brazilian Funk, Copacabana beach, Ipanema, tourist sites
05.12.2008 -5 °C
Lets just say for this place I didn't even pick up my lonely planet book. I wasn't interested in any walking tours or drooling over any museums. However, there are several touristy things you must do once in Rio. You don't need a guidebook to figure them out. First I will walk you through the tourist sites and "to do's" then I'll tell you how it really is.
Christ Redeemer AKA Cristo, stands on top Corcavado mountain nearly 2300 ft in the air. The statue itself is about 38 feet high. During the rainy season, which is a majority of the year, it is hard to find a nice day to see Cristo. If you cannot see him from the ground, I can assure you you will not have a better look once you are up there. If there are clouds around the mountain then he is not visible. I was right in front of him on a cloudy day and I could not see his face. It is worth it to wait it out for a nice day because the view of RIO is breathtaking. Sometimes it is really nice in the morning and you can get up there for a good look before the clouds roll in.
I don't see any purpose in doing the Christ redeemer and the Sugarloaf mountain because the Christ provides the better view, but some people choose to do both. Sugarloaf will take you on a cable car to the top for a grasping view of Copacabana beach and Rio de Janiero. I don't suggest doing a tour that is usually arraigned at your hotel or hostel. The hotel usually gets a cut of the profits. Be a little daring and go off on your own. The Metro Rio is very efficient and really simple. It also cost about 2 R each way.
A tour can also be arraigned for a walk through the Favelas. Favela means Shanty town. There are hundreds of thousands of people living in just a few acres inside Favelas. The Rochina favela is the largest in Rio de Janiero and it host 200,000 people. houses are stacked on top of one another, water tanks sit on roof tops and armed gunmen patrol the streets. You can book a tour through www.bealocal.com . They will give you a hands on educational, informational walk through and motorcycle ride through the favela. It is worth the 60 R because you learn a lot. I would not recommend going through these blocks yourself. They are patrolled by gunmen and drug lords who do not like their picture taken. However, there is a slightly more dangerous way to do it for those who are looking for something a little daring.
If you got the cash, about 220 R you should do the Hang gliding. It really was an awesome experience. I think it is the best view of Rio you can get. Flying high over the Tijuca forest, you can see barra tijaca beach, Sugarloaf Ipanema Beach and even Cristo!
It is important that you avoid these full day tours that you see posted at your residence. They claim that you can see everything in one day. Well yea, if you don't mind seeing it through a window. It takes more than a day to see Rio. Hell it takes more than a week to see Rio.