Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Introducing Rio de Janeiro

There really is no place quite like the cidade maravilhosa or ‘marvellous city’. We love Rio de Janeiro. It’s an urban jungle where impossibly beautiful women in string bikinis skip along the beach by day and chiselled men steer you through samba-fuelled parties by night, as the whole city reverberates with roars from the Maracaña stadium.

While visits to the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach are obligatory, Rio’s unique energy eludes many guidebooks. What makes it magical is the carioca or Rio native spirit that oozes from the city’s every pore. Cariocas are entranced by the here-and-now and squeeze every last drop out of life – it’s as though they’ve soaked up so much sunshine, they can’t help but glow.

We’re here to help you to dive head first into that spontaneity – and with any luck you’ll pick up some of that enviable radiance along the way. While we can’t promise where you’ll end up – be it a wild favela party, meditative beach yoga or atop the Dois Irmaos mountain – we can promise a good time (and plenty of caipirinhas).

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Editor's Tips

  1. Buy a disposable camera (or three). It’s best to leave your phone at home when hitting favela parties but your friends trying to samba after several caipirhinas is something you’ll want on film.
  2. Petty thieves operate on the beach. We were advised to dig a hole and bury our possessions in it when we went for a dip – take the easier alternative and ask a fellow sunbather to watch them for you.
  3. Keep jewellery to a minimum and leave your usual trinkets at home. This is the place to adorn yourself in Club Tropicana-style accessories. Perspex pineapple necklace anyone?
  4. Uber, Uber, Uber. Much cheaper than yellow taxis and you avoid faffing around with tips and change.
  5. The metro is also pretty easy to navigate and will take you anywhere in Zona Sul right up to Ipanema, while buses operate in the Leblon and Barra neighbourhoods. The app BikeRio is useful for those wishing to explore the city on two wheels.
  6. Look out for the 24-hour red ATM machines which work with most international banks free of charge. Make sure your card has a chip – card cloning is not uncommon.
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