Oh the places you’ll goDr. Seuss
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most iconic cities on the planet known for his vibrant presence and it’s amazing landscapes. There is definitely no other city like Rio. Be it the captivating beaches of Rio(Read more) or the popular Icons – everything stands apart for its uniqueness and beauty.
There is more to this amazing city than its famous beaches. Here is a list of the Top attractions Rio has to offer –
1.Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer or Christo Redentor in Portuguese is a colossal statue of Jesus on the summit of Mount Corcovado. This Art deco statue weighing 635 metric tons is a symbol of Christianity and a cultural icon of both Rio and Brasil. It is listed in one of the new Seven wonders of the world. Because of its commanding height it is visible from everywhere in Rio and sits like a Guardian over this beautiful city. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.
As soon as we were out from the airport we could see the lit Christ from a distance as we head towards Copacabana. Seeing this magnificent icon was a amazing feel – its simply huge.
One can some of the best views of Rio from here –
For Photography Enthusiasts there have been cushioned mats laid out on the cement floor to lie down and click pictures of the Christ with the beautiful blue skies
2.Tijuca National Park
Covering 8,300 acres, Tijuca National Park is the largest urban rainforest on the planet. The natural beauty of the park can’t be understated: it features varied terrains, waterfalls, more than 1,600 plant species and more than 350 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. It represents 7% of the whole city`s territory, and it is also known as the lungs of Rio. Visiting the city without seeing the forest is like going to New York city and not seeing the central park. Rio is all about nature, wild places and beautiful views. All of these 3 things can be seen and enjoyed in Tijuca Forest.
It was really amazing to see such a huge urbant forest thriving in midst of a megacity like Rio and in one of the fastest developing countries of the world. A quick walking trail in the forest gave us a feel for nature and wilderness just few miles away from the beaches of Copacabana.
Vista Chinesa is a scenic monument in Tijuca National Park. The gazebo is famous for its oriental Chinese structural style. With spectacular views of the city of Rio de Janeiro, it has won an award in China as the best Chinese portal outside the country. Tourists and visitors are able to see almost the entire central part of Rio de Janeiro, including Leblon, Ipanema, Jardim Botânico and Copacabana. The men’s and women’s 2016 Olympic cycling road course started at Fort Copacabana and included the Vista Chinesa Circuit.
Known as the artistic heart of Rio, Santa Teresa’s cobbled streets are lined with rambling mansions that were once home to the city’s wealthy elite, and today function as artists’ studios, restaurants and guest houses. It houses finest examples of colonial architecture to be found anywhere in the city.
It was really nice taking a walk in this vibrant neighbourhood with a quintessential Brazilian experience.
Located at the heat of Rio de Janeiro, Lapa is famous for its historical monuments and nightlife. Known as the cradle of bohemian Rio, Lapa is also famous for its architecture, starting with the Arcos – known as the Arcos da Lapa, constructed to act as conduit in the days of colonial Brazil and now serve as a signal for the cable cars that climb the hill of Santa Teresa.
We next head to the Escadaria Selarón, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps’-One of Rio’s best loved attractions. The steps leading up from Rua Joaquim Silva became a work of art when Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón decided to cover the steps with colourful mosaics. A dedication to the Brazilian people, the 215 steps are a vivid riot of colour. It has also featured in numerous music videos such as Snoop Dogg’s Beautiful, as well as U2 also filming there.
This is beautiful dedication to the colourful city of Rio and has mosaics of a lot of landmarks, people and religion. However be advised not to go beyond the Brazil flag at the top of the stairs where they turn right.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is also worth visiting while in Lapa. Built between 1964 to 1979, the cathedral stands 80 meters high and can house around 20,000 people. The church is dedicated to Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro. The cathedral’s four rectilinear stained glass windows soar 64 metres (210 ft) from floor to ceiling.
One of the biggest Icons of Rio is the Sugar loaf mountain situated at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. It is known worldwide for its cableway and panoramic views of the city –especially the sunset.
Ascent is made in two stages in a cableway first to the top of Urca Hill and then you need to take another cable car which goes all the way to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, for a breath-taking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro. And this costs 80 Real per person.
The sight not to miss is the sunset at Sugarloaf. Large swathes of crowds gather as the sun sets over the bay and behind Christ the Redeemer at a distance -offering some of the best views over the city
Though I am done with the Top 5 attractions of Rio – There is something else I would like to squeeze in. If you do get slightly overdosed with all the beaches, favelas and the Icons listed above then will be really good to do something which gets your heart pumping. So I would advise on doing a small trek to the nearby Forte duque de caxias.
More commonly known as Forte do Leme, this military base is open to the public. Visitors can walk to the top of Morro do Leme (Leme Mountain) along a steep 800m trail that passes through Atlantic rainforest. The entrance is 4 Real per person and It’s a nice walk up the cobblestone path. Micos(tiny marmosets) make all the noise and give you company all the way up the path.
At the top you have some of the best panoramic views of the Sugarloaf mountains and also the Copacabana beach itself. Inside the fort, there’s a couple of videos highlighting the history and attacks that the forte engaged in. Everything is well labelled and translated in both Portuguese and English.
Read more about our Rio escapade– Click here
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