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The Lajter alternative guide to Rio

Rio de Janeiro in a week - "Must see" places and more

View our round the world itinerary on shiriandre's travel map.

Us in Maracana - See day 6

To all of you who are planning a week stay in Rio - here is a recommended plan which was tested on E-ma Masset and Pessah on their stay here. It took us some time, but we think that by the end of the week they finally stopped talking about Porto Alegre (or Porto Alegrrroo) and realized that they were in the hottest city in Brazil :)

Day 1 - Culture
As our first day was the last Saturday before carnaval, we started our journey with a cool samba show and a feijoada lunch.

"Andre da Geografia" playing a real samba roots...

Our next stop was supposed to be the Simpatia bloco in Ipanema, but we were too late. Instead we had a beautiful sunset on the Ipanema boardwalk (and a quick toilet break at the hotel where Madonna and Beyonce are currently staying).

No words needed to describe it

First important rule of a successful alternative guide - When you try to learn about the Carioca culture, you have to respect the disrespect for schedule...

Day 2 - See where it all started
On our second day we took a great boat trip all around the Guanabara bay - from Gloria to Niteroi and back. Sun, beaches, Pão de Açúcar and a little bit of Niemeyer.

Pão de Açúcar from the boat. A different angle

Niemeyer´s Moden Art musuem. A must to see on E-ma Masset's list

Petrol station being repared on Guanabara Bay

The Rio Niterói bridge, almost 14Km. One of the 3 biggest in the world

To complete the bay area day we took the cable car up to the Pão de Açúcar (ok, some things are a "must" - even on alternative guides).

View from Pão de Açúcar

View of Copacabana beach from Pão de Açúcar

To compensate for our uncompleted bloco adventure from yesterday, we followed the sounds from the street and were lucky to join a parade of a small Escola de Samba, only to find ourselves few meters later joining the big and famous Mangueira samba school. We were thinking of catching a samba school rehearsal but found the real thing on the street, a bloc away from home.

E-ma and Pessach having fun during Mangueira

Second important rule of a successful alternative guide - location, location, location!

Day 3 - They wont let you out of Rio without visiting Jesus and asking which view is better - from Corcovado or from the Pão de Açúcar ...
Our second big "V" was accomplished on our 3rd day - a visit to the corcovado. I'm (Shiri) proud to say that after visiting this place for the 3rd time in less than 2 years (and explaining all the view to my guests), and after negotiating the taxi price to the top in Portuguese and getting a discount (!), I'm officially applying for a Carioca citizenship :)

Almost there....

The day was completed with a visit to the famous Copacabana Palace (needless to say we didn't enter much beyond the small lobby and swimming pool...) and some souvenir shopping.

Third important rule of a successful alternative guide - choose your tourist traps carefully. A 2 hours wait for the train to Corcovado is not worth it!

Day 4 - The empire strikes back
Not many people find the time to visit the old imperial buildings of Rio's downtown, but some are really worth it - from an elegant breakfast at Colombo through old libraries and imperial buildings - a true jump back on the time tunnel!

The Real Gabinete - a beautifull old library in downtown Rio

Fourth important rule of a successful alternative guide - If you are planning to drag yourself out in the sun all day, try to visit some places with great Air-conditioning. We highly recommend the RJ state parliament!

Day 5 - Follow the sun
Rio is famous for its beaches, but only few make it beyond Leblon. Shame!!
We drove all the way to Grumari beach, with many viewpoint breaks, including an impressive stop at Pedra bonita, to watch the tandem flights take of.

View from Pedra Bonita

Fifth important rule of a successful alternative guide - local knowledge and your own car are a must at a certain point. Respeito ao guia Jacob!

Well, Maracana is better visited on a match day, but since it is about to be closed for few years for renovations for the 2014 world cup, try at least to see the museum and stadium and imagine what goes around when your favorite team (lets say Vasco da Gama for example...) strikes a GOOOOOOOOOOOL...
Sixth important rule of a successful alternative guide - Save at least one evening for a peaceful sunset watching in your favorite spot. Arpoador....

Family dinner - From left - Jacob, Fany, Benjamin, Vivi, Andre, Shiri, Masset, Pessah

Posted by shiriandre 14:56 Archived in Brazil

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Rio is the most beautiful city in the world ! Isn't it???? fany

by fanylajter

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