Exploring cidade Maravilhosa

After reading through several books on Rio de Janeiro and Brazil in general I had a pretty good idea about the places I wanted to see during the stay in the cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). On the way to the airport,  I stopped at Cookout to meet a friend that had visited Rio several times in the past year and had several tips and books for us to use on the trip. The book titled “How to be a Carioca” (a Rio native) was the most entertaining, and will definitely help you fit into the crowd if you visit Rio.

Departed Charlotte at 8pm and woke up from the 8 hour plane ride to see the unique city of Rio! We headed straight to where summer happens in Rio…. Ipanema! The neighborhood with a tradition of freedom and innovation.

We began walking from the side of the beach nearest to Leblon. Along the way we watched all of the locals playing sand sports (most popular was Fruitvale (no hands volleyball). We stopped at a coconut stand, gave the vendor 3R$, he pulled out his machete, chopped the coconut 3 times, popped the top off, stuck a straw inside and tada! in no time we were enjoying our Água de Côco (chilled coconut water) straight from the coconut!! We walked all the way to the other side of the beach ending up at Parque Garota de Ipanema where we watched some fisherman reeling in a fresh catch. After resting for a bit we headed to Viscondede Piraja, a happening street in Ipanema that has tons of trendy boutiques and juice bars on every corner. We sat down at a tiny street cafe to have lunch and plan out the rest of the day. Before we knew it the sun had set and the nightlife crowd had appeared. Walking through downtown Leblon and Gavea, we came across Jobi a real hot spot for the younger crowd. You go in, order your drink and then hang out on the sidewalk with your friends. We stopped at several tapas bars, and ended up at a tiny pizzeria to enjoy a cheesy 2:00am snack. An enjoyable day to say the least.

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