A guideline to really experiencing Rio. Warning: Very dangerous
12.01.2010 -5 °C
Copacabana Beach is nearly two miles of enchanted coastline. Crawling with women in string bikinis, thumping with futbol games, and over saturated with Caipirinha service, Copacabana is heaven on earth.
However, be very cautious where you walk on the beach. I strolled across a raging gay fest and all I wanted to do was go hide in the ocean. Now I know how women feel when they are stared at like a piece of meat. The Brazilians are very open with their sexuality. More so than any country I've ever seen. Gay, straight, crooked, whatever, its all good in Rio.
Women walk up and down the city streets half naked flaunting their string bikinis and their dimpled butts. God its a wonderful place. Its hard to tell whose a hooker and whose a girl just interested in you. Being a light skinned gringo from NY, I was well sought after. So much so it was a little intimidating. Women gave me their number on the street out of no where. Still not sure if that was for a charge or not. Like I said sexuality is widespread and very diverse. Things you and I might find offensive or even not "lady like" are very accepted there. If your on the fence about visiting, this should have helped you make a decision.
I don't know if its still there, but club Help on the Copacabana beach was a safe haven for hookers and beautiful women. Its where hot girls went to meet gringos with money. Along the coastline you'll find many joggers, athletes, beach volleyball-with-your-feet players, futbol players, gymnasts, etc... it is a very healthy city in that respect. People are very conscious of how they look. Even though most of the males I saw were chiseled like manikins and the women filled with implants.
A few streets away form the beach you'll find one of the most dangerous neighbors hoods in South America. Rocinha favela. To call this a poor neighborhood is an understatement. What you and I spend on a movie at home could get them dinner for a few days. Its unreal how little these people have, but most of them walk around with smiles. if you have an extra water bottle or a little piece of pizza left, had it over to one of the children you encounter. They'll gladly take it and eat it right in front of you. Certain companies run tours through the streets on the back of motorcycles. You wind your way up the side of a steep and congested mountain road to a local school. There you can meet children of the favelas and really get an inside look how things work. A view of the beach from inside is possible, but most if it is blocked by million dollar, beach front condos. Not only are they poor, but they have to be reminded about it every time they look out to the ocean.
If you have the chance go to a favela party. They rock and play the best Brazilian music! They are safe, so long as you keep to yourself and don't get too drunk. Don't do anything you wouldn't do in a normal club at home. Don't be afraid to take a trip to a futbol game either. Stories linger around hostels about piss being thrown at foreigners and oranges with blades inside. Lets be honest, once your inside Maracanã stadium sitting with the fans, nobody is looking at you. Just make sure you don't root against the wrong team. Tour companies will try to finagle you into sitting in VIP seating because its safe. they'll ask for 60 - 80 USD a seat and transportation. This is only for mom and dad tourist from the mid west. Act like you've been there before, take the local subway or a taxi and pay 8 dollars to go see amazing cultural event.
I believe it is pronounced tudo ben. I think it means "everything's good" in Portuguese. Say whenever in doubt of anything in Brazil.