As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucket List competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting one per day. In no particular order, today’s post is on Rio de Janeiro.
Rio is the world’s funnest city. And with the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics on the horizon, it’s never been a hotter time to visit the Cidade Maravilhosa (the Marvelous City).
Before we start, we have a confession. We love Brazilians. Our home town of San Diego is overflowing with transplants from Rio, and we’ve been falling in love with the city through its people for years now. Like with any destination, we like to travel as the locals live – but never more than in Rio de Janeiro.
We’d start at the beaches. We’re already getting our beach bodies ready to hit up the infamous Impanema and Copacabana beaches, but we’ve heard there’s even better stretches of sand to be found. 45 minutes outside the city is Prianha, a gorgeous, undeveloped beach in the middle of a nature preserve with the best waves in Rio.
Spending all our time at the beach could be a bit…er…distracting for our eyes, so for some more perspective we’d get up to Sugarloaf Mountain for an unsurpassable view. Instead of the cable cars, we’d opt for the 45 minute hike – we gotta earn a view like that! Then we’d make it over to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue to spread our arms wide and release a few shouts of joy at winning the #mybbb contest!
We’d come down to earth via hang glider, then take a rest and enjoy people watching in Leblon. It’s a well-heeled quarter of Rio with plenty of good places like Bar Veloso to cool down with local beers or a chilled caipirinha.
We couldn’t leave Rio without seeing a Flamengo game at the Maracana. The stadium gets a bit nuts during popular matches, but with the 2014 World Cup just around the corner, football is an inextricable element of Rio’s life.
Next, we’d seek out the Brazilian music that we love. Whether it be finding street performers in Lapa, seeking out live shows, going to a Favela funk party, or watching people practice Capoeira, Rio’s music is the best way to capture the boundless energy of the city. Check out this playlist by our friends at Jam and a Half and start moving your body like a Brazilian.
In Rio, its impossible not to follow the music into the night. Rio’s Nightlife is world-renowned, and even though we’d miss carnival, we’d make up for it with our own week-long party! Samba starts at the famous steps of Lapa, and moves you through the night ’til dawn.
The next morning – or afternoon – it’s time to wake up and do a day trip. Rio features the world’s largest urban park – Tijuca Forest, complete with monkeys and waterfalls – but just off the coast is the pristine rainforest island of Ilha Grande. A bit father is the Costa Verde, where beaches like Itamambuca and Ubatuba hold the best waves in Brazil and plenty of rural relaxation to balance out our week in the city.
Comments? Advice? Disagreements? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
And please vote for us to win MyDestination.com’s Biggest Baddest Bucketlist Competiton!
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