Rio de Janeiro, cidade maravilhosa! Anyone who visits will immediately fall in love. All the cities imperfections and natures perfections make it such an energetic and magical place, I fall in love a bit more every time I go. From spending a day at the beach like a true “carioca”, doing an outdoor activity or enjoying it’s many sights.
My favorite beach is Leblon, just west of Ipanema, a much quieter, cleaner and sophisticated beach. Leblon is a favorite to Brazil’s celebrities and those who are into their daily outdoors sports; you can see them running, playing volleyball and futevolei (a mixture of football and volleyball). At the beach, race and social class is not an issue, it’s all about enjoying life. I used my morning hours to go swimming in the ocean, boosting my energy and health!
BB Lanches is found a couple of blocks behind Leblon’s beach, it has the best pastel de carne and many selections of fresh juices, I love the acai smoothie pronounced “ah-sa-EE” it tastes delicious and a favorite amongst Brazilians.
Making my way to Parque Lage, a place that has been on my list of must-sees for a couple of years now. Lush green area with a beautiful view of christ the redeemer and a great café to enjoy a well deserved lunch. The park has been around since Brazil’s colonial era, in 1922 the new owner Henrique Lage built the house you see below, a perfect replica of a Roman palace for his Italian wife. It is open daily and free to the public.
I finished the day at Aprazivel, my favorite restaurant here. It is hidden in the many windy roads of Santa Teresa neighbourhood. This place is not well know to many, so make sure to have it saved on your map just in case you need to show it to the taxi driver. The abundance of greenery and view of the city will not disappoint, the al-fresco dining with grass-roofed gazebos makes it to an unforgettable evening, and please lets not forget the delicious and authentic Brazilian dishes. Santa Teresa is a historical area and landmark of Rio de Janeiro, where raging 19th-century mansions and a bohemian spirit lives in harmony. The last tram of Rio is found here, running its way up the cobble streets. A different take of Rio, but ohh so beautiful!