We arrived at the international airport, which is about 40 minutes to Copacabana. Since we landed in the night, we ordered a Radio taxi for R$90-130, which is known to be safer (and more expensive!).
We started our trip with a hotel stay in Copacabana, which we enjoyed for its location. Later in the trip, we changed lodging to an Airbnb, which you can find scattered around the popular areas of town. For us, this was the best setup! For more than a couple nights stay, we prefer to have our own kitchen, space, and homey setting.
Get Your Adventure On
Christ Redeemer: We did this on our own, without a tour. It was easy to grab a ticket the night before for a van from Copacabana (go to Praça do Lido). The van dropped us off at the entrance. Then we took another van to the top section, which had escalators, restaurants, and an up-close view of Giant Jesus. The day we went was sunny and hot, and we enjoyed some great views. I recommend waiting for a clear day to get the full effect.
Lagoon: This was a great spot for outdoor sports, music, picnic, drinks, and sunset. We were there at Christmas time, when they have a Christmas tree in the center of the lake that lights up after sunset time.
Eats & Drinks
Açaí: On many corners, you’ll see shops that sell this fruity snack. My favorite was mixed with granola!
Churrascaria Palace: I loved this Vegas-style buffet with unlimited meats, sushi, salads, and cheese galore. The servers are ready to shave more meat on to your plate at any moment!
Amir: Surprisingly yummy Middle Eastern cuisine in the neighborhood.
We spent a couple days exploring other neighborhoods like Ipanema and Leblon. Rio is a big city, so we didn’t get to see it all! Next time I would spend more time in other neighborhoods to get a sense of the other flavors of the city.