Rio De Janeiro is an amazing city. There are so much view points, activities, visits, that 6 days only give an overview. We climbed up to Corcovado's Christ and Pao De Azucar, that both offer beautiful city views. We enjoyed a free walking tour in the historical center and a pub crawl in nightlife district Lapa. We visited football's Mecca Maracana. We spent some time in very famous but less touristic neighbourhoods Botafogo and Flamengo. We were based in Copacabana. There, during the day, one could chill on the beach or walk to Ipanema; I recommend the rock bewteen both beaches that offers amazing views on them. As one can expect, New Year's Eve in Copacabana was great. Be sure to wear your white outfit, that's the tradition, as well as jumping through 7 waves at midnight. Look at the magnificent firework, as broad as one can see. Make new friends, everyone is open to it. Beware of cellphone thieves though, we saw them at work and they run quite fast.
That's a bit by chance that we found out about Paraty town, halfway between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Well, good finding: although a little crowded, it has kept its authenticity, with its houses with white walls and red, blue or yellow doors, its 3 churches, originally for the different social classes, and its lively main square. But the main reason why one goes to Paraty is... the beach. Main one in town is nothing incredible, but the surroundings, accessible by bus, are beautiful. At least that's what we heard: we spent there only one day and couldn't reach them. So we tried the boat: too touristic, but still the best option if you are in a hurry. It brought us to 4 heavenly islands, creeks or beaches were one could swim, chill and even jump 6 meter high into the sea. By all means, don't eat the included lunch they serve on the boat, even if it's part of the package.
Sao Paulo mostly looks like a big occidental city. Still, one can find the colorful and flowery district of Vila Madalena, with small houses rather than big buildings, sloping San Francisco-alike roads, grafitis everywhere and the Aspicuelta street, where all the atmosphere, restaurants, bars and nightclubs are. That's were we stayed. We walked through the famous Avenida Paulista on Saturday and Sunday. If you need to chose, go for Sunday : it's closed to traffic and definitely funnier. There, enjoy the street shows, concerts and food trucks, take a walk at the Trianon park and, if it's raining, seek refuge at MASP, the citie's modern art museum. On a different day, book some time to visit the Ibirapuera Park; it's big, green, urban and has a lake, lots of trees and flowers and several monuments and museums. That's what we did.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
Go to Pao de Azucar as early as possible in the morning, to avoid the never-ending lines. When you reach first floor, there's another one to go to second floor. Though, at the bottom, there are some counters that only accept cash, where the line is way shorter. Go there!
Anything go wrong during the trip?
Bus journey from Paraty to Sao Paulo took 10 hours instead of 4. But come on, there are wronger things in the universe.
How was the food?
How was the food? Quite disappointing: everywhere, chicken or meet with french fries, rice and feijoada. Very greasy, low variety and almost unexisting vegetarian or vegan options. Looked like a bad version of Spanish food.
What tips would you give a friend?
If you want to go to Rio de Janeiro for New Year's Eve, book your flight and accomodation as early as possible, otherwise the price is insane. Most sources recommend to do it 9 months ahead.
White outfit for New Year's Eve in Copacabana!