Suggestions for a day in Rio de Janeiro

Old Jul 4th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Suggestions for a day in Rio de Janeiro

Never enough time, I know, but we are on a cruise. Not a beach person. What would be the best sites? What about a meaningful souvenir, like an artisan piece of pottery?
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Old Jul 4th, 2010, 04:29 PM
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What are your interest? If you are interested in modern art or architecture Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Niteroi (designed by Oscar Niemeyer) are both worth visiting. MAC is a short ferry ride away and the building is stunningly beautiful, the restaurant has the most amazing view back to Rio.

The Botanic Gardens is also fantastic, it's listed in the top 100 gardens of the world. You can see a huge range of vegetation (chocolate trees, giant lily pads)as well as monkeys and we even saw a toucan.

Taking the tram (bonde) up to the neighbourhood of Santa Teresa is a nice trip and there are shops selling souvenirs and touristy nick nacks (it's a bohemian area with an arty atmosphere, good bars and restaurants).

Alternatively, the two most popular things to do in Rio are: go to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar), or to the top of Corcovado (it's where the stature of Christ the Redemeer is situated). If it's cloudy weather, there's not a lot of point going ot Corcovado as there won't be much of a view. Sugar Loaf is the one I would choose to do if I had limited time.
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Old Jul 5th, 2010, 04:02 AM
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I second the trip up to the Santa Teresa neighborhood idea. There are some exceptional restaurants and perhaps the best souvenir shops in the entire city. You will not be disappointed. I suggest you take the trolly that goes all the way to the top (end of the line) it is every other one. STAY ON the train at the top and ride back down to the small neighborhood business district and get off. The views and unique old large houses are worth the trip up and back. There are also two museums a short walk from where you will have lunch. Ask for directions. Then you can walk down the famous staircase from there to the Lapa district for a drink.

Have fun.
Jim
http://qualidadedevida-jim.blogspot.com/
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Old Jul 5th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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I strongly recommend Aprazivel for lunch if you go to Santa Teresa. I think a trip up to Corcovado, lunch in Santa Teresa, and a leisurely stroll along the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema would make for a memorable day. We did go on a private all day tour which is described here:
http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...-to-brazil.cfm
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Old Jul 5th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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I second Marija's recommendations regarding Rio. We had the pleasure of spending a day with both Rafael and Marcone in March. We visited Corcovado, San Conrado, Marapendi, Tijuca Forest and Grumari beach. I'm sure he'll customize a tour for you within your time frame. His prices are very reasonable. There are excellent tour guides in Rio but Rafael is exceptional. I agree with Susan about the Botanical Gardens. We spent a whole afternoon meandering around.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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I met Raffa and Marcone in December. They weren't our guides, but were friends of our guide Cedric (Cedric has moved to Salvador I believe.)

Having a guide is great, they can customize what you want.

We did Sugarloaf, the Christ, Tijuca, old Rio, sights in Niteroi. Had an amazing lunch out at Prainha, a beach west of Barra, right by the water, another lunch at the MAC. It was outstanding.

Just don't go in December if you can help it. It's *hot*. Our next trip will be at some other time of year.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Hi, I am wondering if anyone can give more information about the tour guide Rafael in Rio? You mention he is exceptional, sounds great! What are his rates?

If anyone has other tour guide recommendations for Rio please let me know!
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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I think most of the reputable guides charge the same ballpark for similar services. Rafa is really a nice guy, his English is good, and I'm sure he will give you value. If he is not available I'm betting he can recommend some alternatives.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 05:02 AM
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We paid $150 for a car and driver for a long day.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 10:48 PM
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Do not miss: Botanical Garden, Tijuca Forest, Christ the Redeemer statue and Pao de Azucar (exceptional at night, especially if there is a full moon!). We bought an all day Jeep tour from a hostel in Ipanema, and it was fabulous for seeing many of the major sights.

Santa Teresa is also nice, and the arches of Lapa interesting and surrounded by a fascinating neighborhood with churches of varying architecture and beauty. The buildings of downtown are very old and interesting, particularly if you enjoy sculpture and architecture, and little tucked-away restaurants await your discovery.

Be bold, but wise. Take buses and taxis -- but pay attention that you are being charged rate 1 in the taxi for daytime and weekday (rate 2 is night/holiday and more expensive!) Ask how much a trip to X will cost prior to getting in...it does help.

Yes, yes, yes on the Nitori trip, but with limited time, not certain this is the best way to spend time although the museum (MAC)is quite a thing of beauty (I tried to see Niemeyer's works in every city I visited, so it was a personal goal to view and photograph).

Also great to see the paragliders come in a Barra de Tijuca. Ipanema and Copacabana beaches are beautiful, with excellent "towelside" service, but I did find the water at Copa a bit dirty with trash. Excellent restaurants abound, and good shopping as well. I brought home bikinis (tell them you are North American for more conservative styles!), coffee, and beautiful shoes like you will never see in the US. Distict and beautiful jewelry is another souvenir I continually get compliments on here at home.
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Old Nov 21st, 2010, 03:23 PM
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Aleta, I am excited for you. You are visiting my most favorite city of the world; San Francisco formerly was at the top but is in the second position now.

My fellow posters gave you excellent suggestions in how one should spend her/his day is the "Land of the Cariocas." I had planned to make some suggestions, but what they provided is ample in terms of time, and from what they presented (which is outstanding) you will have to be selective.

For variety I would attempt to go to Santa Teresa via the bonde (tram/cable car type vehicle)--take in scenery, ambience, and attempt to have lunch at that restaurant which one of the posters mentioned. This area is unique as well as artistically bohemian.
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Old Jan 16th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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On this same topic (My situation will be similar to the OP's), If I wanted to go to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar), or to the top of Corcovado, how much walking would be involved? I ask this because I am partially disabled and have trouble walking even short distances. Any thoughts on this?

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Old Jan 16th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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There's much less walking at Pão de Açúcar, you can get straight out at the top and the view is just there, plus you get spectacular views from the cable car.

The train for Corcovado goes through quite dense forest so you don't see much on the way up. There's a walk from where the train stops and then a series of ascending steps to get to the statue. You can get a sense of the geography from this picture.

http://www.citypictures.org/postcard.img3279.htm
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Old Jan 17th, 2011, 07:15 AM
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Escalators and elevators have been installed in Corcovado.
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Old Jan 17th, 2011, 07:36 AM
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Marija,
Looking at the picture Susan7 supplied, is it possible to take either an escalator or elevator right up to the base of the Christ the Redeemer statue?

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Old Jan 18th, 2011, 05:31 AM
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Vic--I think the escalators go to the base of the statue, although I didn't pay attention since it wasn't an issue for us. If you read this tour guide's blurb, he seems to indicate that you can get all the way up:

http://tourguiderio.com/tour-to-chri...aneiro-brazil/
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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I am planning on going to Rio de Janeiro in mid-April. I think it's strange that people are telling me how dangerous it is. Are people exaggerating? I am a middle aged blonde female.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 08:02 PM
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I'm also a middle aged blonde female and I have had no problems on any of my three trips to Brazil. Just exercise some caution, don't wear your camera around your neck, don't carry large amounts of cash, take cabs at night.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 12:59 AM
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"I am a middle aged blonde female."

You'll feel right at home then. Rio has untold numbers of fol of a similar vintage, gender and hair colouring. Relax, the safety issue is routinely over exaggerated.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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I've traveled to Rio de janeiro seven times during this decade, and I have not encountered any difficulty or the so-called "dangerous" city. Yes, there's violence. What major city in the world does not have its share? I think Rio's image has been soured because of the gang situation which exists in the favelas (the hilltop "slum areas") and at times has spilled over into some of the nicer areas.

Conduct yourself as you would in any large city. Take taxis and buses, and know where you're going before setting out! Check to see if the meters are running, and don't worry about tipping taxi drivers. Many times the changing of large bills is impossible, so try to have R$20s and R$10s and R$5s with you. Most fares are rounded out to the exact amount or almost the amount. <I can't explain this, sorry!> Don't worry!

...don't wear expensive watches or good jewelry. Be low keyed in this area. Keep cameras out of site as a previous writer presented.

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"...how dangerous it is...." The Americans have a sense of this based on the news they've read or heard. Note what I wrote in the above because I've gotten the same thing too when I've told folks that I went to Rio/Brazil or am going. "Is it violent there!" I want to ask them where did they obtain this assessment.
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