Aka the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) and the second-largest city in Brazil, Rio offers a magical combination of golden beaches and lush mountains, samba-fueled nightlife and spectacular football matches, cinematic landscapes, kaleidoscopic culture, head-spinning biodiversity and a constant rhythm of carefree exuberant enjoyment of life! The historic sites, sparkling beaches, green belts and jubilant attitude of the locals wrap you around with a refreshing vibe, where after all, you might find a new meaning to life.
The vibrant and colorful Rio makes you spontaneous and gay, with the urge to live life to the fullest. Let’s see what 2 days in Rio might look like to the avid traveller.
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. Rio’s carnival with its effervescent samba dancers jiggling their hips attracts thousands of tourists around the world.
Morro Dois Irmaos- Leblon Beach- Rodrigo de Freitas Lake- Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico)- Sugarloaf Mountain
Morro Dois Irmaos
The literal meaning of Dois Irmaos is “the two brothers” and Morro Dois Irmaos is a peak which offers breathtaking view of the city. Located on the coastline of the city, the mountain marks the division of the south and the west zone of Rio.
You can reach the hill by hiking and there are many tours to take you there. A great place to start your day, the twin hills is a refreshing place to spend tranquil mornings and spice up if you wish with a bit of adventure.
One of the most affluent neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Leblon is known for being cosmopolitan neighbourhood, with a lively nightlife across its bars, upscale restaurants and nightclubs. Located just below the Dois Irmaos Peak, Leblon Beach is the perfect place to relax after a hike.
Rodrigo de Freitas Lake
A lagoon lake in the district of Lagoa in the Zona Sul (South Zone) area of Rio de Janeiro, Rodrigo de Freitas Lake is one of the city’s most picturesque spots. Encircled by a 7.2 km strolling and cycling path, the place also offers parks, sports courts, skating rings, a heliport, trails for walks and jogging, a bicycle track, playgrounds for children, cycling boats and a gourmet area paved with stalls offering typical dishes from many countries.
Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico)
Located at the Jardim Botânico district in the “Zona Sul” (South Zone) of Rio de Janeiro, Jardim Botanico is a historic park featuring diverse flora & fauna, a scientific research institute & garden trails. There are around 8000 species distributed throughout an area of 54 hectares, and there are numerous greenhouses. The garden also houses monuments of historical, artistic and archaeological significance. The largest of its kind in the world, this garden is home to over 8,000 species of plants and 140 species of birds.
Rising 396 meters above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. Take a the cable car all the way to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain for a breathtaking 360 degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
DAY 2: Parque Lage- Santa Teresa- Escadaria Selaron- Praia do Leme- Pedra do Sal
Located in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood at the foot of the Corcovado, Parque Lage is a public park in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It has English-style gardens, little lakes, and a mansion that houses the Escola de Artes Visuais (School of Visual Arts), which hosts free art exhibitions and occasional performances. You can enjoy a coffee or a meal in the cafe located here in its fine settings.
Nestled on top of the Santa Teresa hill, by the centre of Rio, Santa Teresa is famous for its winding, narrow streets and for being an artistic hotspot. With a fair share of restaurants with live music, cultural centres and other attractions, the place is usually on the traveller’s list.
This neighborhood has the only remaining streetcar line, so, don’t miss a ride and do not forget to hire a guide as it could be a bit difficult to explore the area. Museu da Chácara do Céu and Museu do Bonde are two of the most popular museums in Santa Teresa worth a visit. After dusk, walk into the Armazém São Thiago, Santa’s Teresa’s trendiest restaurant and bar that gives you an authentic old school Brazilian ambiance.
Also known as the ‘Selaron Steps’, Escadaria Selaron is a stairway made up of 250 steps and measures 125 meters long. They connect the neighborhoods of Santa Teresa and Lapa, leading from Rua Joaquím Silva up to Rua Pinto Martins. The vibrant steps are adorned in over 2,000 brightly colored tiles from more than sixty different countries. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”.
Praia do Leme
At the extreme end of Copacabana, towards Sugarloaf Mountain, is Lemme Beach. It is a quieter beach which offers a great opportunity to relax. It is very well located and less crowded than her famous neighbor Copacabana. Though Leme Beach is a continuation of Copacabana beach yet, Leme beach is much more laid back and geared toward families.
It is a perfect place for those who do not like the loud, glittery night-life as they can have a good meal here enjoying the calm air. With some of the best restaurants and hotels built here, there is no shortage of wallet-friendly stalls offering lip-smacking food.
Pedra do Sal
Pedra do Sal is a historical and religious site in Rio de Janeiro, in the neighborhood of Saúde. Pedra do Sal is a place with special significance for Cariocas of African descent and fans of samba and choro music. The Monday- and Friday-night street parties are major draws for lovers of samba and the place is marked by a casual and easygoing atmosphere.
Come, indulge and have a blast during your 2 days in Rio.