We spent two days in Rio as part of a cruise to the East coast of South America.
Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city in Brazil, famous for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 38 meter Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado and for Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak with cable cars to its summit. The city is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns). Its raucous Carnival festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba dancers, is considered the world’s largest.
The landscape of Rio, is just so different, and so beautiful. Mountains and hills rise dramatically right on the shore and the contrast between these jungle covered mountains and cliffs with the sea is stunning.
Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 meters above the harbor, the peak is named for its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. For the majority of the Great Sugarloaf walk, it’s an easy stroll along a simple, steep path. It gets quite rocky towards the summit.
Ascent is made in two stages: first to the top of Urca Hill to a height of 220 meters above sea level and then the cable car goes all the way to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, for a breathtaking 360 degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
For many people, Rio de Janeiro is worth visiting just to see the Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the 7 wonders of the world, standing tall and proud on Corcovado Mountain.
It’s one of the largest statues of Jesus and the tallest art deco statue in the world. Christ the Redeemer is one of Rio’s most popular tourist attractions offering stunning views of one of the best Latin American cities! In fact, the Redeemer Statue receives almost 2 million visitors per year.
The statue itself, called Cristo Redentor in Portuguese, is 98 feet tall (30 m) and stands on a 26 foot tall pedestal, making it 125 feet tall in total. The arm span is 92 feet wide (28 m). There is a viewing platform around and beneath the statue, where you can see the Cristo Redentor and enjoy the view over Rio.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian has a unique, unusual shape for a Cathedral. From the outside it is sort of a 4 sided cone shape with 4 sides of stained glass windows, with step looking windows/bricks/tiles up to the top of it.
Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida: According to local tradition, three fishermen were attempting to catch a large amount of fish in the Paraíba River for a banquet honoring the visit of São Paulo Governor, Pedro de Almeida in 1717. Despite their prayers, their attempts were fruitless until late in the day, one of the fishermen cast his net and pulled it back to find the statue of the Virgin Mary. Upon his next cast, he found the head. The group cleaned the statue, wrapped it in cloth, and returned to their task to find their fortunes had changed and they were able to obtain all the fish they needed. The statue is believed to be the work of Frei Agostino de Jesus, a monk residing in São Paulo.
Rio has some of the most famous beaches in the world! Copacabana Beach is huge and very centrally located in the city, a favorite with locals and tourists alike.
Hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and residential buildings line the promenade, which constitutes the longest continuous sidewalk in the world, stretching for 4.15 kilometers (2.58 miles), facing Avenida Atlântica. On Sundays and holidays, one side of Avenida Atlântica is closed to cars, giving residents and tourists more space for activities along the beach.
Rio de Janeiro hosts one of the biggest Carnival celebrations in the entire world. Seriously, Carnival is a huge deal there.
Carnival starts on the Friday preceding the beginning of Lent, and runs for about a week. Parades and parties happen daily throughout the neighborhoods of the city, and one massive, gigantic production of a parade is held every night in the Sambadome. These parades last for hours and include elaborate floats and literally thousands of Samba dancers in big, colorful, Samba outfits.
An average of 2 million people are celebrating every day during Carnival in Rio. It’s like a huge party or an elaborate Samba production.
While you’re traveling you need a good book to read or a box of several wonderful novels.
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BAYOU HEAT by Suzanne Jenkins, USA Today bestselling author: After a devastating loss, Maggie embarks on a new chapter in her life when she takes a boat ride at dusk and discovers a body floating in the canal.
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WE’RE ALL STARS by Mona Risk, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author: She points at two children drowning. He saves them and turns their lives upside down.
BORN A HERO by Mimi Barbour, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author: Bryce’s day turns upside down when he reaches out to help an elderly lady during a raging storm. By the time he gets her to her house, the levee breaks, and they’re in deep… ahh, water.
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