The past few days in Rio de Janeiro have been pretty great! It is obvious to us why Rio is the southern hemisphere’s most-visited city! We’re in love with the signature black and white “wave” mosaic sidewalks–just beautiful! Our ocean-front hotel is in the posh Leblon area (cozy) and our double suite boasts an amazing view of Ipanema-Leblon beaches! Luckily, only two streets behind us is the shopping district, which makes it easy to walk to dinner and do some shopping! We visited Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado mountain (one of the New Seven Wonders of the World) and we took the cable car ride to the top of Sugarloaf mountain! We spent hours in the amazing Botanical Garden, which we certainly recommend (If you haven’t been there, go!).
On a guided tour, we visited Sambodromo: the avenue with permanent grandstands used for Carnival! There, we went to a small museum with fantastic Carnival costumes! We also visited Maracana Stadium, one of the world’s largest football stadiums–also home to the 2016 Summer Olympics (Rio de Janeiro will be the first South American city to host the event.). On the tour, we visited the Metropolitan Cathedral, a unique pyramid-shaped church. We also took a Jeep Tour through the Tijuca National Forest, which is the world’s largest urban forest! There, we visited Cascatinha Waterfall and Mayrink Chapel. We spent a couples days relaxing on the beach, which is always a favorite for us! One afternoon, we went to Garota de Ipanema café–yep, where the song, “Girl from Ipanema” was written. The food was actually good! We also spent some time in Santa Teresa neighborhood–we were looking forward to taking the tram in Santa Teresa, but it will be closed for quite some time following an accident. We still have a couple of days left here for our vacation and there is plenty to do and see! Dear Rio, we love you!