Rio de Janeiro’s moment in the sun is here. Thousands of tourists are thronging Rio to witness the 2016 Olympic Games. The summer Olympics has indeed brought the limelight back on the innumerable tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We give you a low-down on some of the best things you can do in the huge seaside city.
When in Rio, don’t just while away your time relaxing and people-watching along the shores of Copacabana or Ipanema. The city has a stunning landscape with many breath-taking landmarks like the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, the Tijuca National Park and Sugar Loaf, to name a few. To get the real taste of Brazil, you must visit Santa Teresa and Lapa.
In fact, most travel agency tour packages will include all these must-see places. So if you have taken a tour package, you can just sit and relax. If you are planning to visit Rio, see to it that the travel agency holiday package has included the below mentioned sites. Because visiting Rio without seeing these attractions will be a waste of time.
Christ the redeemer
The famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Tijuca National Park has been visited by millions of visitors already, and it is undoubtedly a must-see attraction in Rio. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This statue of Jesus Christ stands with arms extended took almost a decade to complete. The statue on top of Corcovado Mountain is built using concrete and covered in mosaic tiles.
This botanical heaven is spread across more than 340 acres! It has more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic species of flora. The garden, which was created in 1808, was opened to the public in 1822. The garden is a major tourist attraction. You can go for a guided or self-driven thematic tour through sections of the park. It also houses a souvenir shop, restaurant and a playground.
Tijuca National Park
If you love exploring the outdoors pay a visit to this expansive green rainforest, which is spread across 8,300 acres. Another reason to visit Tijuca National Park is that it is the largest urban rainforest on the planet! The park is a sight to behold with diverse topography, waterfalls, more than 1,600 plant species and more than 350 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. It also offers a lot of activities. There are many hiking trails and picnic spots. You can also try your hand at hang gliding and rock climbing at the park.
Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar)
Sugar Loaf Mountain engulfing the charming Guanabara Bay is 1,299 feet tall. You can take a trip to Sugar Loaf in a cable cab, and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty surrounding you. The panoramic views at the top are awe-inspiring, mostly at sunset. You can also visit the history exhibit at the park and get to know about the original cable cars used on the tram.
A visit to Rio without revelling in samba? Impossible, we say. Head to Lapa and indulge in the festivities with the locals. You can shake a leg with them all the while sipping on delectable cocktails. Lapa is peppered with tapas bars, clubs and live music venues. The city comes alive at night. Lapa serves as the heart of Rio’s night scene, and it is better to visit the city during the weekend.
Copacabana is Rio’s most popular shores. Here, don’t just indulge in swimming and sunbathing for there is a lot more in store. The Historical Museum of the Army and Copacabana Fort are a must visit. Copacabana Beach has many restaurants that serve authentic Portuguese food. You will also find many luxury hotels here. The beach will be crowded all the time. So if you want to avoid the crowd, take a sunset stroll along the beach.
If you’re a sports fan, a stop at Maracana is a must in Rio. The soccer stadium was opened in 1950 to host the World Cup final. In the recent years, it underwent a lot of renovation and now houses many shops and restaurants. The 2014 World Cup was held at the Maracana Stadium. That is not all. The opening and the closing ceremonies for the 2016 Olympic Games, and the Olympic soccer finals were held here. If you are visiting Rio between May and December you can watch football matches here. Many travel agency holiday packages include transportation to and from the match.