Rio de Janeiro - share you photos of this booming costal state

Discussion in 'Brazil' started by noel, Feb 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. noel
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    noel Silver Member

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    This thread is for the state of Rio de Janeiro, but I thought I would start off with the city.

    These are from May 2010 when I traveled to Rio a week after I graduated university. I did this trip with a tight budget, but it is an incredibly affordable region filled with friendly people.

    And I even booked my flight with AA miles (my first reward redemption). MCI-MIA-GIG-MIA-MCI.

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    ipanema beach as seen from its rocky, eastern edge. This is the area in which I stayed, it was a great neighborhood to come home to at night. It felt safe and I stayed in a hostel.

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    the view out of the hostel window. I stayed at the Lighthouse hostel, which is super small (1 dorm with 8 beds and 1 private room). Breakfast and wifi was included and they booked a few things for us at great prices. (like hang gliding!)

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    this was my first time hang gliding and it was AMAZING! After a super long car ride/hike straight up a seemingly never ending mountain, we ran and jumped off, flew over the rainforest (and some really expensive homes) and landed on the beach. I was terrified, but I can't recommend it enough.

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    view from midpoint of Sugarloaf. it is as far as you can hike and there is a cable car that can take you all the way to the top. It's a pretty good hike straight up hill, but the nice part is that when you reach the top, there is a full visitor center with food, drink, and wonderful seating to take in the view.

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    this is another angle from the hike up Sugarloaf. I went up once by cable car and once hiking. If you feel up to it, I highly recommend the hike.

    I can't wait to see other photos!
     
  2. noel
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    noel Silver Member

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    Búzios is an impossibly beautiful town 100 miles (2.5 hour drive) to the east of Rio. For my trip from Rio to Búzios, I hired a car and driver which was really fun. The driver was friendly and took us to a few stops along the way and introduced us to some more Brazilian food.

    Búzios is a very wealthy town and is where many of the richest from Rio tend to take their weekend vacations and build their second homes. The bars are over the top and the homes are pristine. It's a big change from the diversity in Rio.

    Located on a peninsula, there are too many beaches to count. Boat tours are a great way to see a lot of the area beaches and islands in one day.

    The best way to get around the city is either by 4 wheel buggys or mopeds. I opted for the moped and it was really fun. There are so many beaches to explore, it's worth getting up early a few days to try and see as many as you can.

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    this is the scene from one of the many, many beaches in and around Búzios. This is near the city center and right outside the hostel I stayed in.

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    I would swim out to that island every morning to wake myself up and shake off the Brazilian hangovers that only the caipirinha can give (but, wow they are delicious).

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    The hostel I stayed in was called the Nomad Hostel. It's entrance is hidden at the back of an outdoor cafe and it is easily the most amazing hostel I have ever seen. With a huge patio that opens to the beach, this place was a dream. It was incredibly clean and we were there during a low time so we had our own private dorm (3 people in a 6 person room).

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    this is from one of the many beaches we found while motoring around on our mopeds. Here, we picked up some fried fish that had just been caught, it was amazing. There were also other vendors on the beach selling food and they were very respectful. Most of them just walked by and said nothing, you had to call them over to get service, which is a welcome change from many other places I have been (I'm looking at you Mexico).

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    This place was absolutely amazing. We had a great weekend of bars, beaches and relaxation. Búzios really is an amazing weekend getaway.
     
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  3. noel
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    noel Silver Member

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    For the six hour journey from Búzios to Paraty (back through Rio), we opted for a bus ticket. Having heard storing of the amazing busses that run throughout South America, I was a little disappointed with the busses. Don't get me wrong, the bus I took to Paraty was modern, clean, and nice, I had just gotten my hopes up for a 1st class treatment when what I got was coach.

    Paraty was probably my least favorite city I visited in Rio, but it was more because of my own mistakes, not the city's.

    Paraty feels like traveling back in time. The roads are narrow and are based with large, uneven stones that are incredibly tricky to walk (but make it a snap to identify locals).

    There are plenty of luxury hotels here and a lively art scene with studios scattered around the downtown (while most seem to be closer to the water).

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    I decided to go out for a boat tour of the surrounding area and snapped this shot of Paraty on my way out. It's a beautiful town and the boats are delightfully colorful.

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    This is the caipirinha. It is the drink of Brazil and it is simple, refreshing, magic. They are prepared rather simply: 6 limes and a few scoops of sugar are mashed together until all the sugar is disolved in the lime juice. Fill your pitcher with crushed ice and then you add a third of a bottle of Cachaça, stir and enjoy. It's a sneaky drink, they taste so refreshing on a hot afternoon, it's easy to forget how strong they are..

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    sunset from the boat. This boat trip was not especially amazing compared to others in the area, I would recommend spending your time and money on trips in to the jungle around Paraty. There are waterfalls, rock slides, and all sorts of other things to explore. My big mistake was thinking we could ride bikes to all of these jungle treats. Don't do this. We biked straight uphill for hours and found almost nothing. Get a jeep and a guide, it's worth it.

    We hopped a city bus to Trindade where we stayed a few nights in one of my favorite places. There is nowhere to stay in this tiny fishing village except for a single hostel which means there are only as many tourists as the hostel can hold (which is not very many). The owner of the kaissara hostel, George, is the perfect guide to the city. He will lead hikes out to the areas waterfalls, rivers and beaches (and he never wears shoes). He sometimes cooks dinner for anyone willing to put in a few bucks and it's pretty good.

    The hostel also features nightly yoga classes which are so relaxing after a day of hiking and swimming. But enough about the hostel, I think it's clear that I think it's amazing.

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    along the beach are restaurants that serve super fresh seafood. And you know it's fresh because you watch the fishermen walk by with tubs full of living fish that they are delivering to the restaurants. Great food at great prices and you don't have to leave the beach. You can go up and order and they will come and get you when your meal is served.

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    This is a shot from a long day of hiking. There are so many trails, I wish I could have stayed for at least a week.

    Out of all the places I have traveled, I generally find my absolute favorite places are the ones that are hard to get to and a little off the beaten path. Trindade is absolutely up my the top 5. I'm thinking of checking out airfare just writing this...

    Well, that takes care of my posts from the state of Rio de Janeiro. It's an amazing place and I hope to see some more pics pop up (this South American forum is embarrassingly bare).
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    This is a nice panorama of the city, taken from a small helicopter(Robinson R-22, if anybody cares):
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. noel
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    noel Silver Member

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    beautiful! I love the lighting effects the clouds make.
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    There are otehr places taht are wonderfully obscure, isolated and beautiful. This is the largest waterfall in the State of Rio de Janeiro. It's is in the middle of nowhere and one must follow an unmarked dirt track to get there. Once you do the view is quite enjoyable. It is the Cascata Conde d'Eu near Sumidouro, itself quite remote:

    This photo was taken from an aircraft and is part of the Wikipedia article about the place:
    [​IMG]

    My photo:

    Conde d'Eu.jpg
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    This waterfall, Cachoeira da Gruta, is in the Floresta da Tijuca right in the middle of the city. Few people go to see it, but it is about fifteen minutes by car from Ipanema.

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  8. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    This view is from Vista Chinesa, roughly 20 minutes by car above Ipanema:

    [​IMG]
     
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