So in 2016 we were lucky enough to visit Rio during the Olympics, and boy it didn’t disappoint.
During our short stay, we booked a hotel nearby the famous Escalera da Selaron. This was a set of steep and beautiful steps covered in tiles that an artist had designed during his time in Rio. This was a top tourist spot and although it was awesome to see I wouldn’t recommend staying as close as we did, as there was huge parties most nights. Putting to bed the rumours of Rio being a party city.
This part of the city showcased a real local vibe with street markets a regular occurrence ranging from fruits, veg and general household items. One great feature of Rio was it’s new underground train system which we found incredibly easy to navigate and used to head most days to the famous Copacabanna Beach.
I have to say this beach was epic, stretching miles and offering everything from volleyball to a huge area of umbrella sun lounges. We stopped here to enjoy a mountain view to the left and an awesome drink called the caprinha, which should be tasted but not over indulged upon. (heavy on the vodka)
What we found most interesting was the constant shops selling only chocolate and crisps, they were all branded and stretched right along shelves and metal crates. We often bought big bags of crisps to enjoy with a good bottle of Brahma lager sold at most bars.
On one day we stretched further a field using the trains to visit the Sugarloaf mountain, you have to get on a huge cable car which takes you from ground zero to right on top the highest point. The views were spectacular and stretched for the whole of Rio, including of the Christ Redeemer statue.
Rio was a busy city and with the Olympics it was crazy at times, but it had a real party feel to it which extended all over. It was hard to see at times the level of poverty but I must say they are a truly resourceful country and will always extend you a warm welcome.
It has to be visited and with the new transport links it was far easier than I could have ever imagined.