One of the best things that happened to me recently is catching the travel bug. As a kid I always imagined myself going away for college, pledging for a sorority and traveling the world. Unfortunately, two out of the three didn’t happen but I did make it a priority to travel!
When I was twenty -two I traveled to London and France and it was there I realized that this was something I needed to do as often as the opportunity presented itself. Better yet as often as I could make the opportunity. Since then I have traveled to different states in the U.S but recently for my 25th birthday I wanted travel outside the country, again. Myself, and two of my best friends researched the best deals at the time and bought round trip tickets to Rio, Brazil. We stayed six nights and seven days at the Windsor Atalatica hotel for $1,200 with the flight included. Traveling to Rio has been one of the best experiences of my life thus far and I’ am happy to have experienced it with my travel sisters whom I travel with often.
If you are ever looking to go to Rio, Brazil I made my top 7 things to do while you are there.
1. The beach
Rio, Brazil has so many options of beaches to attend from really popular tourist beaches like Ipanema, and Copacabana, which are nothing less from amazing! If you love waves you will love these two beaches even more!! However, the water and sand aren’t the only cool things about these beaches. You can relax, catch a tan, drink a delicious caipirinha (brazils famous cocktail), and even buy souvenirs for your family and friends from the locals walking the beach. You can easily dedicate a whole trip to the beaches in Brazil but Rio has so much more to offer…
2. Football Game AKA Soccer
I am not a fan of soccer but I couldn’t leave Brazil without experiencing a match. I attended a game with Flominense vs. Sap Paulo at the Maracana Stadium (the worlds largest stadium). It was a great game even though I didn’t know much of what was going on but the lively environment of shouting fans, drums and people dancing made the experience great for me. I am not a big sports girl so often my excitement is based on how live the crowed is and they were pretty LIVE!
3. Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer
One of the most popular sites that tourist visit in Rio are the Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Christ Redeemer. The view from the mountain tops are breath taking and worth the trip! I sat at each mountain for about 30 minutes just taking in the beauty of the city and of course I took some great candids.
4. Samba Dancing
Brazil is known for their famous dance called Samba, which is mostly in the footwork and you can add your own flavor. When in Rio my friends and I made it an obligation to take lessons. We loved it so much that we promised ourselves that when we get back to the states we would continue our Samba classes.
Also, be sure to go see a Samba show. The drums will surely get you moving in your seat and wanting to learn more of the dance. Whether you take lessons, go to a show, or watch locals Samba on the street its something that you want to experience!
Visiting Lapa is actually one of my top two things to do while in Rio. During the day you can experience the Escadaria Selaron (Lapa stairs) stairs that’s filled with donated colorful tiles done by a local man named Jorge Selaron. Some also may recognize the stairs from the Snoop Dogg and Pharell’s music video “Beautiful”. I spent a good hour making snap videos and taking pictures on these stairs. I found the area to be so neat and wanted to get a great photo and soak in the moment. Make sure you don’t leave with out getting your picture taking and put on a tile to savor that moment. I love my tile!
A night out in Lapa is another must if you not feeling too beat after all you day activities. Friday night is the best night to go out and experience Lapa’s nightlife and depending on what area you go to you will find different crowds and age groups. Enjoy the Samba dancing, music, grab a bit to eat, and of course a drink or two! Have fun but also be cautious you’re a tourist and as much as you dot want to stick out as one, you will!
6. Michael Jackson Mural
If you love MJ you can’t leave Rio with out visiting his Mural in the Favela that Michael shot his “ They don’t care about us” Video. I loved this because I was able to experience the urban areas of Rio and I felt comfortable because of our tour guide. If you stay at the Windsor Atlantica hotel for majority of the things I listed they will set you up with a tour guide or driver. Nonetheless the people were nice but my Portuguese isn’t that good so our driver translated a lot for us. It was interesting to see how different people from Brazil lived and the Mural and view from Favela was beautiful. This experience is my all time favorite and now the Michael Jackson video holds even more meaning to me because I was right there!
7. Hang Gliding
I saved this for last because to me it’s more optional. However, I say when ever you go to another country do something that you wouldn’t normally do in the states… NOTHING TOO CRAZY! Luckily, with my hang gliding experience I have videos and pictures to prove my bravery. I am so happy I did it!
Whether you go to RIO, another part of Brazil, or even another country best advice I can give is to just get out and see some world!