I would like to begin with a shout-out to all my pale-skinned pals: if you visit Rio be prepared for lots of stares, because we stand out like shining beacons among the sea of tanned bods. If you can complete your time in Rio free of sun-burn you deserve a medal. The reason why the streets are empty between 10-4 became very apparent, very quickly. The sun is an absolute scorcher, so if you are planning on spending the day at the beach I implore you to invest in an umbrella. If you are one of those lucky tanned human beings, you will fit right in. I happened to visit Rio with one of these such humans, and she had no problem at all hitting the waters for a midday swim whilst I cowered in the shade.
Regardless of your capacity to tan you will love Rio. The vibes along Copacabana beach are incredible. Beachside stalls are set up across the entire length of the bay, selling those cool hippy clothes that seem like a great purchase whilst overseas and inevitably get thrown out or sneakily re-gifted once you arrive home.
Closer to the water you are likely to get hit by one of thousands of soccer balls as at least half of the beach crowd is likely to be engaged in some sort of mini-soccer game. One of the greatest things about Copacabana is the abundance of ice-cream stalls along the beach. Jess and I certainly took advantage of this by averaging at least two ice-creams per day. Also, drinking-coconuts are super cheap, so naturally we bought double the amount of coconuts as we did bottles of water. Other than the beachside snacks I can’t say that Rio’s cuisine was all together memorable, but this is only a problem for people who aren’t happy to eat ice-cream for lunch and dinner.
Being the typical tourists that we were, Jess and I took some time out from spending every waking minute at the beach to visit what I knew to be ‘that Jesus statue from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet’. It turns out that this statue is actually called ‘Christ the Redeemer’, and it is situated atop a giant hill which you climb via train. The statue was incredible to see, but what was just as incredible was the array of tourist selfies being taken around it. Also well worth noting is the panoramic view of Rio that can be seen from the statue site.
SO – if you are planning a trip to Brazil I would highly recommend stopping by Rio. Jess and I spent 3 days there which was the perfect amount of time to soak up the vibes at Copacabana, visit the Jesus statue, eat ice-cream and drink way too many coconuts.