Rio - Help please

Old Mar 13th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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Rio - Help please


We will be traveling to Rio at the end of April. I have a couple of questions and would appreciate some help. We are two couples in late 30's.

Rio- we will be staying at the Ipanema Plaza. We heard its nice. Any suggestions for restaurants or other interesting and NOT totally touristy things to do in RIO without sacrificing our safety? I know about Corcovado and Sugar Loaf, what else?

After what time at night is it no longer safe anywhere in Rio, including Ipanema Beach? I heard that you its is suggested you get back to the Hotel by midnight.





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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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A great bbq restaurant in Barra da Tijuca is called BARRA GRILL. IT is better than the more famous PORCAO restaurant in Ipanema. It is all u can eat and there is everything you want. After the meal, I suggest staying in that area and visiting some of the clubs.

Barra da Tijuca is a rapidly developing area of middle to upper class brazilians. The evenings are great and will not be filled with tourists.

I strongly suggest visiting the favelas on a guided tour. (do NOT enter on your own!) and possible visiting the Tijuca Forest or even if you are adventurous, you can hike up SUGAR LOAF.

As for what time to return to your hotel..... midnight is no different than 4am or 9pm. The main difference will be whether it is daylight or not. WIth that said, if you are careless or in a wrong area during the day, you may have some safety issues. Do NOT go onto the beach (sand) after dark. If you go out in the evening, take taxis to the restaurants or clubs and back to the hotel, there is no real reason to be wandering around.

Have a Great time.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 03:37 PM
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Thanks, I appreciate it. What kind of weather should we expect at the end of April? Rainy? Windy? Humid?
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 04:59 PM
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I am going to Rio at the end of April too and i expect the weather to be in the mid 80's during the day, great beach weather and not too hot, I hope. Right across the street from your hotel on rua Farme de Amodeo is a reataurant called Mio's, its a top restaurant in Rio, one of the best. Ipanema has many options. I personally don't like the Barra Grill I would prefer Porcao Rio in Flamengo Park with a beautiful view of Sugar Loaf from the restaurant. Don't be fooled to think that Ipanema is any safer than Copacabana but be smart and at night take a taxi door to door but the street you are on is very lively, many restaurants and bars. You may want to try Melt in Leblon, Baronetti in Ipanema and Nuth in Barra de Tijuca. Ask the hotel for address or any taxi driver would know. I go out in Rio all the time and take a taxi back at 3 or 4 in the morning no problem, so go out and enjoy yourselves. For good music you may want to try Mistura Fina in Lagoa they have a top restaurant too.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 05:59 PM
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Thanks. Does anyone have any idea whetehr Ipanema Plaza is better than Ipanema Pria Hotel in Rio?

Also how much are the taxis from the airport to the Ipanema Hotels. Can I pay in dollars or I need to get the brazilian currrnecy before I get there?
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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As you come out of customs in the Rio airport there will be many options for a taxi, take an official taxi do not just take anybody asking you if you want a taxi. The best bet is to use the taxi desks that are there, they will be waving and calling you from the desks to come over, go over to them and they will take your dollars american . It will be about $25 - $30 on the high side. The Ipanema praia is on the street that is on the beach, the Ipanema plaza is one block off the beach, the plaza may be newer but they are probably both nice.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 01:30 AM
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Take a taxi to the ferry at Praca XV to the very charming island of Paqueta in Guanabara Bay, which is like a step back in time. No cars are allowed on the island which is mostly residential but you can rent a bike, take a bike taxi or hire a horse and carriage as you get off the ferry. There are a couple of restaurants and cafes and a few shops but the real deal is visiting the hillside cemetery, stopping to have a picnic on one of the many beaches, and taking in the leisurely pace of life on this very picturesque place away from the hubub
of nearby Rio. You won't see any Americans here! The ferries themselves are interesting too.The Botanical Garden in the heart of Rio is fantastic. Have lunch at the fabulous Art Deco Confeteria Colombo downtown. Santa Teresa is charming and quaint and so is the bonde (streetcar) ride...just don't wander too far from the main area. BOA VIAGEM!
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Thanks. I will definetely take you suggestions. I am leaning more towards the Ipanema Praia, but do you think the lcoation is too far from many fun and intersting things we can get to by foot (restaurants, cafes, etc...) Would it make more sense to have a more central location on Ipanema such as wehre the Ipanema PLaza is? Or this should not be a concern at all?
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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Hello. Try http://www.jeeptour.com.br/roteiros8.htm they offre a Corcovado + Floresta da Tijuca Tour which is worthwhile and affordable. At the south tip of Copacabana Beach lies the Forte (fortress) of Copacabana, now a very interesting military museum, the view of Copacabana is most extraordinary. You may also try crossing Guanabara Bay (by the bridge, of by boat) to Niterói, then proceed (taxi) to Fortaleza de Santa Cruz, a massive fortress justo opposite Pão de Açucar, a most beautiful and historical place, which offers magnificent views of Rio de Janeiro (don't go on a weekend, the road is narrow and will be terribly cloged, guided tours start at 10 a.m.). May I suggest you skipping favelas: we brazilians don't like the idea of touring our miseries, they are poor people, not a human zoo ...
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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i live in NY, so i have seen enough poor and miserable people...no interst in doing it on vacation. By the way, we decided to stay at the Ipanema Plaza instead of Ipanema Praia, so we can be closer to to the more central part of the beach. I hope it is a good decision.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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I don't know what you mean by central part of the beach but Ipanema Plaza is in a good spot more or less at the beginning part of Ipanema which gives you also a close walk to Copacabana.

One difference I would say about the hotels is that for the most part you will not get a view of the beach at the Ipanema Plaza as it is not ocean front, the praia Ipanema you might as it is ocean front. The plaza is on a great street with many bars and restaurants, so if you didn't feel like going far one night you can just walk across the street and do something.

Take a look at this map, your street is to the right Farme de amoedo
http://www.gringomanagement.com/ipanema_map2.jpg
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Both the Praia Ipanema and Ipanema Plaza (aka GOLDEN TULIP) are fine hotels.

praia Ipanema is located at the end of IPa with Leblon. The area is much nicer, less tourists, but also more residential.

Ipa plaza is located at the beginning of Ipanema, which is a little more rundown then the other end. However, there are a lot of cafes, restaurants and more stuff that caters to tourists in that area. The only other major difference is that this hotel also caters itself to the gay clientele. (note: I am not passing judgement, just simply informing)

As for taking a taxi out of the airport, the booths are much more secure, but you will also pay more for it. A regular yellow taxi will cost R$50-60, the more secure ones will go for R$60-75. The best thing is to arrange for a private driver to pick you up. this way there will be someone waiting for you once you arrive, no need to hassle with the other taxis, and they are obviously very safe. Private airport pickups should cost no more than R$60.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:34 AM
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There are some great suggestions here. I would like to add one more. The Botanical Gardens in Rio are well worth a visit. They are the best I have ever been to anywhere. Also, if you are there on a Sunday, you should go to the "Hippie Fair". Some people might call it a "touristy" thing to do, but I thought it was wonderful. The local crafts and art are wonderful and the prices are great. We got some beautiful jewelry that I wear all the time and also some lovely stained glass bottles. Walking on the beach and people watching are also great pasttimes. As for safety, it's probably best not to go around by yourself at night, but I never felt unsafe. Of course, we're a bit older and tended not to be out after midnight !
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 03:58 PM
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We loved the day trips to llha grande+ angra do reis and Buzios.

Don't miss the fresh fruit juices and coconut water. You will find them everywhere.

Try Porcao and muqueca in Siri Mole restaurant(Bahian food). I don't remember the names of the other restaurants that our Brazilian friends picked.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 07:25 PM
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Does anyone know a private driver, with a van for 6 to 8 people, who does airport pick up and day tour of Rio? Thanks.
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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Eating: Another vote for Siri Mole and Porcao! At Siri Mole, my friend inhaled the Moqueca de peixe (fish in coconut milk stew) and I liked the Bobo de Camarao (drunken prawns in a cheesy looking coconut sauce).

If you have time check out a restaurant called Aprazivel. It's well hidden in the hills of Santa Teresa, with a lovely view of the city.

Check out Toca do Vicinius, a music store on rua Vicinius de Moraes. Once a week they have a free concert right outside their store, at about 8 p.m.
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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We went to Vinicius(not sure if it was a bar/club) in Ipanema for a Bossanova show. It was excellent. They had few singers. Some of our Brazilian friends highly reccommended this place.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 09:12 PM
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I don't know if it is too late for the info you need, but I stayed at the Ipanema Plaza in Rio and thought it was just fine. Husband and I are late 20's. Great location close to the beach, and walking distance to many cafes and shops. There is also a nice rooftop pool. I tend to prefer nicer hotels and I liked this one - it wasn't 4 or 5 stars though, maybe 3-3.5? The hotel seems to cater to business clients, so the pool was more like a private pool for us. It includes free breakfast too. There were also few Americans there, which we happened to enjoy as we like to meet people from other places. I live in Chicago, and the area where Ipanema Plaza is located reminds me somewhat of the Gold Coast here, if you are familiar. I say don't go towards Copa Cabana though - very dangerous. We met a guy who was mugged on the beach there, and 2 friends we know who have been (on different trips) were mugged there too. Stay away from Copa.

Things to do: We went hang gliding. So fun - over the mountains and ocean. Amazing. Walked to the botanical garden one day, and happened to see the Olympic torch parade run by the cafe we were having lunch at. Also went to a soccer game - it's pretty crazy and we enjoyed it, but go with a tour group or it could be a little dangerous for tourists I think. Clubs get mobbed early, and a young crowd, around 20 maybe? I ordered the Rio For Partier's Book online, and while we are not hard core partiers, the book had a lot of great info for restarants and fun bars. I really thought it was worth the money, and we were not there solely to party. On the beach - you can rent a chair for the day for around $3 US or less, and the attendent will take care of you all day. Be sure to tip though, as that is his livlihood. Other tip: Learn some phrases in Portugeuse. Spanish won't help you much and don't expect anyone to speak English. Have fun!
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