If Rio de Janeiro is a location on your travel bucket list, now might just be the time to tick it off. As the host of the next FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games, the eyes of the world will soon be fixed on one of Brazil’s most complex, vibrant and alluring cities.
Before the excitement reaches a fever-pitch (and the flight prices sky-rocket) you could experience Rio at a life-changing point in its history. There are so many features of this “marvellous city” which make it worthy of a visit, but if you need any more convincing, here’s why we think you should consider it this year…
Although it is a massive metropolis, Rio is also home to some of the most naturally stunning landscapes in the world, and last year UNESCO recognised its unique beauty by naming it as a World Heritage Site. With the sprawling city close to not one, but three breathtakingly beautiful types of scenery – with beaches, mountains and rainforests, it is uniquely placed to provide the best of everything. Whether you want to relax on the sand, explore the surrounding bays or delve into the tropical depths of Corcovado National Park, you’ll be amazed at the natural world just outside its pulsating urban metropolis.
Like any city where tourism plays a part, the food in Rio is international and varied. Naturally, the best places to go are where locals can also be found. With Portugese cuisine being a popular choice, you’re likely to find lots of little ‘botequins’ i.e. bars which spill out onto the sidewalk, serving up delicious and freshly cooked food. Similarly, sidewalk vendors are a good choice – delicious smells of seafood, garlic and grilled meat usually fill the air with potent and tempting fragrances.
With over fifty miles of shoreline, the beaches of Rio de Janeiro are among its most famous hallmarks; popular with sun-worshipping locals as well as tourists, it’s a good thing there’s enough room to cater for everyone! From the popular hotspots of Copacabana and Ipanema to the quieter sands of Barra da Tijuca, there’s so much to enjoy here. From volleyball to sailing to simply sunbathing, if you’re a beach lover, you will not be disappointed.
With its annual carnival, Rio has earned a reputation as the true party capital of the world. If you are lucky enough to go during the four days it’s traditionally held, you’ll undoubtedly experience an unforgettable event. However thanks to the live-for-the-moment perspective of locals, nobody needs an annual excuse to party here! With bars, clubs, restaurants and dance halls full to bursting at all times of the year, you’d be forgiven for thinking a carnival happens every day in Rio. Whatever month you’re going, we’d recommend checking out voucher websites where you might be able to find great holiday discounts – if you’re able to save on flights, you’ll have more money to spend on enjoying yourself!
Finally, with the aforementioned sporting events lined up from 2014 onwards, there has been much talk of Rio’s development and infrastructure. Of course, critics have already started to poke holes in the planning, but if London taught us anything, it’s that the Olympics can offer real potential for change. If you’re planning on taking a trip to Rio soon, it’s likely you’ll be in time for cheaper prices before they really start to bump up, so make the most of it and check out any websites offering low price hotel stays.
Whenever you go, you’re likely to see architectural and cultural evidence of a changing Rio de Janeiro, but regardless of its evolution, we think it’s a pretty fantastic travel destination as it stands.