There are loads of all you can eat meat restaurants in Brazil and we tried three while I was there for a two month stay working my way through Brazil. This place was the best. For meat eaters it was heavenly. Best tip, don't bother having lunch and stroll up about 7pm. You'll feast. If you take a trip to Brazil now it will be coming into their spring - it'll be hot but a great time to visit.
Av Atlantica 290B, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
+ 55 21 2104 9000
Google map: bit.ly/pcXxut
Paraty is a couple hours drive south of Rio de Janeiro. A hidden gem in every sense of the meaning. The beach is quite difficult to find and includes a drive (I did it in a bus) up a mountain, then back down the other side. On the way, you do wonder if it's worth all this palava but once you finally witness the beach, the sea, the backdrop of the mountains and the surrounding coast, you know you've found something very special. Perhaps the most beautiful set of beaches I've ever seen. Just don't forget your suncream - the sun is perilously strong in this corner of the world.
To anyone lucky enough to be able to go to Brazil during the World Cup in 2014, watching the footy on Copacabana beach is a must. I was there during the final of the last World Cup in 2010, and it was probably one of the best days of my whole six month travelling experience! They set up huge screens on the beach from midday, with live samba music, dancers and an abundance of beer and of course, Speedos. Even watching the final between Holland and Spain, the atmosphere was as excited as if it was a South American final. I can't even begin to imagine how it would have been if that was the case - it was truly like a mini Carnival. And my top tip, if you're feeling a little worse for wear the morning after the festivities, grab yourself an Acai berry smoothie from one of the kiosks near the beach, one sip and you'll feel completely revitalised!
Google map: bit.ly/rcHlgh
The picture-perfect beach of Dois Rios lies in a peaceful cove on an island just an hour off the mainland of Rio de Janiero state, where there are no ATMs and motorised vehicles are banned. After two hours of hiking across the island we reached it, with sprawling golden sand, turquoise waters to the front, lush rainforest behind and pretty much nothing else. It really is the perfect deserted beach. Unlike the more popular (and no more gorgeous) Lopes Mendes beach, no tourist boats go here so the only way to reach it is on foot - gruelling in the humidity (and flip flops) but a real blessing in disguise. I hope it remains utterly unspoiled for a very long time, or at least until I can afford to return.
Stay in: Vila do Abraao, Ilha Grande
Google map: bit.ly/oS93At
I highly recommend the Rio Original Bike tour. The bicycle is definitely the best way to get a feel of the city and its parks. The tour is 100% on cycle paths so you don't have to fight the insane Rio traffic. It runs through the Aterro do Flamengo park with views of the Sugarloaf and the Christ as well as the heavenly Guanabara Bay. Thais and Mark are excellent guides and really know the city and its culture inside out. It was the best thing I did on my trip to Rio by far. At R$70 it was a steal given that is roughly the same price as renting a bike on your own.
Partly a blog, mostly a comprehensive information site about Rio de Janeiro and the area around. Yes the inclusion of the word 'gringo' conjures up certain negative images (until you get to Brazil and realise all foreigners are referred to as 'gringo' in a purely friendly way), but it's jammed full of great tips you won't find in any guidebooks and gives an enticing and realistic picture of Rio. I met the author of the website in person at the hostel I stayed at and he was an absolute gem!
One of the best places in Rio de Janeiro, located in historical Lapa district, in an old renovated house. Great music and relaxing atmosphere. The interior of club is full of antiques and old cars. And there is an old dentist's chair by the entrance, just in case you get tootache.
This is not only nightclub where you can listen music, dance eat or drink, it is a musem with spacious venue of three floors.
Castelinho38 is a divinely appointed guest house in the safe, beautiful and lively neighborhood of Santa Teresa, in Rio. I stayed there as a solo female traveler and felt very confident walking from the Castelinho at night to all of the great nightspots along the neighbourhood's main artery, where you can hear wonderful live and informal samba, chorinho, and bossanova sessions. The owners and staff at Castelinho will take excellent care of you and see to your every need. There, you can grab a beer from the honour bar, sit back in a hammock, listen to the groovy sounds they have playing, and behold the gloriousness of Guanabara Bay, the intoxicating scents of all the surrounding flora, and the pleasant (and never overly loud) pulsating sounds of the best city on Earth!
I am female and travelling (solo) to Rio. Lots of searching and talking to folks in the know pointed me to Santa Teresa as a safe, lively, and less touristy place to stay. Look into the Casa 579 guesthouse online. That's where I'll be.
Hey all, I had the opportunity to see the favela Rocinha as well and thoroughly enjoyed myself. What was the most fun was hanging out and just being there with the local people, Zezinho's friends and family.
I did not want to go with a huge group of people on a structured tour. And my main requirement is that I wanted my money to go to somebody, a local who lives there in the favela. Many of these companies like "favela tour" or "be a local" charge a lot of money for a short 3 hour visit and your with 10 or more people. I know, as I did research before chosing who I wanted to see the community with.
So, I was referred to a local "Zezinho" who seems to be giving back in his community and is not out to bilk some sorry as* tourist out of his greenbacks! Well worth the money spent for the 9 hours we spent there.
Its obvious this guy loves what he does. He presents the community honestly and makes sure before you leave that you will probably know more about favelas than the average Carioca does. This guy has tattoos of the favela houses on his arms and legs and everybody in the favela knows him! He is like an ambassador for the favela Rocinha.
We had a great time, just the four of us and we highly recommend local people to give you a tour of such a fascinating area of Rio. Stay away from these large companies as they do not hire local guides and the time spent there with them is not worth it. If you are looking to hang out in the favela, drink some beer, listen to music and not have a time limit (we spent 9 hours there), talk to Zezinho. He will make sure you have a great time absorbing favela culture!
Check out his website for the info you need!
I really recommend taking a tour around one of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro - it is one of the most interesting (and exciting!) things I have done during my travels. It's a real eye-opener to wander down through the tiny streets of the favelas, seeing how so many people live in such poverty. All the people we passed seemed happy, were incredibly friendly and loved to have their photos taken (except for the drug dealers, who we were advised not to photograph!). Absolutely fascinating trip, with the added thrill of a ride on the back of a motorbike to get there. Great views of the city too.
Rocinho favela, tour arranged by bealocal.com
Cabana Copa gains consistently high reviews from all who stay there, its location is safe and convenient, it is close to the metro and bus stop and is very clean. Moreover, it’s independently owned so there is a very high attention to detail, a more personable approach and the manager is on site everyday.
They offer nice big lockers for all your bags allowing you to explore and enjoy the Copacabana beach (two blocks away) without the constant worry of the safety of your luggage. Friendly and helpful staff complete the package.
I did hang gliding and a city tour in Rio with a small tour company called Brazil Expedition; great tour and good English!
We went to Christ, forest, Santa Teresa and Lapa Steps- amazing!
We met friends who had arrived in Rio the day before us. They went to the yellow taxi kiosk at the airport and got a ticket with a price for their ride to Copacabana. But, after being escorted to their waiting taxi the price was crossed out and a new price written on the ticket. The man who had escorted them to the taxi then handed the ticket to the driver who crossed that price out and added his own price! Essentially they ended up paying 95 Brazilian Reals,(US50) for a journey that should have cost a lot less. Of course, like us, they don't speak any Portuguese which makes it very difficult to argue in these situations.
We had read about these sorts of problems on a few different travel sites and my husband booked our transfers to Copacabana with Rio Airport Transfer, who he had seen comments about on this site, and paid 50 US for a smooth journey to our hotel in a very nice car.
I'm sure everyone has different experiences and there's always a few people who get conned by opportunists, but for the sake of convenience we prefer to book in advance and know what we're getting for our money. We would recommend Rio Airport Transfer for those like us who prefer less stress.
Looking for an English speaking Church in Brazil? Try Christ Church Anglican Church. The people are friendly, the worship and teaching good, it's well served by public transport and there's plenty of on site parking. Services at 8am and 10.30 am and children are welcome.
Rua Real Grandeza 99, Botafogo in Zona Sul. Tel 21 2539 9488 It's website is christchurch.no-ip.org/
I reccomend a nice and cheap hostel called Arpoador Beach House between Ipanema beach and Copacabana Beach. The best spot in Rio is called Arpoador area: there's a great sunset from there!
Rua bulhoes de Carvalho 470
I ordered the regular cheeseburger steak with fries and salad. Generous portions, loved it! One of the best meals I've had in Rio, particularly the grilled delicacies. Do recommend it. The place attracts the trendy hipsters that cruise around Ipanema, so be ready to see and be seen. Beware of the chimichurri sauce! Not chimichurri!
Av. Garcia de Ávila, 125 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22421-010, Brazil - (0xx)21 2512-8100
I went with some friends to Zero Zero lounge next to Rio’s planetarium. I thought it was a bit expensive when compared to other clubs I had been to, but the ambience was pretty hipster and sophisticated. They have a huge open-air lounge area with many couches, Indian wooden benches and the ambiance is candlelit, the décor surely adds a sexy, romantic feel to the place. The gorgeous trendy locals cruise around in fashion clothes and fancy drinks. This place is definitely worth a check.
We frequently go to Japanese restaurants anywhere, we hunt them down on our various trips. We followed the tip of our hotel concierge and decided to check out Benkei in Ipanema. I liked it. They have splendid food preparation and arrangement. Benkei is just how I like a Japanese restaurant to be: small, quiet and cozy. The sushi was actually really good, but I did not dig the waiting line. Get reservations if you plan on giving it a checkout, which I do recommend.
Rua Henrique Dumont, 71 Lj A
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ
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