’s award-winning beaches. Copacabana and Ipanema are more than beaches, of course there is white sand, beautiful blue sea and every other adjective that you expect from a beach description, these beaches however, represent the heart and soul of the city. Life in Rio takes place from and on the beaches, whether it is people exercising, dancing, selling goods in the market, meeting friends, drinking, eating and every other Brazilian activity, they centre around these two famous beaches. To truly experience Rio, head to the beach.