South America

Rio de Janeiro: Let’s Party!

Your going to be hearing a lot about Rio de Janeiro  in the next few years, first because they will be hosting the  2014 FIFA World Cup and then the 2016 Summer Olympics Games.

So let this be your sneak preview of what you can expect from this bustling, spotlighted city.

First thing I instantly noticed about Rio and from travelling around Brazil is that Rio is nothing like the rest of Brazil. It’s like I am instantly transported to another country. Granted, Brazil is huge, we learned this when planning our trip initially and thus opting for a flight pass to get around the various cities we intended on visiting. Getting back to Rio, Rio is like most modern western metropolises, with a tiny hint of beach culture. If anything I would compare it to Honolulu or Waikiki in Hawaii, but quite a bit less developed.

In regards to public transport, shopping, cleanliness, tourist attractions and eating it is all on par with any major city in North American or Europe. I would also put it in a whole other category than the rest of Brazil in things related to safety. I felt unsafe in various areas of Brazil, mainly more inland in Manaus and Salvador. But in Rio, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could finally relax and enjoy a bit more. Although I should mention I stayed far away from the Favelas.

And boy did I relax, somehow Rio turned into beach, party, beach, party, and a little Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor ) sightseeing in there as well. Hey, it was the end of our trip, we were allowed to go a bit crazy.

Our first beach we visited was Copacabana, mainly cause it is the most famous beach in Rio and our dad would be extremely disappointed at us if we didn’t visit it.

Copacabana Beach - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The second beach we checked out was Ipanema, the “new up-in-coming trendy” beach.

Ipanema Beach - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In comparison, they were both very similar. The sand was clean, Ipanema’s was slightly more white, and the water was cold. Ipanema also has a wonder boardwalk that’s open to rollerbladers, bikers and joggers, as well as a gay beach section which is very forward thinking. Can’t say I prefer either to the other.

Ipanema Beach - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Night Life

In regards to the night life, we kinda had a bit of bad timing in our trip as we arrived on a Monday and departed on the Friday afternoon, so we never got a chance to experience Rio’s famous Lapa district street music and nightlife area. We did however manage to make our way onto a party boat that cruised till 4am,  and eventually a Samba club.

Rio Nightlife Boat Party - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio Nightlife Boat Party - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Other things we did in Rio

Visit Christ the Redeemer: a crowded cluster of people, posing and trying to squish onto the tiny platform for just a few seconds, enough to snap your photos and be done. It’s hectic, you have to show up at least two hours in advance to book a spot on the tram to ride up. But, if I didn’t get a chance to see it I would have been very disappointed.

Christ the Redeemer - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hang gliding

I was scared shitless, I had a previous bad experience paragliding in Austria (the second time) and thus the thought of voluntary running off a cliff again stressed me out like crazy. However, it only took a brief panic attack before I was convinced to run off and fly.

View from Hangliding Platform - Rio de Janerio, Brazil

Boy was this the experience of flying or what! We were lucky enough to catch a thermal which lifted us up higher above the jump platform and thus gave us a longer flight time.

Hang Gliding-Rio 3

Hang Gliding-Rio 2

Hang gliding is really all about luck, since we tried all 4 days we were in Rio to do hang gliding and only on the last day the wind conditions were right. ( They take this stuff very seriously). Regardless, I loved every second of it, much more than paragliding, although that’s also pretty wicked. Considering that was the last thing we managed to do in Rio, I believe we time it quite well.

Hang Gliding-Rio 1

Now this is only a small glimpse of what there is to do in Rio, and from what I have seen so far, World you are in for a treat, Rio will not disappoint! I can’t wait to go again, maybe 2014? We’ll see.

Big thank you to hostelbookers for hooking us up with some sweet rooms at the Samba Palace, in Rio!

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Stephanie Lynn
    January 29, 2013 at 3:57 am

    Every time you yell “Stephanie”, I feel like you’re yelling at me.

    • Reply
      nadine
      February 28, 2013 at 2:35 am

      :p no I would never do that :)

  • Reply
    Ally
    March 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Ahh the beaches look gorgeous! I’ll be going here next year, I can’t wait :)

    • Reply
      nadine
      March 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      That’s awesome!! You’ll have such a good time , you must tell me all about it :P

  • Reply
    Jorge
    March 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Did you use your own camera when you were hang gliding? Or you had to pay extra and they recorded the fligth? This is sooo cool!!! I’m scared of heights but I’m definitely doing this! I’ll be in Rio this May :)

    • Reply
      nadine
      March 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

      We had to pay extra, $75 Brazilian dollars. >.< Seriously, photos and video are the biggest rip-off when traveling, however, it's one of those thing that I would regret if I didn't get.

  • Reply
    lisa
    March 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Hey Nadine- I’m heading to Rio for a few days in November. Do you think 3 nights, 4 days are enough to experience Rio?

    • Reply
      nadine
      March 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      The more the better! We spent 4 nights and it was enough to see most of the the major things there is to see, however it all depends on how much beach time you want. Definitely try and get at least one weekend night in Rio to check out Lapa.

  • Reply
    Melissa-lee
    May 14, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Hi Nadine, I love reading & watching your travel stories!
    I’ve learned so much but I still find myself increasingly nervous about something’s!!
    I would love it if you could do a video or blog on travel fears & frequently asked questions?

    Like how to find a non dodgy hostel.
    How to avoid any theft.
    Do you keep your passport on you at ALL times?
    Storing your DSLR & other expensive technology items while your not using them, are they safe with your luggage?
    I mean the list goes on, but just tips & tricks you learned along that way that you thought “hey I wish I knew that earlier” :-)

    Any help greatly appreciated!

    • Reply
      nadine
      May 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Melissa!

      I am so glad you enjoy my travel vlogs and blogs, I really love making them :) Also, the FAQ’s are a wonderful idea :) I will most definitely look into doing one for the future.!

  • Reply
    MarcioNSantos
    October 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Hey Nadine!

    I’m from Rio. Of course, as a local I have to say you didn’t see that much. Didn’t you go even to the Pão de Açúcar (Suger Loaf)? It’s a classic :) Beautiful different views and not as crowd as Christ the Redeemer.

    I don’t want to be annoying giving you a lot of suggestions, just if you want :)

    Congratulations!

  • Reply
    Chanel @ LaViajeraMorena
    March 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    It looks like you had a great time in Rio, I can’t wait to visit next week! :D

  • Reply
    david deazley
    June 10, 2014 at 5:10 am

    your holiday looks to be amazing videos and pictures are quality. any ideas on where is best to stay while in rio hotels apartments etc any feedback would be great thanks Nadine :D

  • Reply
    15 Places to Go in 2015Hey Nadine
    January 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    […] larger and more diverse than I could have ever imagined. There is also ALOT more to offer than just Rio de Janerio, (although the beaches are quite nice). Think the stunning Iguassu Falls, the Amazon, the music […]

  • Reply
    Will
    June 3, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Dear Nadine,
    Have you ever had some one night stands on your night life travel excursions of fun?

  • What are you thoughts?